This course examines the ways in which people in ancient and contemporary societies have selected, evaluated, and used materials of nature, transforming them to objects of material culture. Some examples are: glass in ancient Egypt and Rome; sounds and colors of powerful metals in Mesoamerica; cloth and fiber technologies in the Inca empire. It also explores ideological and aesthetic criteria often influential in materials development. Laboratory/workshop sessions provide hands-on experience with materials discussed in class. This course complements 3.091 .