Genius Materia (2023)

Now with the increasing demand for architectural practices to minimize the environmental pressure, the construction material can be reconsidered. Here in this thesis, the design starts from one of the most primitive materials: earth.

However, the material has significant limitations with numbers of challenges. This thesis will investigate the basic characters of unstabilized rammed earth (URE) through literature and seek for its possible application in architecture field. Research on existing rammed earth building examples and hands-on experiments will follow to explore how the challenges of building with URE can push the practice today forward. It also denies to take a step back in Modern discourse, and depicts the future model on the continuation of historical context, seeking for timelessness and avoiding obsolescence.

In the design application, a Rammed Earth Column structure for a new Dom-Ino system will be presented in order to propose an alternative to the contemporary architecture.

The final task is to design a rammed earth structure that provides a physical platform with high material efficiency and spatial quality driven by the nature of the construction material to demonstrate the idea of "Genius Materia" (spirit of the material).

The whole process will follow the framework of material-based design to study the potential of the methodology in the architectural context, as well as the material itself.

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