Jess Gough, image from Material Reform by Material Cultures (MACK, 2022)

Change of mindset

"Material Cultures: Material Reform" highlights possibilities for sustainable and future-proof building: Paloma Gormley, Summer Islam and George Massoud outline what is needed for a holistic approach to the built environment, appealing for a new way of looking at construction and the systems in which it is embedded.

"Our current modus operandi cannot support the kind of future we envision for ourselves and our future. As architects, builders and citizens, we urgently need to rethink our relationship to the land and to each other in order to create new forms of material practice, culture and economy in solidarity with people and our landscapes," reads an excerpt from the blurb of Material Cultures' first publication. The London-based design and research practice explores the use of bio-based materials in construction and has assembled a series of essays and conversations for Material Cultures: Material Reform that address the architecture industry and the de-structural ecology it promotes. Editors Paloma Gormley, Summer Islam and George Massoud explore how alternative systems could be formulated with holistic approaches to the built environment.

"Material Cultures: Material Reform" thus points like a reference work from "resources" to "maintenance" to "soils" to the possibilities for a sustainable redesign of architecture and is to be understood as a call to profoundly question the established systems, materials and technologies with regard to their future viability. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes in the foreword: "Considering the entire production chain from the field to the home, these texts look at how materials are produced and assembled: where, how, by whom and at what cost. This process puts into question one of the fundaments of the modern project, namely the neutrality of design. If we take the step of admitting that every decision a designer makes in the conception of a project impacts wide-ranging locales and processes, and if a resolute desire to change guides each of these simple yet relevant decisions, the prospect of an emancipated form of practice emerges," says the architect, urban planner and assistant professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. (am)

Material Reform Material Cultures
Author: Material Cultures

Co-author: Amica Dall
Photographs: Jess Gough

Paperback, 2022
11 x 18 centimetres, 144 pages
ISBN: 978-1-913620-81-3
20 euros