Thursday, January 31, 2008

Section 2: Matters of Material

(Click here to download this handout as a PDF)

Assembling a molecular architecture

Tuesdays 9am – 1pm and 2pm-6pm; Thursdays 2pm-6pm
Adrian Blackwell
Office Hours: By appointment

TERM PROJECT assembling a molecular architecture

SECTION 2 Matters of Material

In his lecture, Manuel Delanda focuses on Deleuze and Guattari’s interest in the expressivity of nature as it manifests itself in the third chapter of A Thousand Plateaus. Materials each have their own forms of expression: they bend, fall, float, absorb, shed, crack, transmit, support, span, hang, pour. Materials are also affected by diverse forces such as gravity, wind, heat, cold, light, human interaction, and geological movements. What relationships exist between the various capactities for expression that each material or substance (in D&G’s sense of formed matter) holds and the diverse forces that affect it. How can this interaction create an architectural body?

Design a set of experiments to test a single building material that you think may be useful for our term project. Apply different forces to the material in order to see how its form changes.

Possible materials: cob, rammed earth, wood, steel, fibres, rubber, plastic containers
Glass, solar energy, wind energy, water collection, plastic sheet materials, fabrics

In relation to your chosen material, also select a force or forces that might affect it.


1. Collection of materials:
Find a resource of used or discarded materials. All materials must be used, consider the toxicity of the materials chosen as well the energy costs related to their production and disposal. Please bring example materials and experiment ideas to class on Tuesday January 22nd for discussion

2. Experiment:
Experiment with the forms produced through the applications of various forces to the materials.

3. Artifact:
Document one experiment which appears useful to the construction of a structure related to food consumption within Emmett Avenue Park.


Week 3 – January 22, 24
Matters of material – collecting samples
Thursday 4-6pm - Discussion: 10,000 B.C.: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?), 39.

Week 4 – January 29, 31
Matters of material – testing materials
Tuesday 4-6pm - Discussion: A Thousand Plateaus, November 20, 1923: Postulates of Linguistics, 75.
Thursday 2-6pm – Review: Matters of material

Artifact, Experiment and Material samples are due January 31 - 10% 2:00pm.


Manuel DeLanda - The Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze.
2007 in 5 parts – youtube
This video lecture focuses on the concept of the expressivity of nature in the third chapter of A Thousand Plateaus.

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