Forum Lecture: Biogenic Building Sections

September 25, 2023

6 p.m.



Title: Biogenic Building Sections


Date: Monday, September 25, 2023, 6 p.m.


Location: Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St, Ottawa, ON)


Speakers: Paul Lewis


Free and open to the public 

Interior digital drawing of the inside of a house


Based on LTL Architects’ recently published book Manual of Biogenic House Sections this lecture presents a visually compelling argument for rethinking the material basis of architecture in a time of environmental crisis. Asserting that the most viable means to radically reduce embodied carbon in new buildings is to use plant and earth-based materials, the lecture demonstrates how this approach can catalyze new types of houses that reduce or sequester carbon, engage regenerative life cycles, and create healthier spaces for living. Interlaced into the talk are reuse and biogenic projects designed by LTL Architects. In particular, the lecture will explicate five small houses and a series of experiments that use biogenic material assemblies as a catalyst for building form, domestic organization, and spatial seduction. These projects demonstrate LTL’s optimism about architecture’s agency when embracing biogenic materials in the move towards a regenerative future.


This lecture will inaugurate the 2023-2024 Forum Lecture Series, and also launch Ottawa Architecture Week. 


Paul Lewis

LTL Architects
Headshot of Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis, FAIA, is a Principal at LTL Architects based in New York City. He is Professor at Princeton University School of Architecture. LTL is focused on plant-based building materials and the creative repurposing of buildings, and they have completed academic, cultural and institutional adaptive reuse projects throughout the United States. LTL are the 2019 NY State AIA firm of the year, have received a National Design Award, and have been inducted into the ID Hall of Fame. LTL Architects are the authors of Intensities (2013), Opportunistic Architecture (2008) and Situation Normal….Pamphlet Architecture #21 (1998). Their 2016 book entitled Manual of Section has been translated into seven languages, and their follow-up book Manual of Biogenic House Sections, revealing the architectural potentials of plant and earth-based materials, was release at the end of 2022. Paul is the past President of the Architectural League of New York and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and a M.Arch from Princeton University. 

Cover of the Manual of Biogenic House Sections, a book by Paul Lewis

About Forum Lecture Series: Common Cause, Architecture in the Public Interest 


The annual Forum Lecture Series is presented by the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University. 

A poster of a birds eye view of people walking outside. The poster is adverting the Open Forum Lecture Series 2023/24 called Common Cause, Architecture in the Public Interest. It lists lecture dates for Sept 25, Nov 1, Nov 13, Jan 17, Feb 7, and March 6.