The Material Design studio examined the properties of materials as the starting point for design. Conventionally designers first decide what is wanted and then explore how to make it. We asked; what if we designed the other way around? Students were encouraged to question material usage and explore more sustainable assembly-based systems involving timber, bamboo and steel, along with methods that optimize the material for its envisioned function.
The exploration began by studying precedents where innovations in material technologies have expanded our understanding of building craft, structural limits and architecture. By adopting a hands-on approach students developed a keen understanding of the design potential for material combinations based on structural properties, versatility, ease of handling. Further on options for jointing, and assembly were explored. The active documentation of the student’s findings was helpful in identifying a set of basic design principles or rules.