Beyond Mining - Urban Growth


The 21st century will face a radical paradigm shift in how we produce materials for the construction of our habitat. The linear concept of “produce, use, and discard” has proven itself unsustainable in the face of scarce resources and exponentially increasing urban populations. Instead, to achieve a cycle of produce, use, and re-use, we must explore alternative materials and approaches to construction. The Professorship of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Block Research Group (BRG) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich are combining their knowledge in materials, construction, structures, and geometry to address the problems posed by inefficiency in the realms of current design and material use. Utilizing the regenerative materials bamboo and mycelium and a design based on polyhedral form and force diagrams that dictate the geometry of the structure’s forces, the team presents the first full-scale structure designed using 3D graphic statics. It represents a vision for the ways we may move beyond the mining of our construction materials to their cultivation and growth. It suggests ways that efficiency of digital design, engineering and alternative resources can join forces to question current practice and propose more sustainable approaches.