Martina Decker is an internationally renowned architect who focuses on how new materials with novel properties might generate solutions to various contemporary challenges in sustainability and health and safety. She was recently appointed to the faculty of NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design as an assistant professor.
In both her research and her architectural practice, Decker makes use of materials that are engineered at the molecular level, to change their size and shape, to store and release water, to repel water, to generate or conduct electricity, or, to change their color. She investigates their properties, discovers their capabilities, devises architectural applications for them, and fabricates prototypes that demonstrate their potential.
Her NYC-based practice, Decker Yeadon, recently became the first architecture research office to synthesize “buckypaper,” a thin sheet of carbon nanotubes, and she and her partner, Peter Yeadon, are researching a range of novel, high performance materials like this for future building projects.
Ms. Decker has worked on a wide range of award-winning projects that represent a penchant for interdisciplinary work, including: art installations, consumer products, and buildings. A selection of organizations that have exhibited her works include: The RISD Museum of Art (Providence), the Superfront LA gallery (Los Angeles), Southern Polytechnic State University, the Boston Society of Architects, AIA New York, ICFF (New York), El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, XV Pan-American Biennale (Quito, Ecuador), Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie (Parc de la Villette, Paris), and the UIA World Congress on Architecture (Istanbul).
Prior to her appointment at NJIT she was a visiting critic in the Architecture Department at Cornell University, and taught art and design students at the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as Parsons in Manhattan. She is a frequent guest critic at various academic institutions and has lectured at universities (including Columbia, Pratt, Temple RPI, and elsewhere) about how new materials might address contemporary problems by transforming the future of architecture. Decker completed her professional architecture degree at the University of Applied Sciences, in Munich and has worked in offices in Europe and North America before co-founding Decker Yeadon in 2006.
She recently contributed a chapter on biomimesis, smart materials, and nanomaterials to the upcoming book Performative Materials in Architecture and Design (Intellect, UK, 2012). She also recently completed a chapter on nanorobotic devices for the book Post-Sustainable: Blueprints for a Green Planet (Metropolis Books, US, 2012). Her work has been featured in a number of other books, including: Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production (Routledge, UK); Material Design (Birkhauser, Berlin); Smart Materials in Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design (Birkhauser, Berlin); and Subtle Technologies: Responsive Architectures (Riverside Architectural Press, Toronto).
Last update: January 14, 2013
Topics: architecture, buckypaper, design, biomimesis, smart materials, nanomaterials