10:30 am - 3:30 pm (EDT)


  • Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • 48 Quincy Street
  • Cambridge
  • MA

The current building’s relationship to time is fixed, with weathering and material transformations only superficially accounted for through necessary repairs. The frozen-in-time relationship we have with the built environment relies on materials from a nearly exhausted supply chain, prompting a shift towards local and regenerative sources. While bio-based materials are possible sustainable alternatives, their susceptibility to weathering and shorter lifespan compared to mineral-based counterparts invites thinking about temporality through observable material transformations.

This symposium examined bio-based materials, including their growth, assemblies, maintenance, and experimentation practices. It explored their current and potential applications across different design scales, while also discussing strategies for thinking, teaching, and design approaches. Central to the gathering were the questions: How should we understand design in relation to the temporality of materials? In what ways could we incorporate material transformations into the design process?

The event was not live-streamed, but the recordings is archived on the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Material Order web pages.

Learn more and view the live stream.