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Unlogging Material Narratives in Architecture With Leslie Lok

About this event

Unlogging Material Narratives in Architecture With Leslie Lok

New material and design practices are needed to address climate change as one of the most pressing problems of our generation. Moving forward, architects and researchers need to develop new log-books, log new design protocols, and fundamentally un-log past loggings in order to move towards radically more sustainable and less wasteful building practices. This environmental paradigm shift is accompanied by considerable design possibilities.

Through HANNAH’s recent work on robotic timber fabrication and concrete 3D printing, Leslie Lok will share how digital fabrication technologies facilitate new material methods, tectonic articulations, environmental practices, technological affordances, and architecturally expressive forms of construction. Leslie will draw from the example set by HANNAH’s Ashen Cabin project, a small cabin made of 3D printed concrete and upcycled Emerald-Ash-Borer-infested ‘waste wood’. The cabin serves as prototype for fundamentally new material methods and forms of construction, opening the door to radically new architectural design languages.

During this talk, you’ll learn:

  • How 3D printing disrupts standard design thinking, and why concrete could be a bridge material technology towards sustainable mass-customized building design.
  • How new production tools and fabrication technologies enable the use of non-standardized “waste” materials that are commonly regarded as unsuitable for construction. 
  • How integrating new manufacturing processes can produce more sustainable buildings.
  • How unpacking the manufacturing process and applying new bottom-up fabrication techniques can lead to exciting and unfamiliar architectural design opportunities.  

About Leslie Lok

Leslie Lok is a co-founder at HANNAH and an assistant professor at Cornell University Department of Architecture. Her experimental design practice, HANNAH utilizes innovative forms of construction to advance building practices. The work aims to mine the tension between machine means and architectural ends. At Cornell, Leslie directs the Rural-Urban Building Innovation Lab. Working with non-standardized material and biomaterial, her research and teaching explore the intersection of technology, novel material methods, and urbanization. By studying regional behaviors from spatial transformation to material resources, her work contextualizes design strategies with computational protocols and technologies to customize unique needs for local communities.

About Hannah Feniak

Hannah Feniak is Architizer’s Architecture Editor. When she’s not leading our talented team of writers and interviewing the industry’s most innovative designers, Hannah is likely to be found exploring the latest exhibition openings. A trained art historian and educator with a focus on architecture and urbanism, Hannah holds degrees from McGill University in Montreal and NYU.

Hosted by

  • Team member
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    Hannah Feniak Architecture Editor @ Architizer

  • Guest speaker
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    Leslie Lok

Architizer and Material Bank

The Design Your Impact Series is brought to you by Material Bank in Collaboration with Architizer.