Material and Work

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Architecture of the modern period was conceived largely on the basis of the invention of new materials and the upgraded performance of old ones. Opinions differ when we consider the relationship between material and architectural work. For what reason do architects choose certain materials, not others? Why do some architects extremely favor one material over their lifetime, like Mies van der Rohe VS. glass? And what leads to materials’ success or failure in architecture? Most of the classes I’m taking strove to explore the physical potential of material and retrieve the cultural inherent value of materiality. This final project included all the works, during my past 3 semesters, related to the material rethinking and applications. The works included required readings, examinations on certain materials from elective class, as well as material uses in my optional studio design work. The structure of this project consists of 3 chapters. Each chapter has one themed material, from Wood, Glass to Concrete, including readings, personal thinking and works with certain material. In “Wood”, my focus is on the structural and physical performance of timber system. Wood was considered as a renewable resource that is relevantly easy to process and has good performance in structure, insulation and aesthetics. By researching architectural case in timber, I try to stretch the limits of wood as building material. In “Glass”, I shifted my view from physical to cultural value. Glass was widely used as a paramount transparent material in architecture. The cultural metaphor beyond transparency was considered in the class of “Materiality”. And I’m devoting myself into a paper examining how other values of glass, other than its translucent property, were used culturally in architecture. Finally, more model works were included in “Concrete” part. Concrete was a relevantly controversial material in architecture history. It was considered both old and new, modern and unmodern, natural and unnatural. In my works of casting concrete models, and applying this material in my design work, I tried to have a close touch of concrete and worked with it for better architectural expression. As conclusion, the 3-semesters in AAP offered me a deeper understanding of materials and I’m horned to have this final project as the closure of my graduate study, as well as the beginning for my future work.

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Sabin, Jenny E.

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Dogan, Timur Kamil

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M.S., Architecture

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Master of Science

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dissertation or thesis

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