Visiting Scholar – Milena Stavric

Milena Stavric, Visiting Scholar

MaP+S is welcoming Milena Stavric as our visiting scholar for the remainder of the 2017 academic year. Ms. Stavric  is Assistant Prof at the Graz University of Technology, and holds a Visiting Professor position at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at the University of Applied Science FH Johanneum in Graz. Her interest lies in architectural geometry and the implementation of digital technology in architecture and education.

Exhibition: Material Practice as Research_Digital Design and Fabrication


© Harvard Arts 2017

The exhibition features ceramics in experimental architectural applications made by students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design during the Fall 2016 course, Material Practice as Research: Digital Design and Fabrication, taught my Leire Asensio Villoria with Kathy King as ceramic consultant.

Exhibition dates: January 17 – February 10, 2017

Venue : Ceramics Program Studio at 224 Western Avenue in Allston, Gallery 224

© Harvard Arts 2017

© Harvard Arts 2017

© Harvard Arts 2017

© Harvard Arts 2017










For more info visit : Link


Barcelona Design Museum: Upcoming Public Lecture

The next public lecture by MaP+S director M. Bechthold will be held on October 25 at the Barcelona Design Museum. From the announcement:

“Architects have rediscovered their interest in architectural ceramics as a multifunctional material for contemporary designs. Today’s innovations in material technology, digital production methods and assembly approaches allow for applications that combine the materials’ emotional appeal with new functionalities. “Expanding Designs” presents speculative designs and research by Harvard’s Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) group that involve robotic technology, design experiments and studies geared towards industry integration.”

Check out the announcement here.

Cevisama 2017

MaP+S has been commissioned to produce a ceramic installation for the 2017 Cevisama in Valencia. Prototyping and final design efforts are on their way. The new project is a collaboration with Sal Craig from the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. We are currently finalizing the production process and are producing final 3D computational models for production. Our local partners are the Ceramics Research Institute ITC in Castellon and the installer Jordi Font de Mora. Check back for updates!

Research Lectures Spring 2016

Prof. Bechthold delivered lectures on MaP+S research at the New Jersey Institute of Architecture, at the 2016 COVERINGS in Chicago, as well as at the Bergamo (Italy) based Italcementi. The next lecture will take place in Nottingham Trent University (UK, June 2016), and at the Museum of Design in Barcelona (Spain, October 2016).

Book Launch Party

Prof. Ali Malkawi will be hosting a book launch party at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, celebrating the completion of ‘Ceramic Material Systems’ co-authored by M. Bechthold, A. Kane and N. King.

Book Launch Invitation

Material Practice as Research: Ceramics

The GSD’s 2015 Ceramics course, taught by Leire Asensio Villoria, presented student projects that involved investigations of analogue and digital ceramic craft and the production of tectonic prototypes in collaboration with Harvard’s ceramics studio and its director Kathy King. A selection of the projects will be exhibited at the 2016 CEVISAMA in Valencia, Spain.

ceramic course harvard

Wyss Retreat 2015

The ALivE group produced its third exhibition for the annual Wyss retreat. This year’s installation featured work from the ongoing ‘Nano, Micro, Macro’ class co-taught by Martin Bechthold and James Weaver, and was framed by a large structure that investigated elastic deformation patterns based on negative poisson ratio buckling research in collaboration with the Bertoldi Group.    more

Visiting Scholar Fall 2015 – Eva Pirker

MaPS is welcoming Eva Pirker as our visiting scholar for the fall of 2015. Ms Pirker has dual backgrounds in architecture and structural engineering. Her home institution is the Institute of Structural Design at TU Graz. Pirker’s research focusses on computational optimization approaches for complex structures.


Autodesk BUILD Grant

The MaPS group has been awarded an Autodesk BUILD Grant to conduct research in the area of additive manufacturing. Research in this area will commence in the fall of 2015. The group will also be collaborating with the company’s new BUILD space environment in south Boston.

Protoceramics: new MaPS installation at 2015 Cevisama

A new installation is in the works for the 2015 Cevisama. Production of the ceramic elements is now completed, and the assembly is well advanced in Spain. Again we will be at the center of the Transhitos area, working with a group of local producers as well as with Bambalina for the actual installation. Along with three sizeable prototypes we will exhibit small scale models and an exhibition catalogue. > more

Ceramic Material Systems – Forthcoming Book

ceramics material systems cover sBirkhauser recently announced the publication of our forthcoming book ‘Ceramic Material Systems’: “Ceramic material systems comprise the full ecosystem from material extraction and processing to the assembly of construction elements and their eventual reuse and recycling. This book establishes the state of the art of this quickly emerging field, with a particular interest in presenting the knowledge needed for developing project-specific solutions that often involve custom ceramic elements. The authors provide a rigorous background of the materials and associated technologies as well as inspiration from the very best contemporary buildings using ceramic systems, along with an overview of emerging ceramic technologies and research.”

The book will be available starting in May 2015!

2014 Wyss Retreat – ALivE Exhibition

MaPS has been invited to present ongoing work at the 2014 Wyss Retreat. In addition to displaying our prototypes we are also designing and fabricating a modular exhibition environment that can be quickly installed and taken down. Work from ALivE will be shown along with ongoing research by the Bertoldi group as well as research by Wyss scholar Chuck Hoberman and James Weaver.

Fall 2014 Keynotes

M. Bechthold delivered a keynote at the 2014 Bergamo, Italy, Science Festival, speaking about the relationship between science and design. He will be giving his next keynote at the IconARCH conference in Konya, Turkey, in November.

bechthold keynote

The following is an excerpt from the article published in the IconARCH proceedings:


Research in Architecture?

Individuals without connections to the building industry are often surprised to hear that research indeed exists in our field. What one could possibly be working on is equally unclear to outsiders, much in contrast to fields such as engineering or medicine where research is widely assumed to be fundamental to progress. There is more understanding of building related research in the University setting, where colleagues from other disciplines expect those affiliated with departments of architecture, landscape architecture or urban design and planning to be scholarly engaged.

At Harvard University I am engaged with a broad range of research projects and topics, most of which are connected through their pursuit of material systems and innovation. Conducted in the context of the Material Processes and Systems (MaPS) group, and often collaborating with Prof. Sayegh’s Responsive Environments and Artifacts (REAL) group, our work is different from yet related to material science, refers to industrial process engineering as much as to chemistry and building physics. It operates on dramatically different scales, from the nano-scale to the scale of the city, with outcomes that range from prototypes and pilot project to patents and papers. Most importantly, however, the work has led to the development of methods that accelerate the rate of innovation and our quest for novelty, ultimately geared towards advancing the built environment to a more sustainable future. This article puts forward several aspects of this work in a provocative, polemical manner as food for thought, not as a literal recipe for success.


Please refer to the full paper for further reading.