Lecture: Material Cultures

The development of construction over the last 150 years has produced a complex range of elements in our buildings, many derived from fossil fuels or other unsustainable processes. This industrial, globalised ‘material culture’ is markedly different from that of earlier eras — where construction materials were few in number and tended to be local in origin.

We heard from Summer Islam and Paloma Gormley of Material Cultures about their recent work, which explores the application of high-tech processes to design buildings made from simple, local and ecologically unproblematic materials like earth, wood and hemp.

Material Cultures is a not-for-profit research organisation working at the intersection of low embodied carbon and high efficiency off-site construction. Their current work explores prototypical designs for low and high density housing, commercial and cultural uses, using simple, local and carbon negative material.

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