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Materiality and Assembly – Group Summary


Historically, stones were used for weapons, kitchen tools, and art work. Native Americans were known to use stones as a weapon, such as an arrowhead. Stones were also used to make herbs, as a tool to crush and grind. Stones of different colors were able to be used as a mix for colors, thus creating art work. Stones were able to insulate spaces, as well as sustain heat when warmed. However, marble is used as a stone to cool areas. Stones are also very useful to repel fire. Certain types of stone are known to disintegrate when placed in hydrochloric acid. The stone may possess an ‘earthly sweet’ or ‘sour rotten’ scent. On a scale of 0-1 stones can range from 10 being the hardest, diamond and the weakest being 1, chalk. Sedimentary sources are limestone, sandstone, and soapstone. Metamorphic sources are marble, slate, and serpentine. Igneous sources are granite, basalt, and gabbros. Manmade sources are terrazzo, agglomerate, and faux marble. Stones can be applied as facades, outdoor tiles, outdoor furniture, indoor countertops, and indoor flooring. A foreign case study is the Hotel Therme Vals, which was completed in 1996, by Peter Zunthor. It was created to look like a cavelike structure, which was done by building the hotel inside a hillside. Most of the building is made with layered curbside slabs, and Zunthor used this material to make it a sensitive restorative experience. Zunthor had a vision to recreate the tradition of bathing, and used a technique of using the negative space between blocks. A local case study is the Grand Central Terminal. The Grand Central Terminal uses different kinds of marble and terrazzo, all throughout it’s 48 acres. Some of these stones are used to help to calm acoustically


Textile is type of cloth or woven fabric. Historically, textiles were known to have existed since the late stone age, which is roughly about 100,000 years ago. The earliest instance of textile discovery were 5000 BC in India, Egypt, and Ancient China. Ancient methods of manufacturing textiles were plain weave, stain weave, and twilling. However, these methods have stopped being used since 200 years ago. Textiles have many physical, mechanical, and chemical properties. They are differed from the source and manufacturing process of the textile. Among these properties, some are significant to the interior and architecture eras. The color were very significant, and its friction, such as a rug. Textiles can be obtained from animals, plants, and vegetables. An example of textile material from an animal would be the alpaca. The manufacturing of textiles is cultivating and harvesting, spinning, weaving or knitting, pre treatment, manufacturing transport, sales, finishing treatment, and dyeing and printing. A foreign case study of textile would be the Tahari Showroom in New York, New York by Gisela Stromeyer. Within it’s store there are a lot of fabric and steel. The AESOP in Hong Kong by design group NADAAA, concludes of a lot of linen and wood.


Historically, plastic was a man-made material by Alexander Parkers, who publicly demonstrated it at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. Over the next few decades, more and more different types of plastics were introduced. The properties of plastics are defined by the organic chemistry of the polymer, such as hardness and density. Plastic can be used as fibers, textiles, and fabric, which are known as polyester. Plastic can also be found commonly in plumbing pipes and gutters, shower curtains, window frames, and flooring, which are known as polyvinyl chloride. Plastic is also known to be used a bottle caps, drinking straws, yogurt containers, appliances, car fenders, plastic pressure pipe systems, which are known as polypropylene. Also, fiber reinforced plastic is a type of plastic that is reinforced with glass and carbon. Methods of creating plastic is injection molding, extrusion molding, and blow molding. Plastic came from a word that originally means, ‘pliable and easily shaped’ it only recently became a name for a category called polymers. A foreign case study of plastic is the Water Cube in Beijing, China, by designers Chris Bosse and Robb Leslie-Carter. The Mateiral is ETFE. Another foreign example would be the Miroiterie Trail Building by architecture firm B+W Architecture, which is located in Laussnne, Switzerland. The material of this building is reinforced concrete and aluminum.


Historically, concrete was first discovered by Romans from a nearby volcanic source. Concrete was used a lot during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century, known as tabby, which is a concrete of oyster shell line, sand, and whole oyster shells. In the 1780s, James Parker invented once again, a “roman cement,” made by burning separate, which was ground and mixed with sand. I twas used to quickly and cheaply build homes. Modern day cement however is Portland Cement, which is widely used. It is created by interning (liquifying), limestone with clay, shale, sand, iron ore, bauxite, fly ash, and slag. Concrete, once set, is a stable material with high, impressive strength. Today concrete is made by mixing water, stone, and sand. Beside these materials there are other elements such as, steel, that can be mixed in because this creates a strong tension. The process to create steel is quarrying, raw material preparation, clinker production, cement grinding, and distribution. The application of concrete comes in a liquid form, it is a wet material, which is combined with sand, gravel, and water. Concrete has been used to create famous structures, such as The Colosseum, and The Pantheon. It is used also highly used to create highways, such as California. Solid create is made by casting in factory or on site, which also comes in a liquid form so it will need to be casted in molds. A foreign case study is the Church of Light located in Osaka, Japan by famous architect Tadao Ando. It is a reinforced concrete, and it was known to have been casted on site, strangely. A local case study example is the Marian City, located in Chicago Illinois, by designer Bertrand Goldberg. It was completed in 1964, the two towers were known to be tallest reinforced structure. Another local example was The New Museum and the Lincoln Center. The Lincoln Center has concrete seatings, which were pre casted, however concrete seating can also be casted on site as well.


