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MaP+S: Recent Work

Creative Innovation Across Disciplines Seminar Series

Construction site

As part of the School of Art & Design's Creative Innovation across Disciplines Seminar Series, Professor Bechthold presents MaP+S: Recent Work.

  • From: Wednesday 6 July 2016, 12 am
  • To: Wednesday 6 July 2016, 12 am
  • Location: Newton 25, Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Booking deadline: Wednesday 5 July 2017, 12.00 am
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Event details

MaP+S: Recent Work

The Material Processes and Systems Group (MaP+S) is a research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, focused on innovative construction and material systems in architecture. Recent work includes studies that broadened the design scope for ceramic construction systems in buildings, research in design robotics, and a research collaboration with scientists from the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Much of the work in ceramics has focused on producing full-scale installations for international trade fair shows. These pieces have demonstrated that customised ceramic elements can deliver unprecedented aesthetic and performative qualities that far surpass the tried-and-true appeal of tiled surfaces. Other studies have advanced 3D printing for clay as well as for concrete. Studies in design robotics emphasise design over technology development while advancing the state of the art of building construction, with a keen eye on efficiency and performance. The research collaboration with material scientists – hosted within the Adaptive Living Environments (ALivE) Group – involves 'hacking science' by reimagining the results of scientific discovery.


Martin Bechthold is Professor of Architectural Technology at the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University. His interdisciplinary research on material systems investigates novel strategies and solutions for component production and construction at multiple scales. He founded and directs the Material Processes and Systems Group (MaP+S), the first research unit founded at the GSD geared towards creating new knowledge on architectural materials, robotic fabrication, and innovative construction systems. Recent work includes studies in architectural ceramics and concrete 3D printing, as well as interdisciplinary research with material scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The work has not only led to multiple innovative construction solutions, but has also created an interdisciplinary approach to design research that leverages analytical rigour with speculative design and the imagination. Together with Allen Sayegh, Professor Bechthold leads the Adaptive Living Environments (ALivE) group, developing several new adaptive material systems based on nanotechnologies and other small-scale material innovations. Recent work has led to inventions and publications related to novel material systems, focused on enhancing building performance and improving the experience of the occupants. The Wyss Institute recently appointed Professor Bechthold as the first and only Associate Faculty from the design discipline. Work of the ALivE group has been featured prominently at the annual Wyss Retreat, a gathering of scientists working at the cutting edge of medical, biomedical, robotic and material research.

In recognition of his contribution to research in the design and technology domain, Professor Bechthold was awarded the ACADIA Innovative Research Award in 2014, and an Autodesk BUILD award in 2015. Other awards include the TSUBOI award from the International Association of Shells and Spatial Structures. He is a frequent peer reviewer for journals and books, and serves on the international advisory board for the collaborative design program of Kyoto University.

For any enquiries, please contact the College of Art & Design and the Built Environment Research Office by email, or by telephone on +44 (0)115 848 2301.


The seminar will start with a wine reception at 5.30pm, followed by the guest seminar from Professor Bechthold.

Booking information

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Location details


Newton 25, Newton building, Main Entrance


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Goldsmith Street

Past event

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