Materials are a huge area of study in architecture. Backlashing against the digital and virtual wave, there is a fresh emphasis on the material qualities of buildings while, ironically, it is the information technologies that allow the architect direct control over what happens on the building site once more. The early chapters of the book survey the field historically and explore the theory of materials and form. These are followed by seven thematic chapters and a well-illustrated discussion of the future of materials with examples chosen from contemporary architecture. The book aims to inspire students and architects to take more interest in this often neglected aspect of architecture. It counters the tendency to think of materials as a 'technical' issue by addressing the subject historically and critically, linking cultural ideas to technical means.