Early bird ticket sales for Material, the National Conference of the Australian Institute of Architects close on Monday 22 April.

Sol Grotto installation by Rael San Fratello Architects.

Material has been conceived and developed by Creative Directors Sandra Kaji-O’Grady and John De Manincor. Sandra will be known to Parlour readers as a contributor to Parlour and one of the researchers on the wider Equity and Diversity research project.

The conference is notable for the significant proportion of women speakers – Sandra and John talk about this in a recent interview, among other things.

Material follows starts the day after our own event, Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture – and three of the Material speakers will also participate in the Transform panel on Career Turning Points. So book for both and enjoy three heady days of architectural discussion and ideas! (Transform is a fringe event of Material.)

The Material theme is described as follows

“The materialisation of built form is but one strand in the complex web of our discipline. Architecture’s material presence weaves around individual experience and defines the fabric of the city. The 2013 Conference will explore contemporary applications and ideas surrounding material in architecture.

Is fog an architectural material?

Could a building be made entirely from used materials gathered within a one-kilometre radius of the site?

What would a brick answer to a robot that asks “what do you want to be?

Is there a contemporary context for re-using historic material, for spolia?

In the wake of asbestos, what scope is there for architects to experiment with new materials?

Can a material be used in such a way that it goes unnoticed or contradicts our expectations?

As a profession we excel in our understanding of the sensual and emotional qualities of materials. This conference recognises the depth of this knowledge and investment, but raises questions about their specific history and future. In particular, the conference will showcase architects who use familiar materials in inventive ways and architects who use or invent unfamiliar materials.