Studio - Architecture of Neo-materialism
© HEAD – Genève, Baptiste Coulon
Steel style, Raphaëlle Marzolf
© HEAD – Genève, Baptiste Coulon

Studio - Architecture of Neo-materialism

July 2021

Studio tutor: Philippe Rahm (Philippe Rahm Architectes)
Assistant: Phi Nguyen

The symbolic, aesthetic and social world is dependent on material conditions, as Karl Marx explained with the principle of historical materialism. Material infrastructures underlie the architectural styles of each era. When you are hungry, you build small; when you have oil, you build big. The role of the architect has thus been overestimated: the architectural forms that appear at a given moment are more often than not provoked by material circumstances rather than by an architect’s unique imagination. Post-modern architecture that preceded us, which emphasised its symbolic role as images or signs, was the expression of the easy material context provided by the cheap and abundant reserves of oil and the decline in health issues.

This studio thus offers to take the measure of the materials used to create interior architecture, by fully understanding their geological origin, physical constraints, ecology and carbon footprint, in order to be guided by their constructive requirements and their material characteristics, by accepting that forms and implementation emerge from the material to the point of redefining construction detail, interior layout and functionality.

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