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Material Matters

Material Matters: New Smart Materials & Applications

6:30pm, Thursday November 17, 2011

Part of the Faculty of Design speaker series

The Faculty of Design Speaker Series kicks off with a panel discussion featuring Blaine Brownell (University of Minnesota, School of Architecture and Founder, Transstudio/ Transmaterial), Els Zijlstra (Creative Director and Founder of Materia, Netherlands) and Stephanie Forsythe (Principle and Founder of molo studio, Vancouver), moderated by OCAD U Assistant Professor Roderick Grant, Co-Chair of Graphic Design in the Faculty of Design.

Blaine Brownell is an architect, author, educator, and former Fulbright scholar. He earned a B.A. in Architecture with a Certificate in East Asian Studies at Princeton University in 1992, and a Master in Architecture from Rice University in 1998. He worked with Yung-Ho Chang, Mark Wamble, and NBBJ before establishing the design/research practice Transstudio, which focuses on disruptive material applications and emergent environmental building strategies. Brownell is considered one of the preeminent scholars of advanced materials for architecture and design, having authored the Transmaterial series with Princeton Architectural Press (2006-2010), in addition to an online material catalogue that has been likened to “a 21st Century version of The Grammar of Ornament.” Brownell has been published in over forty design, business, and science journals, and has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Japan. He was selected for a “40 Under 40” award by Building Design & Construction magazine in 2006, and Transmaterial was nominated for an International Book Award by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2007. Brownell was a visiting research fellow at the Tokyo University of Science as a Fulbright recipient (2006-07), and has taught at the University of Michigan (2007-08) and the University of Minnesota (2008-present).

Els Zijlstra is Creative Director and Founder of Materia, based in the Netherlands. Zijlstra studied architecture at the University of Technology Delft. Her other interests are biology, biomimicry, cultural anthroposophy and journalism. When she founded Materia all these fascinations came together. She intermediates between the creative professional and the Industry. By gathering innovative materials worldwide and exposing them through a search engine, lectures, books and articles, international travelling exhibitions, the Materia Inspiration Centre Amsterdam and consultancy, Zijlstra aims with her team to become an international inspirational source.

Stephanie Forsythe (B.EDS, M.ARCH) is principle and co-founder of molo studio in Vancouver. molo is a collaborative design and production studio led by Forsythe, Todd MacAllen (B.FA, B.EDS, M.ARCH) and Robert Pasut (B.COM, MBA). The molo studio is dedicated to the research of materials and the exploration of space making. As a design and manufacturing company, molo creates and distributes its unique and innovative products to clients around the world. molo products grow from Forsythe and MacAllen’s architectural explorations. Inspired by the idea that smaller tactile objects have a real potency in the physical experience of space, molo sets out to create objects that define intimate temporal spaces. Recognized for poetic beauty and pragmatic innovation, molo’s products have received numerous international awards and have been acquired into the collections of museums and galleries worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Roderick Grant, Moderator
Co-Chair & Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at OCAD University, Roderick teaches in undergraduate Graphic Design and Graduate Interdisciplinary programs. He holds an MFA degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a BA in Urban Studies from New College of Florida. He continues to practice critical graphic design through Simon James Design, in partnership with his wife, designer Michelle Grant. His ongoing research on radical design pedagogies seeks to challenge thresholds between design disciplines, dimensions, and practices.

The Faculty of Design Speaker Series is generously supported by TD Bank Group.

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Toronto, Ontario

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