Historically the first time of metal discovered was iron, which was 3,000 years ago. A phenomenon of a metal discovered, was the Gold Rush in 1848, which were the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley. Types of metals consists of alloys: steel, brass, bronze, and stainless steel. Precious metals consists of gold, silver, and platinum. Ways to extracting metal is mostly done with mining. Most of the pure metals found on earth, like aluminum, silver, and copper all come from the earth’s crust. Underground mining is a technique, which is used to access ores and valuable minerals in the ground by digging into the ground to extract them. Applications of these metals are tin ductwork, copper pipers, steel beams, aluminum siding, fixtures, and copper wires. Properties of metal consists of a shiny exterior, solid (except Mercury), a high density, strong strength, high melting point, good conductor of heat and electricity, and low ionization energies. Manufacture and manipulations consists of casting, molding, forming, machining, finishing, joining, additive, and mining. Three ways to create metals are welding, soldering, and brazing. There are different types of finishes that can be done to metal, such as sand brazing, powder coating, and brushed. Coatings of metals can be electroplating (passing an electric current through solution containing dissolved metal ions and the metal object to be plated), DIP/Galvanizing (primarily done to iron and steel), and electropolishing (the metal surface is agnatically smoothed in a concreted acid or alkaline solution.) A local example of metal is the Apple Store, which consists of anodized aluminum, the reason to use this is because it allows it to be corrosion resistant, hardness and wear resistant, and improves adhesive bonding during installation. A foreign example is the Deyoung Museum by Herzog and De Neuron, which consists of perforate copper cladding. The exterior classing is made up of perforated copper, and this copper will naturally fade to green as it ages. It is supposed to bend in more and more with the forest being it as it ages. It is made up of a system of copper plates.


The properties of wood are a variation of hardness, highly dense, insulated, thermal insulation (some), no electrical insulation, and highly recyclable and reusable. There are 300+ types of wood all around the world, soft and hard. The source of wood only come from the barks of trees. Different forms of woods are boards, square section, dowel, and sheets. The manufacturing of wood is very extensive. Wood can come in many different forms such as lumber, MDF, plywood, chipboard, veneer, paper, and money. Transportation of wood is extensive because trees can only be cut from areas that are approved by that areas forest council. The trees can be cut down in a vacation of ways either by hand or by machinery such as chainsaw or a larger machine called a ‘feller bencher.” A local Example of wood is the FEIT shoe store, in all locations, which consists of a lot of plywood. Each piece of plywood is about an inch away from each other, and was cut off site. An example of a foreign case study would be the Salon Mittermeir, located in Austria designed by X Architekten. The styling activity of a hairdresser was expressed on the exterior through a three-dimensional wave, a mildly abstract metaphore for the hair styling that takes place inside. The facade serves s both a sign that attracts, attends, and a curtain over the windows.


Glass was first made in 500 BC. It is one of the most versatile and eldest of materials in the building industry. The first type of glass ever discovered was Obsidian, which was naturally formed in sand after being struck by lighting. The Obsidian was actually used to make weapons. However, manmade glass is now used at luxury on decorations, jewelry, vessels, buildings, interiors, and so much more. The earliest glass beads objects were discovered in Ancient Egypt, known as glass beads, at about 2500 BC. The manufacturing process of glass is composed of about 75 percent silica, 10 percent limestone, and 15 percent soda. Blowing liquid glass derived by melting sand calcium oxide and sodium carbonate to extremely high temperatures. The piking process is made of clear sand, calcium oxide, and sodium carbonate, which are brought to the glass production plant. It is then heated in gas fired furnace, at about 2300 Celsius. The way you cool glass determines its strength. The tone of the glass requires about 4 Giga Joules of energy, which is an extremely high amount. Float glass is also called soda lime glass or clear glass, which is produced by annealing the molten glass and is of clear color. Tinted glass have certain auditions to the glass beach can add color to the glass without compromising its strength. Toughened glass is tempered, which may have distortions and low visibility. But it breaks into small dice-like pieces modules of rupture of 3600 psi. Hence it is used in making fire resistant doors. They are available in same weight and thickness range as float glass. Laminated glass is a type of glass made by sandwiching glass layers together. Extra clear glass is a type of glass that is hydrophilic. It is consisted of low iron, so that it gives less of that natural green tiny. Low e glass, it is what you call ultra clear glass. Double glazed units are glass which are made by providing air gap between two glass panels in order to reduced the heat loss and gain. Normal glass can cause an immense amount of heat. Chromatic glass is a type of glass that can control daylight and transparently quite effectively. Chromatic glass is available in three dorms. Glass wool is a thermal insulation and flexible glass fibers, which can be very commonly found within the walls of homes, or above the ceiling of a home. Glass blocks are hollow wall blocks which are manufactured as two separate halves, and which the glass is still molten, the two pieces are pressed together and annealed. The heat required a lot of energy consumption and resulting in green house gas. However, recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials. The container and fiber glass industries collectively purchase 3 million tons of recycled glass annually. A local case study is the John Lewis Department Store, which consists of over 240+ colors. Lowered from above, then glued, meaning it was casted on site. When it will gain it will wipe an dirty off the facade. The maintain maximum transparency, the facade was equipped with double glazing. A foreign case study would be the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop, which is an open building that allows the effect of transparency to happen. The columns each on a microlevel, does what walls would do in support of the building. The glass structure does not have any support, other than the columns.

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