Conference paper

Wedebrunn, Ola:

Character and Language of Materials


This presentation is based on the dissertation Character and Language of Materials and suggests modern architecture as a relation and dialogue with materials (even mutual and reciprocal). From freedom of enlightenment to a diversity of architecture between poetry and science that makes architecture a Modern Movement - an ongoing conversation with the environment.

The presentation takes its start in the experiencing of sensations, and sensual qualities as repeated and appreciated properties of material, constructions and architecture. With the architecture and theories of the Venetian friar Carlo Lodoli based on material properties (poetry and science), leading to a number of concept of organic architecture, the idea of contrast as an experience from the Bauhaus teaching of Johannes Itten and later "Von Material zu Architektur" of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, to the material sensitivity of functionalist architecture of 1930.s Scandinavia, E.G. Asplund, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen, and more.

Relations between human beings, between man and surroundings start with experience and knowledge. Knowledge without experience, however, is at risk to remain pure abstraction and is never so definitive that it covers the possibilities of life.

The intention with this presentation is not to limit and define the special characteristics of material or to describe singularity through geometry, form, and style. Instead, I maintain that, materials, constructions, and architecture as being maintained, transformed, and changed through dialogue.

The dialogue is not my, your or our relation to the surroundings. It cannot be limited in time and space. It is the conception of mutual possibilities which surpass the monologue.


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