In the gap between a concept and an object, between the finitude of abstraction and the excess of the concrete, lie many of philosophy’s stickiest problems. Even a glance at the space between things, their milieu, challenges presumptions about the relations between cause and effect, organism and environment, knowledge of life and the unknowable vital force. But within architectural discourse and practice, this gap is a common domain. How might we reconcile these different approaches to matter? What does this challenge mean for histories and theories of architecture?
The work collected under the MATTER umbrella wrestles with the philosophical and architectural questions posed by thinking about the stuff of the world. Discussions of matter could be found in the strange history of stones, in the relics of lost cultures, in the innards of machines and beasts, and in territories and terrains yet to be conceptualized.