Plant Fibers in Architecture - A Case Study from the Western Amazon
Lecture | March 21 | 12-1 p.m. | UC Botanical Garden
Constructions in inundation risk zones largely impacted by Climate Change, including the Western Amazon Basin, have traditionally incorporated natural materials. These lightweight enclosures often made with agrowaste including plant fibers as palm leaves have proven largely efficient for climate comfort. However, during the twentieth century, these constructions became incrementally supplanted or juxtaposed with industrial technologies including metals and concrete panels and blocks leading to critical environmental impact and loss of quality of life. In response, new technologies that can reclaim the cultural and building performance value of traditional constructions made with natural plant fibers are being investigated. This discussion will present pioneering research on the potentially transformative role of additive manufacturing for reclaiming fundamental values of agrowaste construction in remote regions heavily impacted by Climate Change. Professor Gutierrez will present her ongoing research situated in Leticia, in the Western Amazon, as a framework to address this inquiry. The case study discussion will center in how 3D printing can potentially shift our ability to locally source and produce materials into reclaimed complex geometries of traditional systems made from natural waste compounds that work in synergy with the natural environment and are economically competitive.
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