Through narrative, object, drawing and photography the tools of the architect are used to unravel the practices and assumptions of resource processes in order to combat the deracination of materials. The journey of an intimate material relationship with clay forges a path back to knowledge and culture rooted in land.
The qualities of ceramics led the research to the methodology of fragmentary reconstruction; gathering shards one by one to make sense of the whole. While scattered fragments are little more than shapeless objects within space, they hold immense power to translate ideas, technique, customs, and cultures when collected and studied in larger groupings. Each documented-metaphorical fragment studied in the thesis deconstructs a societal element taken from the impartial vantage point of material.
The skill, extraction, production, economic, material, and political practices surrounding the act of ceramic craft are analogous to the building practice of architects yet occur at the scale of the hand. Fragments are the first clue to the presence of past civilizations and a form of temporal translation; people were here. The ground holds knowledge and the fragments held within are historical record encoded in material remembrance. It is the endurance of ceramic through which the past becomes accessible and the future becomes near. The fragments are direct connections to the hands of the past. They are situated within a dual timespan, caught between the hands of the maker and the hands of the conservator.
This analysis probes the changing role of the architect. Can Architects justify building and ripping materials from the earth in such a time of climate crisis?
The study of the entire material process from harvest, through production, to final object, uncovers what making, material use, and building can contribute to an over-produced world. This shift towards a material-first ideology through heuristic experiment creates an architect with an intimate relationship to matter. Though developing material intelligence, architects can be equipped with a materially responsible approach to building in the age of consumption.