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Author(s): Zoé TRIC
Contributor: AMACO

Materials for transforming architecture

The construction materials workshop, amàco, is an interdisciplinary educational resource centre designed to reassert the value of the most common natural materials such as soil, water, air, and plant fibres to stimulate the emergence of construction and architectural practices that facilitate experiencing our sense of place in the world. The goal of the project is to participate in a paradigm shift by giving the body and emotion an importance at least equal to that of intellect in learning about and understanding materials. In this sense, it involves educating coming generations of architects, engineers, artists, and researchers, with the support of its founding members: les Grands Ateliers, ENSAG, INSA Lyon and ESPCI ParisTech.

At the intersection of multiple perspectives on the land – artistic, architectural, scientific, constructive, philosophical – the amàco team is building a poetic relationship with the world, inspiring a new conception of ideas on progress and innovation based above all on rediscovering the genius of the natural world and the invisible complexity hidden by its apparent simplicity.

By offering an introduction to the subject, the amàco project seeks to restore to humans their experience of the world, as a means of re-rooting that it believes is necessary to reactivate human life force and awaken an awareness of belonging to the earth. To do this, the educational form of the project is an exploration of the concept of experience, from the micro to the macro, soliciting multiple intelligences from the participants to help a spirit of creative research emerge concerning materials:

The experience of the meeting of the body and senses with materials,

Educational research experience that, through wonderment and emotion, can disrupt conceptions and awaken a desire to learn,

The experience of “doing” by carrying out a project in which experimentation and error become vectors for learning.

Lastly, the interdisciplinary nature of the project (re)generates a “breeding ground”, an environment favourable to the development of ideas, both in terms of form and content, and through this intends to stir up a desire to create together. This is the concept of sharing that is alluded to by acknowledging all contributions and perspectives to better build and inhabit together what we have in common: the world.