Reinventing the wheel A systems theory of materialism in architecture
Place, Michael J.
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This thesis is an investigation into material aspects of architecture and is focused on two complimentary areas of inquiry. The first is a theoretical framework that proposes and outlines a specific model for material research and experimentation in architecture; the second is the application of this framework in the form of casting experiments that explore the potential of combining processed truck tire rubber with cement and concrete. While the primary focus of this project is the consideration of material understanding and use within architecture, it is inherently saturated with notions of sustainability and efficiency. These stem from the choice of vulcanized truck tire rubber as the primary material under investigation in the work. This material provides a perspective from which the aforementioned model and experiments are developed, and is intentionally chosen for its overabundance as waste in the world. Understanding the global position of the material and its potential re-use within architectural design and fabrication are initial steps toward achieving a more integrated and accountable system of consumer tire production where waste is minimal and secondary use capability is paramount.