The Quest for Innovation: Methods and Mindsets


  • Martin Bechthold Prof. Dr., Harvard University


Interdisciplinary Work, Design Research, Scientific Research, Research Methods, Material Systems, Design Thinking


Innovation in the building industry has been lagging behind other fields, due in part to the fragmented nature of the field of construction, but also due to the lack of research methods that can effectively merge scientific and creative methods into a single approach. The paper discussed a novel method for interdisciplinary work at the intersection of computation, architectural design, engineering and material science. The approach was developed in the Material Processes and Systems Group at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.


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Author Biography

Martin Bechthold, Prof. Dr., Harvard University

Bechthold is co-director of the Doctor of Design Program and director of the GSD‘s Technology Platform. He teaches courses in design robotics and material systems, building structures, as well as lifecycle design. Recent courses include CeramicsLab, the TRACES option studio, Analysis and Design of Building Structures I and II, as well as Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (Cad/Cam). Bechthold received a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in architecture from the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany, and a Doctor of Design Degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He is a registered architect in Germany and has practiced in London, Paris, and Hamburg. During this period he was associated with firms such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Santiago Calatrava and von Gerkan, Marg & Partner.




How to Cite

Bechthold, M. (2015). The Quest for Innovation: Methods and Mindsets. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 2(2), 50–58. Retrieved from