Meta-field is a speculative and applied research group focused on collaborative and interdisciplinary design research - integrating Materials, Environments, Technologies, and Assemblies. We investigate novel and innovative approaches to material systems, information assemblies and emergent technologies directed toward the construction, mediation and augmentation of our shared built environment.
Meta-field is lead by Michael Leighton Beaman, an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Univerity of Virginia, and Design & Technology Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design; and Zaneta Hong, an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia. This group evolved from Michael and Zaneta’s collective research into material systems and digital technologies, alongside a shared agenda to mediate and augment architectural spaces and programs.
Speculative & Applied, is how we define research within the meta-field research group. This means that our research projects are directed toward addressing future states of our built environment, and explore the techniques, processes and innovations that can bring about these futures.
We work with a number of research models. These include: Course-related Research Projects; Independent and Group Design Research Projects; Partnered Research Projects (with outside institutions and organizations); Interdisciplinary Research Projects; and Thesis / Dissertation Projects.
Course instruction is where the meta-field research group began. Courses can be spaces of shared inquiry, where shared students and faculty are able to address design innovation and research within a structured academic setting.
Courses taught through the meta-field research group cover a range of disciplinary and pedagogical agendas. They engage a diverse set of methodologies and practices. Consistent across all is an approach to teaching that bridges processes and effects.
Meta-field currently operates within a distributed network of research and fabrication spaces at the University of Virginia.