Digital Toolsets II: Resilient Material Ecologies

In the second part of the Digital Toolsets discussion, Professor Brad Bell will continue a deeper examination into some more pressing global problems being addressed through computational design and material science. Specifically, the use of material performance to address issues like climate change and material scarcity will be examined through the lens of what is possible now and where are we headed in the future. While problems such as these are complex, increasing awareness of diverse toolsets, approaches, and workflows will allow designers to find a foothold in these critically important issues facing everyone regardless of geographic location or economic status. Several case studies will be presented as well as recent work from the UTA Digital Architecture Research Consortium highlighting strategies for Resilient Material Ecologies.

Topics of Discussion:

  • The integration of computational fabrication techniques to address environmental problems.

  • The role of material science and performance-based responses to assist with sustainable outcomes.

  • The exploration of new/old materials and new/old tools providing innovative outcomes to solve complex problems.

  • The place for sustainable building technologies in a changing design process.  

Presenter: Brad Bell

Brad Bell is the Director of the School of Architecture and an Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington.  He also directs the Digital Architecture Research Consortium (DARC) at UT Arlington where he researches and teaches on the integration of advanced digital technologies into the architectural design process with a focus on the use of digital fabrication and cast materials. He has lectured, taught, and written on the uses of CAD/CAM technologies for the past twelve years and has been an invited critic at schools of architecture throughout the United States. From 2008-2015 he founded and directed TEX-FAB, an organization committed to providing a platform for education on digital fabrication and parametric modeling to the professional, academic and manufacturing communities in Texas. Professor Bell has been awarded the UT Arlington President’s medal for Teaching Excellence in 2015. Brad sits on the Board of AIA Dallas, AIA Fort Worth, and the Dallas Architecture Forum. Over the past 20 years, his design practice has built innovative residential houses in Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M and a Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.


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