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MASS Design and Arup on material provenance and the climate crisis

Mon 11 Nov 2019, 6.30-8pm

For this evening’s lecture Kelly Alvarez Doran OAA of MASS Design Group and Richard Boyd MEng CEng MICE of Arup will be joined by Cécile Faraud, C40 and Paloma Gormley and Summer Islam of Material Cultures to discuss the relationships between material provenance, embodied energy, and immediate actions the building industry can take to address the Climate Crisis.

Meeting the IPCC’s 2030 challenge requires a radical refocusing of our efforts towards embodied energy and material provenance.  How can we choose between two different wall assemblies, two window suppliers, two doors, two walls, two structural systems? Assuming both options perform and cost the same, does either contain minerals and materials that were sustainably sourced, processed and transported?  Was either sourced and processed with fair labour? Does either option have half the carbon footprint of the industry norm? What is the norm?

The speakers will use recent projects to illustrate methods to begin answering these questions, followed by a panel discussion focused on moving from declaration to action.

The talk will begin at 6.30pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A before concluding at 8pm.



Kelly Alvarez Doran OAA, MASS Design Group  

Richard Boyd MEng CEng MICE, Arup

Cécile Faraud, C40

Paloma Gormley and Summer Islam, Material Cultures






Kelly Alvarez Doran, MASS Design Group   

Kelly Alvarez Doran leads MASS's London office and oversees MASS’s work in Europe, West Africa, and Global Business Development. He joined MASS in 2014 to lead the Kigali office, overseeing the growth of the practice from an office of 8 to 80 over a five year period. He has led the design and implementation of several of MASS’s projects across East Africa - notably the award winning Munini District Hospital and Rwanda Ministry of Health’s Typical Hospital Plans, headquarters for both One Acre Fund and Andela in Kenya, and the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture. Kelly is a past recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners. He has held an adjunct professorship at the University of Waterloo and a Visiting Lectureship at Harvard University. 


Richard Boyd, Arup

Richard became an engineer to deliver sustainable development, and has chosen to focus on making construction projects ready for a carbon-constrained future. He has led several research and consulting projects applying circular economy principles to buildings and infrastructure; the objects which consume more resources than anything else on the planet. His experience covers the design, construction and operation stages of these assets and derives from a diverse background in manufacturing, engineering design, international development, construction and research. This broad-base enables him to think systemically, joining the dots across disciplines, scales and cultures.


Cécile Faraud, C40

Cécile Faraud manages the C40 Clean Construction Programme, looking at how cities can drive zero carbon construction by 2050, with a focus on embodied carbon in construction materials and machinery.

Prior to C40, Cécile managed the London City Business Leaders initiative at CDP in close partnership with the Greater London Authority, aimed at aligning the city and businesses climate ambitions and actions. She had previously shaped and led the Circular Economy programme for the city of Peterborough (UK), authoring blogs on the Circular Economy. She has also worked, when based in Bangkok, on French and South-East Asian collaboration for sustainable development and cross-cutting regional issues.

She holds an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London (UCL) and Master’s degrees in International Relations and Geography from IRIS Sup’ (France) and the Sorbonne respectively. 


Paloma Gormley, Material Cultures

Paloma Gormley founded Practice Architecture is 2009 where she developed a praxis that is preoccupied by the collective act of making and a direct relationship to materials.  The practice became known for creating beautiful structures from everyday things.  Often involved from inception through to completion she works in a very hand’s on way, engaging with both the architectural and organisational sides of a projects.  This approach has been transferred to Paloma’s teaching at UCL and UAL where she leads students in designing and constructing large scale built proposals, and to her work in theatre with the development of the participatory dance projects such as, mass.  Paloma has extensive experience in construction and knowledge of sustainable materials and building practices.  She has a long-standing involvement and interest in alternative housing and procurement models. Together with Summer Islam she runs Material Cultures, an independent research organisation developing post carbon approaches to housing.


Summer Islam, Material Cultures

Summer Islam AADipl(hons) established research organization Material Cultures with Paloma Gormley in 2019. She previously worked as an associate at award-winning design practice 6a architects in London, where she led prominent community and cultural projects, and at Caruso St John Architects. Summer is also a director of Studio Abroad, which she founded with George Massoud. 

Alongside practice Summer teaches a design studio at the Bartlett School of Architecture. She previously taught at the London Metropolitan University, Central St Martins and the Architectural Association. Summer studied at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and graduated from the Architectural Association with Honours. 


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