A focus on matter swerves around the comforting disingenuity of good practice and pretty aesthetics. It insists on an approach that looks not at the quantitative “performance” of materials but the behavior and misbehavior of assemblages, practices, and machines. Matter eschews nature/culture oppositions, insofar as matter (both material and immaterial) can be simulated, projected, and invented to create new feedback loops with environmental systems and networks. Animal, vegetable, mineral—you can design them all. Tectonics reaffirm, but matter satisfies desires, weaponizes fears, plays with memory, and upsets our aesthetics proclivities and our penchant for perfection. Matter absorbs pain and pleasure. Matter releases placebos, toxins, pestilences, hallucinogens, and curatives. Matter is already encoded with politics, economy, geology, geography, genetics, and (deep) history. Matter is always already befouled, stained, sullied, and covered in blood. We aspire to disheveled tectonics, alt-materiality, corrupted aesthetics, fuzzy connections, and unethical assemblages. We look for flaccid strength, weak structures, dirty ecologies, and low-brow logics. We delineate forces, image substances, project failures, and design for cyborgs (you’re already a cyborg, btw). We aim for unprofessional practice, to engineer the organic, and to faithfully falsify. Reject the binary opposition, stop trying to cleanse yourself of your imperfections, stop trying to fix everything, get over your fake honesty, and get with a real that’s better than reality. Matter is what you make of it.

student projects

  • Vasundhra Aggarwal & Jaclyn Doyle
    Latent Territories
  • Cynthia George & Cathy Wu
    Combustible Assemblages
  • Maria Elvira Gutierrez Ramirez & Elise Zilius
    Mycotecture of Contamination
  • Fei Hu
    Urban “We”illage
  • Tota Hunter
    Political Economy of Wood
  • Jack Hymowitz
    RE - Defining the Silo
  • Rui Li
    Conjecture of Everything
  • Bennett Powers
    Image Synthesis Semantics
  • Alec Rovensky
    Terra Dispositions