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Continuing research and practice around materials and circular building economies

As Workshop Mentor Dirk Hebel pointed out, “mainstream building practices are unsustainable. The construction sector uses an extensive amount of material resources and is responsible for the use of material compounds that are harmful to both humans and the environment. It is not enough to talk about more efficient steps to take within the existing systems, but time for a real paradigm shift.”

With a focus on the reuse of existing building materials and the discovery of material alternatives, the Norman Foster Foundation’s 2021 Re-materializing Housing Workshop invited scholars and members of its Academic Body to explore and innovate around sustainable construction practices within the framework of housing as a fundamental human right. Considering the existing built environment as a resource for future building, the Workshop aimed to continue research and practice around construction materials and methods and circular building economies.

The Academic Body of renowned experts in research and practice around construction materials and methods and circular building economies were: 

  • Norman Foster, President, Norman Foster Foundation, Madrid, Spain and London, United Kingdom
  • Dirk Hebel, Workshop Mentor & Professor of Sustainable Construction, Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Tim Stonor, Chair of the Public Debates & Managing Director, Space Syntax, London, United Kingdom
  • Tom Bloxham, Founder and Chairman, Urban Splash, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Anna Heringer, Founder and Director, Studio Anna Heringer, Laufen, Germany
  • Laila Iskandar, Former Minister of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements, Cairo, Egypt
  • Johan Karlsson, Managing Director, Better Shelter, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Carme Pinós, Founder and Director, Estudio Carme Pinós, Barcelona, Spain
  • Stuart Smith, Director, Arup Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Brinda Somaya, Principal Architect and Managing Director, Somaya and Kalappa Consultants, Mumbai, India

With the participation of ten scholars selected to develop their projects under the mentorship of Dirk Hebel, the Workshop included seven seminars given by academic professors and industry professionals, working sessions and one-on-one tutoring, as well as a guided tour of the Acciona Ombú construction site and Reina Sofía Museum. Additionally, more than 250 guests were invited to attend the Public Debates moderated by chairman Tim Stonor on Wednesday 17 November, in which six members of the academic body took part. All lectures and working sessions were documented and recorded for their contents to be included in the Norman Foster Foundation’s Archive, accessible to students and researchers around the globe.

Ten scholarships were awarded to students selected by the Norman Foster Foundation’s Selection Committee. The selection process began in December 2019 with an open call shared by hundreds of universities and institutions. Using criteria based on worldwide representation and gender equality, the Selection Committee announced the final selection of students:

  • Nicolas Ayoub, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States
  • Angela Bai, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Dev Desai, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai, India
  • Aarti Dhingra, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Claudia Eugenin, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Kiley Feickert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, United States
  • Ophélie Férédie, Confluence Institute, Paris, France
  • Germán Eduardo Ferradas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba,Córdoba, Argentina
  • Sebastian Hitchcock, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Elao Martin, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia

Contents Report - Norman Foster Foundation - Re-materializing Housing Workshop

Last Updated: November 19, 2021
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Madrid, Spain
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Re-materializing Housing Workshop
Re-materializing Housing Workshop

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction joined forces with the Norman Foster Foundation to support a workshop dedicated to...

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