Designing Material

Home > Lab Talks > Designing Material

Paul Nicholas will give a Lab Talk on Oktober 31 from 13-14


Our material culture has begun to change. Emerging tech­nologies in the production of new and traditional synthetic materi­als now allow the precise specification of materials and proper­ties. Through relatively simple processes, material behaviour can be embedded with specific design intent, establishing new relations between the design of material and the design of form. Replacing familiar materi­als and modern processes of selection and manipulation, this new practice draws architecture into lesser known territory and new scales of material operations.


This presentation, Designing Material | Materialising Design, will examine aspects of this new practice through research carried out at the Centre for IT and Architecture (CITA) over the last three years. Focusing on fibre-reinforced composites, the presentation will briefly overview architecture’s material practice, introduce the idea of architectural structures that activate material properties as a means for self-formation, and explore, through an evolving series of project examples, how simulation can allow architecture to return to previous intuitions, armed with new precisions.



Paul Nicholas holds a PhD in Architecture from RMIT University, Australia, and joined the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at KADK as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2011. Having previously worked at Arup and Aecom, his current research explores the idea that composites, as designed materials, necessitate new relationships between material behaviour and digital representation. Paul co-founded the design practice mesne in 2005, and has exhibited in recent Venice and Beijing Architectural Biennales.