The Materials’ Catch Dream-Thinking for Architects

Journal article

Theodorou, M. (2018). The Materials’ Catch Dream-Thinking for Architects. Surfaces and Materials. 48, pp. 27-31.
AuthorsTheodorou, M.

Materials appear to be the stuff architects day-dream about, experiment and work with in architecture studios, building sites, prototyping labs. In both design and make, materials’ specifications, their properties and performance are always an issue of much consideration that requires solid technical
knowledge and thoughtful decisions. But what if materials were to be thought neither as inert entities that architects manipulate for their clients to use and check in post-occupancy evaluations, nor just as matter whose properties are to be tamed to appease architectural obsessions and then offered to colleagues (and theorists) for contemplation?
This text experiments with ways of thinking about or ‘together’ with materials. To do so, it takes a
dream-ride to different cities to recall instances of intense personal attachments with architecture matter, two of which belong to the specific temporal category of the bygone. Architecture ruins and materials of urban pasts are of particular interest as they seem to set up catches that allure and captivate in a visceral way. Such an ‘unmediated’ encounter with materials has unpredictable consequences that undermine the ‘meet the eye/touch the ear/hit the brain’ beaten path of recounting experiences of architecture’s past in our cities. Unsurprisingly, capricious side-effects emerge as soon as the process of thinking drops its academic respectability to open up to the delights of dreamthinking.

JournalSurfaces and Materials
Journal citation48, pp. 27-31
PublisherLo Squaderno
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Publication dates
Print01 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Oct 2020
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License: CC BY 4.0
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