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Robert Liesling + Yenni Kayamba // Research on Louis Sullivan

Matter Matters!
Sophomore Design StudioFall 2016, Georgia Tech, Atlanta

The Matter Matters! program investigates design related to materiality and technology in a generative manner. Usually, matter and technology are understood as merely following design’s lead, with design being viewed as a game of pure drawing and modelling, and materialization as one of engineering and production. In our profession this rift is known as that between the Beaux-Arts and the Polytechnique schools of design: art and engineering, with architecture commuting in between. Some architectural theoreticians, such as Gottfried Semper in the 1850s and Frei Otto in the 1970s, have tried to overcome this problem. They have pointed out that materials constantly produce their own architecture. For instance, when we look at the way mud cracks or how soap bubbles aggregate, we see the same thing over and over: matter finds form. Traditionally, we have learned that matter is inert and needs to be shaped into form by external agents, but the reverse is true: matter is pure agency and actively shapes itself.

Adeline Thompson + Christopher Tromp // Research on Art Nouveou Railings

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