iPAC 2021-2022: Mud Futures

iPAC 2021-2022: Mud Futures

IPAC 2021-2022

Mud Futures

School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University


July 22, 2021 09:30 AM - March 25, 2022 04:30 PM



IPAC 2021-2022

Mud Futures is a year-long global multi-host multi-location conclave on the futures of mud in architecture is conceptualised and conducted by the School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University, Gurugram, India. The conclave is an opportunity for a for ideas, thoughts, research and architectural projects centred around mud across various countries.

Here, mud is considered as a material, as an approach, as a vehicle for sustainability, and as the source of an ideological imperative for the future of the built environment.

IPAC 2021-2022

Mud Futures brings practitioners and academicians together to deliberate on a material that has its genesis in the past, yet is versatile enough to respond to the technological advancements of the future.

The broad intent of the conclave is:

- Take stock of innovations of its application in the urban context
- Exchange of knowledge resource through certificate courses
- Conduct workshops to experiment with new ideas

The conclave is divided under three broader themes-

- Origin (July-September 2021),
- Transfer (October-December 2021), and
- Motor (January-March 2022)


- Publication Partner - Faculty of Architecture Research Unit (FARU), University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
- Knowledge Partner – HBBE, Newcastle University, UK.
- Conclave Catalyst - ACEDGE
- Conclave Chair: Prof Dr Vibhuti Sachdev
- Conclave Directors: Prof Amrita Madan | Himanshu Sanghani


Srijani Harza - Origin | Sobia Ahsan - Transfer |Prof Aruna Bhardwaj – Motor, Global co-hosts- BRAC University, Bangladesh | mayaPRAXIS, Bangalore, India | RVS Chennai Padmavathy School of Architecture| Organizmo, Colombia |Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria | The University of Adelaide, Australia | Society of Architectural & Urban Historians of Asia (SAUH-ASIA) | San Jose State University, USA | University of California at Berkley, USA | HBBE, Newcastle University, UK



The thematic track ‘Origin’ traces the influence of mud on architectural processes. The discussion aims to look beyond nostalgia of past and explore the urban use of mud, rooted in its indigenous systems. This session will attempt to understand association of mud with its context like culture, people society and land. This will entail issues around accessibility of the material by people and notion of its aesthetics and quality.

‘Origin’ explores the idea of indigeneity of mud. The discussion will shed light on meaning of mud which is ever-changing and goes through a process of re-intervention. Moving beyond the popular image of mud, being poor man’s material, the discussion will evaluate the drivers of mud urbanity. The session aims to position mud that can evolve to regenerate itself as a symbol of strength, protection and practice.

What are the inherent qualities of mud that respond to popular appropriation creating alignments within societies and cultures?


- July: School of Art and Architecture. Sushant University
- August : BRAC University, Bangladesh.
- September: MayaPRAXIS - India, Bangalore | RVS Chennai, Padmavathy School of Architecture, Chennai



The thematic track ‘transfer’ engages with the mechanisms of knowledge propagation in various multi-dimensional settings. Unique systems and identities of mud are formed due to a nuanced interaction of proponents, knowledge and values. This process entails negotiations and appropriation within cultural practices across space and time. Evolving typologies refers to models generated by communities within their ecosystems. The process of transfer also accounts for the need to ‘scale-up’ and ‘skill-up’ uses of mud into the contemporary scenario.


What are the implications of projecting mud as a mainstream material that displaces the monopoly of concrete?In what ways are the processes of transfer influenced by cross-cultural exchange of labour, tacit knowledge, materials, methods and their contemporisation? How does contemporisation propel the adaptation and evolution of the knowledge systems of mud?


- October - Organizmo, Colombia
- November - Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
- December - University of Adelaide, Australia | SAUH Asia


The thematic track, ‘motor’ focuses on the various impetus or catalysts that are likely to drive change in the urban environment. Events, movements, academic and popular thoughts, have the ability to propagate the use of earth as the cardinal construction material in the future, acting as agents of ‘mudification’. The prolific use of mud is enabled by the growing discourse on sustainability, protecting natural economies and the need to rework new economic models of developments.

While commenting on advanced technologies and innovation the discussions come a full circle to ask questions about human values such as identity, contextual response and notions of wellbeing in the futuristic world. Present academic and action research within earth architecture has immense potential to cause large-scale displacement of contemporary standard building materials. Through ‘Motor’, we highlight situated modifications of technique and process that can generate a new urban vernacular, amalgamating high technology with traditional knowledge systems.

The ‘new’ and ‘old’ or hi-tech and low-tech material synthetisations are opportunities that could drive the future of responsible interactions between people and built. Will this lead to a process of ruralisation that can generate ecological and balanced urban settings and a return to origins through the vehicle of mud?


- January - San Jose University | University of Berkeley USA
- February - Newcastle | HBBE, UK
- March - SAA, India