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Granular materials are vast amounts of unbound
particles. They radically differ from other physical
systems as they can have both solid and liquid states.1
If deployed in architectural construction, these material
systems fundamentally challenge known paradigms of
design: while an architectural structure is usually fully
defined and controlled in terms of its components, its
assembly and its resulting overall geometry, in granular
materials the particles form larger stable structures
by themselves, without the need or actually the
possibility of exact geometric control of the overall
system. However, if the geometry and the material of
those individual composing particles are designed,
the behaviour of granular systems can be tuned. Thus
granular substances of designed particles can perform as
macro-scale architectural construction materials.2 Here,
granular materials become designer matter.3
Since their individual particles are not bound by a
matrix, granular materials are fully reconfigurable and
recyclable. Consequently they can be reused after each
construction phase, and infinitely rearranged to allow
for change and adaptation during a structure’s lifetime.
If the individual particles are designed, their behaviour
can also be adjusted to satisfy a range of ...

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