Joe Dahmen is an expert on building technology whose research and design projects create a more sustainable future in architecture. His research provides pathways for emergent materials derived from regionally specific biological and geological processes to enter architectural practice. These materials offer new expressive capabilities to architects while positively affecting local ecosystems.
Professor Dahmen’s research tests emergent materials in two different registers. Quantitative methods measure their structural and environmental performance, while their qualitative spatial and cultural potentials are evaluated through public architectural installations. The knowledge gained is articulated through publications, speculative and commissioned design projects, and entrepreneurial activities.
Dahmen is a cofounder of Watershed Materials LLC, an architectural materials development supported by the National Science Foundation (US) and private equity investment. With his partner Amber Frid-Jimenez, Canada Research Chair in design, he runs AFJD Studio, a transdisciplinary design firm based in Vancouver. Dahmen received his Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006.