KVA: Material Misuse

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Architectural Association, 2001 - Architectural design - 79 pages
This book meets architecture where it lives in the material world -- and presents an intriguing and gently subversive theory of design. Architectural Record Material Misuse challenges the accepted conventions of architecture and demonstrates how materials that are generally considered banal can be deployed to make unusual and engaging buildings. It focuses on the work of the Boston-based practice Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA), who have developed strategies that use generic products such as drywall, 2x4s, concrete block, plastic and reconstituted wood to yield material properties that are unexpectedly rich. Detailed case studies are illustrated with recent projects, which include a luminous museum under an interstate highway and a workspace with an electrified plywood floor that becomes ramp, furniture and high-tech desktop. Sheila Kennedy describes KVA's alternative approach to contemporary architecture and urbanism, while an essay by Christoph Grunenberg, Director of the Tate North, relates the work to contemporary art practices.

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About the author (2001)

Christoph Grunenberg is the director of Tate Liverpool.
Robert Knifton is a postdoctoral student at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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