New Essentialism: Material Architecture examines how architecture engages material to create effect through five critical historical thresholds represented by analytical precedents coupled with projective experimental design project families. Unpacking the fundamental methodologies of their geometric, material, spatial, and effectual sensibilities, each threshold builds an examination that reveals the essential methods and processes of design, illustrating the basis for the argument for a New Essentialism: its characteristics, methods and the sensibilities that mark its definition.
The history of architectural form has moved through a series of major transitions based upon the influence of technology and culture. The response to performance, experience, and composition has been encircled by intellectual constructs driving discourse beyond the practical, to differentiate architecture from building. The result loads buildings with an overlain intention that drives and develops a language of form and intention. Highly self-referential, these forms and instincts have emerged from a dedicated pursuit of newness. Referencing itself and borrowing from adjacent fields and sensibilities, architectural form has emerged to define itself through techniques and methods equally valid and invalid. It is time to challenge these assumptions and reconsider methods.