The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Mara Trübenbach will defend her PhD dissertation “Material Dramaturgy: Tracing Trails of Dust in the Architectural Design Process” on March 19 2023. The committee consists of professor Judith Clark, London College of Fashion; associate professor Andrew Filmer, University of Aberystwyth; and associate professor Josina Vink from AHO. Trübenbach’s research was supervised by Tim Anstey and co-supervised by Jessica Hemming, HDK.
Following the digital turn of the 1990s, architectural practices moved into a digital world, a development that was further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this shift from analogue to digital there is a risk of losing touch with the physical, and skills that are essential for working/collaborating with physical materials. Widespread digitalisation requires a platform for discussion to recognise the performative potential of materials and to grasp the range of emotions they can induce. The affects generated by materials have implications for human decision-making. Ultimately, materials – as communicators, mediators and performing agents – act with our individual bodies, our memories, and our subconscious, participating in a dialogue with them.
To come to a better understanding of the performative potential of materials, this research project deals with what it terms “the inner and outer worlds” of humans and materials, highlighting the lack of a common language to describe their encounters. Focusing on the activities of model-making, textile design and scenography, Trübenbach’s dissertation explores a range of hidden agencies in architectural production that bear on the question of the relation between human agents and the materials that make up the world around them. It investigates how different understandings of materials operate in the work of human actors, especially individuals who have a latent agency yet contribute to the process of architectural production. The aim is to understand better the ways in which interrelations and performativity feed back into architectural practice and its involvement with the material world.