Samdal / Material Driven Architecture

Material Driven Architecture A Framework for Exploring the Role of Material Experiences for Integration of Soil in a Sustainable Material Culture

Author: Ina Samdal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Supervisor: Eir Ragna Grytli, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Research stage: Initial doctoral stage

Category: Paper

DDR Statement

Design often stems from an effort to improve the current situation. This starting point makes research through design different from standard scientific research, where the goal more often is to explain and predict an existing situation. This PhD project works with the natural building material soil, where the material is to be seen as both the subject and the object of the research, along with the people interacting in the design phase. Given the complexity of architecture practice, the knowledge developed in its research does not necessarily relate to answers or results, but more to an understanding of connections and relationships. Understanding the bigger picture of how materials influence architects in the design process is an important part of this research.

Research through design will act as the starting point from where the material is investigated, further, the research will be developed through a qualitative approach to complement the research. This will be done through observation and spontaneous interviews for gathering insights into the personal sensations from relating with the materials. The design process involves hands-on exploration with soil, sketching and building together with architecture students as part of courses in both undergraduate and graduate level. The physical results will consist of material samples from the initial exploration phase. Furthermore, an example building, e.g., a small cabin or pavilion, consisting of materials from the initial investigations will be built.