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2022 ACSA Summit: Experimental Landings Gallery Talk & Exhibition

Fri, Jul 8, 2022    3pm

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the Pratt Institute, School of Architecture are pleased to announce a Teachers Summit dedicated to Summit for Climate Agency: Teaching the Design Experiment.


Experimental Landings is an exhibition that interrogates how designers assert agency through the representation, organization, and formation of land. “Landings” is thus intended to “activate” a familiar architectural term that recognizes the often binary and dissociated realms of site versus property, ground versus territory. By shifting the term from noun to verb, the exhibition seeks to reposition land as an active agent with a broader context, territory, and community. By exploring its “mediatric” potential a critical project may provoke and highlight land’s intrinsic ability to engage and inform broader socio-political and/or climatological consequences. Understood as an elastic and open-ended framework of consideration this collective exhibition of work will showcase how architecture and landscape experiments across “land” address new definitions of formal practice across several themes.


The Earth Pendulum is a speculative project that creates earth-based tiles, painted with earth-based paint, in a mechanism motioned by gravity and the earth’s rotation. Using raw materials that were harvested from excavated land, this project reflects the omnipotence of natural materials, and the ability to achieve complex parametric forms through strictly analog means. The project arose out of one central question: can we create an additive manufacturing process that relies solely on the force of gravity?

Biomaterial research holds the connotation of nano-geomorphology, where earth can be manipulated on a genomic level, in hermetically-sealed environments. But rendering “Artificial Earths” as a reality requires manipulation of nature-based materials at both microscopic and macroscopic levels. In this context, “Earth Pendulum” positions itself at the intersection of design, environmental engineering, and geoscience to center scalable, low-tech, and zero energy solutions to fabrication.


Lola Ben-Alon, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP, where she directs the Natural Materials Lab and the Building Science and Technology curriculum. She specializes in earth- and bio-based building materials, their life cycle, supply chains, fabrication techniques, and policy.

Jennah Jones, MArch ‘23, served as a researcher at GSAPP’s Natural Materials Lab in 2022. She received a B.S. in Product Design from Stanford University and has previously held positions at the Center for Zero Waste Design, Tesla, and MIT.