Material World

Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

30 March 2012 - 5 June 2012

From the website: The new exhibition in The Danish Architecture Centre shows how new ways of using materials give the architecture new structures, expressions, and experiences. You will find a hundred different materials in this exhibition, divided into five categories: strong, lightweight, green, smart and transparent. Throughout history, we humans have experienced and described how our reality has both a psychological, mental dimension and a physical, material one: Ideas, notions, religions and feelings have been contrasted with concrete buildings and objects. In this manner, materiality has been regarded as the opposite of spirituality. To a great extent, the history of architecture is the history of how human imagination and ideas have shaped various materials and put them together in ways that have made buildings and even entire cities in the image of man - in other words, how these ideas have acquired material form. Our ability to constantly use existing materials in new ways while constantly creating brand new ones has been essential to the way architecture has changed its form, expression and style over the centuries. For instance, it was the invention of a new kind of structural steel that made it possible to build the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the world's first skyscrapers in the USA at the end of the 19th century, just as it was the development of pre-fabricated concrete elements that ensured the rapid construction of millions of houses and flats in post-war Europe after 1945. In this manner, the development of materials has always helped overcome the challenges that humans face. Today, advanced material research and development has become a complex branch of science focusing on financial, resource-related and environmental sustainability. Self-cleaning glass on the façades of buildings 500-metres tall saves human lives as well as money. Hollow plastic balls in concrete elements cut concrete consumption as well as transport costs. And new kinds of insulation saves billions on the world's energy bill thereby reducing CO2 emissions globally.

The exhibition is organized by Annica Carina Tomasdotter Ekdahl.

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