Thermodynamic Materialism
2012 - 2013

The proposed research project Thermodynamic Materialism is a collaboration between the Chair of Structural Design at the ETH Zurich and the Design Unit of Prof. Ábalos at Harvard University. It represents a unique opportunity to link ongoing complementary research projects within both academic institutions in order to achieve multiplication effects out of the application of a specific design thinking at the intersection of the fields of architecture and engineering. The main aim of this collaboration relies in the definition of a new architectural paradigm that emerges from the understanding of thermodynamics and its impact in the activation of contemporary material processes in architecture. The expected output will be the development of architectonic prototypes aiming for a new definition of materiality that goes beyond the traditional phenomenological approach and incorporates logics from contemporary tools linked to structural, energetic and manufacturing parameters (Matter-Form & Thermodynamics).
The proposed collaboration will join the technical expertise of the Chair of Structural Design at the ETH Zurich with the design expertise of the Design Unit of Prof. Ábalos at Harvard University in order to build up simultaneously and mutual dependent a solid scientific foundation and workable design methods as well as theoretical grounding of a new energy-based paradigm of architecture.

Research Team:
Juan Jose Castellon, Dr. Toni Kotnik, Pierluigi D′Acunto, Prof. Joseph Schwartz (ETH Zurich)
Prof. Inaki Abalos, Prof. Kiel Moe, Prof. Matthias Schuler, Salmaan Craig (Harvard GSD)

Further Information:
Symposium: Thermodynamic Materialism at GSD Harvard.
Symposium: Thermodynamic Materialism II at ETH Zurich.

last modified 23.9.2019