James Forren is an Associate Professor of Architecture in Design and Technology. He directs the Material, Body, and Environment Laboratory (MBELab) which investigates the production of architectural components and assemblies, concrete and composite technologies, and people’s experiences with materials in industrial, design, and public contexts. James Forren’s research utilizes computational, fine arts, and anthropological methods in the study of new materials and material technologies in architectural contexts. Digital technologies and their application to construction processes are one component of this work. Other areas of investigation include material research and its relationship to computation, as well as the exploration of new design processes. Writings, exhibits, and built projects are the vehicles for inquiry, often carried out in partnership with engineering, arts, and social science disciplines, as well as industry and community groups.
His research has been published in scholarly journals and conferences including the The Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) and The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) and Scroope: The Cambridge Architectural Journal. His exhibited work has received awards at Mongeometrija 2018 and The S.ARCH (Sustainable Architecture) 2019 and 2020. His current research is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration (NFRF-E) program for the transdisciplinary project, “Gesture and Form: A Field-based Approach to New Methods of Architecture and Handcraft in Textiles Using Augmented Reality Technologies”; and through industry collaboration with the Canadian Precast Concrete Institute (CPCI) and granting support from the Jeffrey Cook Charitable Trust for the directed research project, “Soft Rock: Artificial Rock Technologies Explored as Soft Systems”.