HETEROGENEOUS MATERIALS AND VARIABLE BEHAVIOUR: POTENTIALS FOR THE DESIGN DISCIPLINES

Michael Ulrich Hensel

Abstract


In the design and use of human-made artefacts materials play a central role with regards to appearance and functionality. The performative capacity of a design is actualised through materiality. However, while architecture is a material practice, highly specific materials with carefully defined characteristics and properties are often chosen late in the design process. Moreover, often a materials response to extrinsic stimuli is regarded as negative. All sorts of measures are taken to neutralise such responses. In contrast, however, there is a growing fascination with 'smart' materials that can respond in controlled ways to extrinsic stimuli. If the definition of smart materials would be employed to embrace defined capacities in ordinary materials this may yield an fundamental rethinking of both the performative capacities of human made artefacts and the design disciplines. This article aims therefore at discussing material capacities and variable behaviour as a potential for rethinking design and sustainability.


Keywords


Material Capacities and Variable Material Behaviour

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