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Supervisor: Dr Michael Ramage

photo yelda gin


Research overview:

Building with earth is an ancient craft still used worldwide. Yet, in the twentieth century, earth lost its popularity to industrialised materials and started to be acknowledged as a primitive material. This research aims to promote the virtues of building with earth to mitigate the impact of the construction industry on the environment. The research focuses on digital design and fabrication for building with earth to investigate an emerging earthen architecture which can provide efficient, healthy, attractive, affordable and customised buildings of the future. In the age of Industry 4.0 and aspirations for a circular economy, automated construction and mass customisation are replacing conventional construction and mass production while reusable, low carbon materials such as earth should replace conventional materials with high embodied energy such as concrete. This PhD research explores how the advancement of computational design, additive manufacturing and robotic automation along with a novel understanding of materiality creates the juxtaposition of high technology with the most ubiquitous and humble material in the world.



Yelda Gin is an architect and member of the Centre for Natural Material Innovation where she is a Cambridge Trust and EPSRC scholar. Prior to Cambridge, she worked as an architect for ten years primarily on international projects for practices such as Zaha Hadid Architects, ARUP and Cecil Balmond Studio in London. Yelda has tutored design studios and lectured as an adjunct faculty at universities in Istanbul while collaborating with various practices as a design director. Her interest in teaching, research and practice continues by supervising students and joining design studio reviews as an invited critic in Cambridge and Istanbul while pursuing her PhD and design research projects.