The House of Matter
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Everything falls apart, but some materials do it with a specific panache, and once design leaves paper to be built, no project is complete until it falls. As creatures subject to time, we identify with things in which we see ourselves, we identify with our mortal buildings. Alchemy used material transformation as an active metaphor for human betterment. This thesis will search for ways that the inevitable indexing of time on the built environment can be used to catalyze a broader understanding of time and our place in it. Sympathetic engagement with our environments can form rich internal narratives while also fostering collective memory. Four materials form the basis of these investigations: Cedar, Copper, Iron and Marble. For each material, chemical properties, history and mythology are invoked to describe their particular temporal nature, an understanding of how they come together and fall apart. The four material chapters of this thesis mean to return a sense of cognitive depth to our relationship with materials without resorting to symbolism.
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Benjamin Leif Nielsen (2012). The House of Matter. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/6480