As the processes and technologies behind the making of architecture have become ever more refined, specialised and siloed, a wholesale transformation of practice has taken place. Simultaneously, a growing antagonism has emerged between that which is deemed ‘theoretical’ and that which is ‘practical’. This dialectic finds is roots in Duchamp’s ‘readymade’ and Lawrence Weiner’s 1968 Declaration of Intent, in which he announced that an artwork “need not be built”.
Today, how we make, from what, and with whom has taken on a particular and specific urgency. However, despite this reality, there is a growing disconnect between the idea of practice and the fundamentals of making and, despite ever more advanced tools and process, the material sophistication of our built work is in decline.
Material Matters is a series of short talks that aim to highlight the work of architects and makers whose practice is based firstly on a tacit and intimate knowledge of the materials and landscapes in which they work. Three expert makers will share the tools and crafts which shape and inform their design process. They will discuss remarkable pieces made from stone, earth, wood and steel, but also the more intangible side of their practices – the failures, frustrations and unexpected discoveries that underpin their work, with the aim of generating a discourse around making as an essential generative territory of architecture.