1. Rethinking Concrete: Material Conventions in the Anthropocene
    Princeton University School of Architecture
    10.22.20 – 10.23.20

    Organized by Forrest Meggers and Lucia Allais

    Rethinking Concrete: Material Conventions in the Anthropocene, an interdisciplinary conference organized by Forrest Meggers and Lucia Allais, will discuss new approaches to the lifespan, material dynamics, cultural history, and design potential of reinforced concrete. Once conceived as a quintessentially modernist material, a “liquid stone” that announced the arrival of an eternal present, reinforced concrete is in fact a highly dynamic technological system, subject to inevitable failure through carbonation and other processes. Speakers will problematize the material conventions embedded in reinforced concrete, and expose its role as a complex agent of the anthropocene.

    Conversations and presentations among speakers from architecture, engineering, material science, conservation, and design will include Daniel Abramson, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Ueli Angst, Dorit Aviv, Lola Ben-Alon, Erin Besler, Philippe Block, Brandon Clifford, Aude-Line Dulière, Branko Glisic, Jing Liu, Tsz Yan Ng, John Ochsendorf, Evan Oskierko-Jeznacki, Antoine Picon, Sarah Nichols, Elisabeth Marie-Victoire, and Claire White.

    October 22 & 23, 9:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
    Stream on: Facebook Live

    Support provided by the Council on Science and Technology and the Metropolis Project at Princeton University.


    9:00 a.m. Provocation

    Lucia Allais and Forrest Meggers

    9:30 a.m. Panel 1 | History

    John Ochsendorf—Professor, Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Sarah Nichols—Assistant Professor of Architecture, Rice University

    Daniel Abramson—Professor, History of Art & Architecture, Boston University

    11:45 p.m. Panel 2 | Maintenance

    Elisabeth Marie-Victoire—Head of Concrete Department, Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques, Service à compétence nationale du Ministère de la culture, Paris

    Ueli Angst—Assistant Professor, ETH Zurich

    Evan Oskierko-Jeznacki—PhD Fellow & Research Associate, Center for Environmental Building + Design / Center for Architectural Conservation, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania; Historical Architect for the National Park Service Vanishing Treasures Program

    Branko Glisic—Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University

    1:40 p.m. Concluding Thoughts


    9:00 a.m. Welcome

    Lucia Allais and Forrest Meggers

    9:10 a.m. Panel 1 | Innovation

    Philippe Block—Professor, Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich

    Sigrid Adriaenssens—Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Director, Program in Mechanics, Materials and Structures, Princeton University

    Brandon Clifford—Director, Matter Design; Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Claire White—Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University

    Tsz Yan Ng (Tn)—Assistant Professor, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

    11:40 a.m. Panel 2 | Design

    Antoine Picon—G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    Architects’ Roundtable with:

    Lola Ben-Alon—Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP

    Erin Besler—Co-founder, Besler & Sons; Assistant Professor at Princeton University School of Architecture

    Aude-Line Dulière—Architect; Tutor, Architectural Association (London)

    Jing Liu—Principal, SO-IL; Visiting Faculty at Princeton University School of Architecture

    Moderated by Dorit Aviv—Assistant Professor of Architecture at University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design

    1:30 p.m. Concluding Thoughts

    Moderated by Lucia Allais and Forrest Meggers