Bulone / The use of graphene in building construction

The use of graphene in building construction Potentiality and questions

Author: Carla Bulone, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Alessandro Rogora, Politecnico di Milano; Jacopo Leveratto, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: PhD Executive - intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Artefact

DDR Statement

As this is exploratory research, material experimentation represents the driving key for prototyping an innovative graphene-based material, thanks to the design. The application of graphene also means an experimental input for industrial, scientific advancement in the orbit of the Ph.D. executive (industrial doctorate). Currently, the tools and methodology are being defined through which it will be possible to introduce architectural design as a driver of experimental material research. In other words, the development of a graphene-based material and raw earth, as a building material, will be the empirical-industrial “pretext” on which to leverage to put design-driven research into play. Design and prototyping will be the epicenter of the experimental constellation.

No less important, this research also faces an experimental phase in the laboratory, and it will be this phase that will give added value to the research topic. In this sense, design-driven research acquires meaning, operating at the limit between theoretical and practical, trying to draw a border that is as blurred as possible. The experimentation of an application to graphene in architecture will also allow me to gain direct experience between the reflective moment and the practical moment and undertake a multidisciplinary path. Interdisciplinarity, in my case between architecture, chemistry and materials engineering, can represent the appropriate key to offering a rich and varied contribution to the academic community.

I consider the design-driven approach a hybrid activity that combines the reflective part of research with the practical act of drawing and representation, generating a multifaceted configuration. This configuration can be complicated and, at the same time, demanding, but both components will probably enrich the result in an original way. Different models of knowledge production can coexist in the same process, so the design-driven strategy has the potential to elevate research to a higher level of awareness.