Past Event


September 19, 2023
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Avery Hall, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027 Wood Auditorium

The Material Variance Symposium is organized by Lola Ben-Alon, Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP, with the Natural Materials LabRonald Rael (UC Berkeley) will deliver a keynote lecture for the event titled “Salt y Glue and Mud y Robots.”

This conference is free and open to the public.


Natural materials are highly variable. How does this inherent variability influence the magic of alchemical reactions, the properties of binding agents and mix designs, supply chains, labor practices, trade routes, and the preconceptions of standards and codes? What are the transformative, political (and often, messy) processes evoked by using materials that are non-engineered and raw?

The Material Variance symposium connects material design researchers, building scientists, and artists to discuss the reciprocal impacts of species and form, and the defiance against refinement, exploitation, and technocratic establishments.

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