A Museum that Grows and Decays

Natural Composite Research

可再生博物馆 - 天然复合材料研究

"Fast, Cheap, Light" Master of Architecture Option Studio, 2013, MIT

Instructors: Yung Ho Chang & Joel Lamere

“多快好省” 复合材料及博物馆设计课

教师:张永和 & Joel Lamere

Making is a method of thinking. During the design process, architects can only rely on tactility to establish sensual relationships with what he or she conceives. Therefore, physical making is the most direct and effective method for developing design. Making should be experimental and visionary, exceeding the limit of industrial standard. What China needs is a new way of building/making that is not dominated by the rushing economy, but can still deliver quality and suit the growing need of local residence.

建造是一种设计和思考的方法。在设计过程中,建筑师只能依赖他的触觉来与他所构想的建立感觉上的联系,因此实体建造是最有效最直接的推敲方法。建造应该具有研究性和前瞻性,能够突破工业规范标准的限制。吴良镛说:“我们要从万物中,从各种纷繁的现象中,要根本地从中国国情的主要矛盾中探索问题的解决,寻找我们自己的范式。如果有建筑的诺贝尔奖的话,它应授予根植于本土、惠及人类的创造。“ 中国所缺的是有利于发展社会需求, 但又不被经济主导的,高质量的新建构方法。


An increasing pace of communication has lead to a decreasing public attention span. Even events as catastrophic as an earthquake hold attention only as long as they appear in print or on television. We see this ephemerality of important events as problematic, inhibiting a global discussion and meaningful response.


Mr. Fan's collection of earthquake debris

Our addition to the museum cluster is a home for artifacts from significant current events which attempts to stretch the period of publicity, engendering awareness, discussion, and reaction. Our museum deals with the quantity and rate of events in China by requiring a constant churn on the order of several months. Like the objects inside, the museum itself is ephemeral (made of local natural materials such as burlap, dirt and bamboo) and decays back to nature at the end of the life of each exhibit.

我们的博物馆不预备收藏珍品,也不鼓励长期存展。我们意识到普通博物馆一年甚至几年的回转周期经常导致大量展品的囤积。因此,针对当代中国事件特有的发生速度和数量,我们的设计概念在于快速推动展览的周期短至不过数月。如同这个展馆的展品,博物馆自身也是短暂、即兴、多样的。通过利用当地资源,如自然纤维制品、泥土和竹子,博物馆来源于自然,在展期之后又回归于自然, 循環再造。 

Natural Composites Research


Natural composites allow the use of materials which are close at hand, minimizing the large energy costs of transportation. Using local materials fuels the local economy, generating economic growth in the building’s region. Natural materials minimize the building’s impact on the environment. A low-tech construction process continues the energy minimization to the building process. Reducing the machinery and industrial processes necessary also makes it possible for community members to participate in the building process. By contributing to the building, local people gain valuable skills which strengthen the local economy.

为呼应博物馆可再生的特质,我们选择重点研究以天然复合材料为主的可循环再利用的建筑系统。天然复合材料选材均来自于本地自然资源, 如黄麻纤维织品、泥土和稻草。这些资源低碳,环保,廉价,可降解。使用这些资源不仅能够降低运费和能源,还可以促进当地的经济发展。技术含量低的施工流程不需要繁重专业的设施, 鼓励非技术人员包括普通社区的参与。通过集体协作,当地人不仅可以了解的这种自然建筑营造的过程,而且可以学到有效的技术,应用到其他项目和地区。


Natural Composite Experiments


I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

― Thomas A. Edison

Yung Ho Chang encourages students to solve problems through making.In the "Fast, Cheap, Light" studio, there are three main principles. 1) Physical Prototype Making. Different from making models, the studio stresses the importance of making with actual building materials and up to 1:1 scale, in order to get better understanding the properties of materials and the constructablity of the museum. 2) Environmental making. Fast building may cause negative impacts on the environment. Is it possible to find new materials and methods to avoid building trash. 3)Low-tech construction. The classes raises the importance of utilizing local labors in the "Fast, Cheap, Light" construction process.

张永和在麻省理工的实践设计课,提出了一种教学的新模式,从建造本身去解决问题。在"多快好省” 的博物馆项目中,三个建造观念贯穿了整个设计项目:1)模拟建造。有别于模型制作,Studio强调用真实的材料模拟建造过程,来了解材料属性以及测试博物馆的可建性。2) 环保建造。快速建造对环境会产生负面影响,是不是可以用新型的材料和理念来避免建筑垃圾?3)低技建造。这门课很强调中国劳工在“多快好省”建造中可发挥的作用。

Natural fiber composite samples 复合材料样本测试
Composite panel 1:1 prototype 实体麻纤维复合板制作和测试
Wall and Beam experiment复合墙体和横梁测试                            
Wall prototype  复合墙体建造

A Museum that Grows and Decays

The museum is made from burlap, mud, and straw. The proposal is for a system, not a static architecture, that allows for a constant evolution of the size and character of the spaces in the museum to match the constant change in size and character of the objects on display. A small number of units makes construction straightforward while producing a wide variety of types of spaces.


Growth and Decay