Building Materials

Material Theory and the Architectural Specification
Bloomsbury Visual Arts (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 18. November 2021
  • |
  • 272 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-350-17624-9 (ISBN)
At a time of unprecedented levels of change in the production of building materials and their deployment in construction, better theoretical and historical tools are needed to understand these new developments and how they are altering the practices and concepts of architecture. Building Materials offers a radical rethink of how materials, as they are constituted in architectural practice, are themselves constructed and, in turn, uncovers a vast and neglected resource of architectural writing about materials as they are mobilized in architecture.

The book is unique in conceiving architectural specification as a starting point for architectural theory, arguing that how materials are prescribed - through a range of practices from the literal processes of procurement and manufacture to epistemological, contractual, social and economic frameworks - radically alters their potential in architecture. Drawing on the work of French philosopher Gilbert Simondon, as well as close readings of everyday specifications from the 18th to 21st centuries, the book reveals that materials do not pre-exist their shaping or use in the world, but come into being through the processes that constitute them.

The book addresses three distinct methods of specification each through the lens of a different material - 'naming' through timber, 'process-based' through concrete, and 'performance specification' through glass - in turn revealing how the process of architectural specification (or 'Preliminary Operations' as Simondon puts it) allows for the development of specific relationships between material and function.
  • Englisch
  • London
  • |
  • Großbritannien
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
21 bw illus
978-1-350-17624-9 (9781350176249)

weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Katie Lloyd Thomas is Professor of Theory and History of Architecture at Newcastle University. Previous publications include Material Matters (2007) and Industries of Architecture (2015).
List of Illustrations

1. Introduction

Simondon and the Specification
Building Materials: an ontogenetic approach
'Veritable Relations': building materials as systems
On the Transductive Method

2. Specifying Building Materials

From Object to Process: 18th and 19th century specifications and the shift to division by trade
From Means to Ends: 20th and 21st century specifications and the variety of forms of clause

3. Naming Materials

From Species to Brand-names: Changing practices of naming timber
Effects of Changes in Naming: The emergence of proprietary specification
Naming and Table 2/3: Materials as varieties of matter

4. Process

The Process-Based Clause
'Nothing but a Transit': Hylomorphism and the forgetting of process
Dynamic Operations in Process-Based Description
'Rendered Plastic by Preparation': Preliminary operations

5. Performance

Performance Specification
'Grounded in Such Usefulness': Material as Equipment
'For a Given Service': 'New Glass Performances'

6. Systems of Material

Simondon's 'Complete System'
'That Constitutive Seam'

7. Going Into the Mould

Preliminary Operations
The Technical Object
Inventive Relations


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