In this studio, we will focus on the unique gestures dictated by a particular material and the specialisms of working that material in what we call ‘material gesture.’ We will explore the making in relation to a material in order to produce an architecture that is solely focused on the relationship between the two. Our interest in the material will be related to its properties, how it is mined, its use in industry, its effect on craftsmanship, specialised fabrication techniques, its cultural significance, and innovations in the field of architecture.

The research that is carried out in the studio will be largely developed through a practice-based approach, and applied throughout the intrinsic developments of the projects in the design studio. Each semester, a subtopic within material gesture will be explored ranging from an in-depth focus on one specific source material - gypsum, to the geological interest of a site, and the man-made materials from our current geological age, the Anthropocene.

The results will be collected in a growing physical database of materials, and its performance through its applications in the form of large architectural models, made in the actual researched materials and techniques.

Anne Holtrop