The Materials Book centers the discourse around sustainability on the materials of the built environment, proposing to “re-materialize” the building sector in all its phases. The authors do not fall in the trap of solutionism, nor do they surrender by arguing that nothing can be done. Instead, what they offer is a collection of tools to completely reimagine our approach to the built environment: pragmatic propositions, utopian scenarios, existing practices, technical examples, and paradigm shifts. In particular, the strength of the book lies in the non-divisive ways in which different strategies, often considered oppositional, complement each other. For instance, imagining a world without waste is a paradigm shift that goes hand in hand with ideas for mining the city, designing for disassembly, forgoing demolition, as well as using citric acid to facilitate working with mortar, or using agricultural waste to produce mycelium bricks. Similarly, the immaterial questions of construction such as the labor conditions of workers, often overlooked in the material-focused discourse around environmental sustainability, are here considered an inherent part of the challenge of materiality.
— Chiara Dorbolò, Curator of the Architecture Book Fair 2021