Exhibition and Panel Discussion: Making With Earth

Fri Apr 28 2023 at 06:30 pm to 08:00 pm

1014 | New York

Exhibition and Panel Discussion: Making With Earth
In the exhibition MAKING WITH EARTH, experts, practitioners, and students Columbia GSAPP explore in-depth research on natural materials.
About this Event

Earthen materials are low carbon, ubitiques, and low cost. Structures of raw earth, built without cement or synthetic stabilizers, have the potential to minimize embodied fuel and carbon emissions from chemical, industrial, and thermal processing. Earthen building processes — contemporary versions of ancient knowledge — to be promising components of climate-friendly design that require further exploration and demonstration.

In the exhibition and subsequent discussion MAKING WITH EARTH, experts, practitioners, and students from Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), explore in-depth research on natural materials and their practical applications. The program stands at the end of a course in collaboration with the Natural Materials Lab at Columbia University.


To address the potential of earthen materials, students from Columbia GSAPP, in collaboration with the Natural Materials Lab, have been exploring in-depth research on natural materials. 

Engaging with theories and hands-on experiences, students developed a range of earth-based mixtures and tested their fabrication mechanisms, including digital 3D printing, mechanical pressing, and manual craft. Students drew inspiration from traditional techniques such as adobe rammed earth, cob, clay plasters, and straw bale construction, to speculate the futures of earth materialities. The class studied the performance and environmental benefits of each speculative project, while making a sensitive choice of materials, technical details, and fabrication processes. 

Talk at 1014:

At the opening event, we invite together design practitioners, educators, policy advocates, and material scientists to discuss and debate the future possibilities of earthen materials. 

The panel event, curated and moderated by Lola Ben-Alon from the Natural Materials Lab, will aim to question the challenges and possibilities of raw earth materials that is free from chemically processed or otherwise calcined additives such as cement. This panel discussion will focus on natural earth- and fiber-based building materials, their manual and digital fabrication, life cycle, supply chains, and advantages and disadvantages for construction, renovation and insulation. 

Lola Ben-Alon, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP, where she directs the Natural Materials Lab and the Building Technology curriculum. She specializes in earth- and bio-based building materials, their life cycle, supply chains, fabrication techniques, and policy. Ben-Alon received her Ph.D. from the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has been exhibited at the Tallinn Architecture Biennale, Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and published in Building and Environment, Journal of Green Building, and Automation in Construction. 


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

1014, 1014 5th Avenue, New York, United States


USD 0.00

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