Martin Bechthold (DDes '01) has been named the Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, effective January 1, 2016. Bechthold has served as professor of architectural technology at the GSD since 2008.
The Kumagai Professorship in Architecture was established to support distinguished scholars or practitioners in the field of architecture, with an emphasis on structural engineering, environmental systems, and/or building technology. Daniel Schodek previously held this title from 1992 to 2013.
Bechthold’s current research investigates material and fabrication technology as a catalyst of innovation for design practice. In 2010, he founded the GSD’s Design Robotics Group, which was recently merged into the Material Processes and Systems (MaPS) Group, a collaboration of faculty, research associates, and students that pursue research projects that focus on the integration of robotic technology into fabrication and construction processes; the development of advanced material systems in collaboration with industry partners and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University; and the understanding of problems of life-cycle design in building products.
Bechthold is co-author of Structures and Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing as well as the author of Innovative Surface Structures. His latest book is Ceramic Material Systems, published last October and coauthored with GSD alumni Anthony Kane (MDes '09) and Nathan King (DDes '13).
Bechthold has taught courses including Analysis and Design of Building Structures, CeramicsLab, the TRACES option studio, and Nano, Micro, Macro: Adaptive Materials Laboratory, which is cross-listed with Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Bechthold is also on the steering committee for the new Master in Design Engineering (MDE) program that the GSD has developed with SEAS.