Sustainable Material Assemblies (SMA)


Education Director: Kyle Sturgeon

Course Coordinator: Michael Fiorillo

Lab Leaders: TBD

Course Description:

In this new second-semester course, students engage sustainability through the study of materials assemblies. SMA introduces students to the material geography of raw materials, the processes and their motivations within material assemblies that form our build environment.

Organized each week as a half-lecture, half-lab session, students attend lectures among all disciplines and work through transdisciplinary case study reports and readings in transdisciplinary lab sections. SMA is:

  • 1/3 Intro to Sustainability
  • 1/3 Materials and Methods
  • 1/3 Representation Bootcamp

Learning Outcomes:

While taking SMA, students will…

  • Engage in scalar and systems thinking – from regional flows to the constructed detail.
  • Evaluate the performance and sustainability of construction practices and material use.
  • Take on new representational workflows as visual thinkers.
  • Develop collaboration skills and contribute to critical discussion.
  • Attain a working knowledge of a materials and methods lexicon


  • Material Inquiry (wood, steel, glass, concrete)
  • Unpacked Assemblages (engineered flows)
  • TBD

Primary Deliverables (4 Drawings):

  • Material Geography Map (global flows)
  • Material Processing Series (engineered flows)
  • Detail, Unpacked (forensic)
  • Detail, Unpacked (forensic)
  • Detail, Affect (spatial, atmospheric)



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