Why do we build with certain types of materials and not others? How do the properties and qualities of materials constrain and enable the ways in which we build and the ways in which we think about architecture? What do architects have to gain by thinking about matter as much as form?

This course is an introduction to materials in architectural design and construction. We examine how materials are used, and ask why they are used in those ways — technically, historically, economically, aesthetically. We examine the origins of materials and their life spans in a building.

The course consists mainly of presentations and discussions, with some hands-on exercises and design workshops. The assignments focus on how to make simple materials do smart things.

This course is required for students in the second year of the MArchI program.