Kengo Kuma claims that the encounter with new materials heralds the beginning of a new era. Architecture is made with and decisively determined by physical materials. Although concrete was the ideal material for the 20th century, the 21st is witnessing a marked departure from this staple of the modernist tradition. Kuma is driven by the desire to recover the material, to reconnect people and physical things, and to explore the wealth of new and different materials waiting to be discovered. This issue is divided into sections, each dealing with a specific material and its use in architecture: bamboo, wood, paper, earth, stone, fire (tile/glass/resin), metal, and membrane or fibre.