Design Education and Learning









Global Flows of Materials: Design Research and Practice in Architecture  

Janet McGaw  

University of Melbourne

Keywords: design research, architecture, globalisation, locavore


This paper presents a pedagogical approach to teaching architectural studios that begins with spatial and material design research into the socio-cultural consequences of the global flows of building materials. This work responds to the challenge set by architectural theorist, Peg Rawes, to consider ‘relational architectural ecologies’ within design. She has argued that sustainability research in architecture has been siloed within building science and, as a consequence, has been addressed through technological approaches without due consideration to social ‘ecologies’. Students design research work, which innovatively re-imagines sustainable futures, is discussed. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: McGaw, J. (2016). Global Flows of Materials: Design Research and Practice in Architecture. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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