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5/31/24, 10am - Saturday, 6/1, 6:30pm
Weston Hall (NJIT)

Future View: Vernacular Technologies is a two-day symposium considering the impact of vernacular construction materials and methods on the future of architecture. Day one will feature lectures and conversations, including researchers and industry professionals. Day two will consist of a series of hands-on workshops, involving vernacular building techniques, designed to allow for empirical testing of the completed constructions.

Vernacular architectural technologies have developed through thousands of years of experimentation. These technologies made use of locally available biogenic and geogenic materials to create shelter and provide thermal comfort. Then, mechanized heating and cooling, reliable electric lighting, and the oil to fuel these systems, seemingly eliminated the need for this knowledge. Over the course of the last decade, recognizing the need to create a more sustainable future, we focused on building performance, forming ever better plastic solutions, increasing architecture’s embodied carbon, and inadvertently accelerating climate change. Our focus on the future prevented us from seeing the wealth of knowledge we had left behind. Now, facing a climate crisis, we acknowledge that to move forward we must look back, not as historicists, but as innovators.

Join us for a weekend of lectures, workshops, conversation, and networking with professionals and academics, posing the questions: What are the contemporary technological opportunities of traditional building materials and methods and how can they be applied en masse? Can we use modern, scientific methods to better understand the function of biomaterials and vernacular structures?  How might this diverse vernacular knowledge shape a new carbon negative architecture now?

Keynote Speaker:
Lola Ben Alon, Assistant Professor, Columbia University GSAPP

Selected Speakers & Workshop Leaders:
David Lewis, Dean, Parsons School of Constructed Environments; Founding Partner, LTL
Ace McArleton, Co-CEO and Director of Vision & Strategy, New Frameworks
Jacob Deva Racusin, Director of Building Science and Sustainability, New Frameworks
Johan Jönsson, Sustainability Specialist Materials and Transformation, White Arkitekter
Myrrh Caplan, Vice President of Sustainability, Skanska
Katie MacDonald, AIA, Assistant Professor & Director of Before Building Laboratory, University of Virginia; Cofounder of After Architecture
Kyle Schumann, Assistant Professor & Director of Before Building Laboratory, University of Virginia; Cofounder of After Architecture
Ian Crawford, Interior Design Instructor, University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences

Organized by
New Jersey Institute of Technology
5/31/24, 10am - Saturday, 6/1, 6:30pm
Weston Hall (NJIT)
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