Composed of a series of essays, this book deals with the broad issues affecting the nature of architectural materials and provides a focused review of the state of the art materials. It also provides designers with the tools they need to evaluate and select from the thousands of different materials that are available to them. The book is organized into three sections; ‘Time’ looks at how the materials used in architectural design have changed over the years showing how we have come to use the materials we do in contemporary design. ‘Materials’ covers all five material families; metals, polymers, ceramics, composites and natural materials giving in depth information on their properties, behavior, origins and uses in design. It also introduces a review of the cutting edge research for each family. ‘Systems’ outlines the technical design-orientated research that uncovers how new architectural assemblies can be designed and engineered. All of this practical advice is given along with many real case examples illustrating how this knowledge and information has been, and can be, used in architectural design.