by Erin Ota (MDes ’17)
According to Salmaan Craig, the first time synthetic materials were invented in laboratories by a team of professional scientists was 1945. Since this time period, more new materials have been produced in the past seventy years than the entire history of civilization. The research investigates how this increased use of synthetic materials has necessitated a more diffuse network of embodied labor in the procurement of materials since 1945. More specifically, it analyzes the different types of risks that different geographies and demographics have started to absorb as a consequence of this historical shift, and questions what pragmatic actions are available to a contemporary architectural practice to intervene, regardless of where the practice is located.