“Post-mechanistic Materials”

Lecture by Manuel Kretzer (Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design, ETH, Zurich)

Location: Raum 5, Vordere Zollamstrasse 3, 1030 Wien

Dates: Nov. 30, 2012, 7pm

Smart materials, materials that have the ability to dynamically adjust their properties in response to changing environmental conditions, are gradually establishing themselves in the architectural world. The possibilities they encompass for the creation of adaptive spaces are manifold, highly intriguing and encouraging. However architects and designers, who are familiar with static materials or at most mechanical kinetics, are confused by their inherent dynamics that happen at an imperceptible scale. In most cases they focus primarily on the material’s visual properties and use them to replace established systems within rigid structures. Setting this into the context of the demands of new, young generations, who are seeking for multi-dimensional, vibrant environments where connectedness and flexibility become key elements, conventional design approaches and applications of smart materials seem insufficient. Subsequently this presentation proposes a hands-on attitude to cultivate a general understanding of smart material properties and offers to share this knowledge in an open and experimental way.

Manuel Kretzer is a researcher and educator at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD), ETH Zurich. He is responsible for coordinating and leading the postgradu- ate Master of Advanced Studies class’s digital design and production modules. His doctoral research aims at the notion of a soft and dynamic architecture with a specific focus on new (smart) material performance. He is also partner at responsive design studio, based in Zurich and Cologne, a collective with special interest in vivid architectural geometries that interact with their user. Just recently he co-founded the materiability research network, an educational platform that brings together various disciplines engaged in the use of smart materials in architecture and design.