Tectonics and the Illogic of Durability for Earthen Structures

Mahan Motalebi, Marcus Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incorporating the process of ecological decay into architectural design acknowledges the dynamic lifecycle of materials and dissolves existing boundaries between artificial and natural environments. Decay-informed materials enhance material-environmental engagement and lead to building designs responsive to site-specific ecologies. Pigeon towers are studied as an architectural typology that exemplifies human-nature engagement as a case for embracing nature and natural processes. We explored salt-induced decay in earth blocks to study the planned obsolescence of earthen blocks and their tectonic and morphogenic capacities. Planned obsolescence leads to the idea of cyclical construction and temporal tectonics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalTechnology Architecture and Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Urban Studies

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