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Natural Material Innovation

Sustainable Living


Michael Ramage leads the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University, and is an architectural engineer and Reader in the Department of Architecture, Vice Master of Sidney Sussex College, and a founding partner of Light Earth Designs. He studied architecture at MIT, and worked for Conzett Bronzini Gartmann in Switzerland prior to teaching at Cambridge. His current research is focused on developing low-energy structural materials and systems in masonry, better housing in the developing world and improved engineered timber and bamboo through natural material innovation. He teaches, researches and designs buildings, and receives research funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Royal Society, the British Academy, and industry.


Structural Design

Masonry Spans

Earth Masonry Vaulting and Seismic Protection

Modified Timber and Tall Timber Construction


Energy Efficient Transitional and Permanent Housing


Key publications: 

Wagemann, E, Gatóo, A, Ramage, M.H. (2015) “Bahay Kawayan. Vivienda Post Desastre en Bambú/ Post Disaster Housing in Bamboo.” ARQ,  August, no.90, Estructuras Desmontables, Ediciones ARQ: pp.68-69. (2 pages; English and Spanish)

Sharma B, Gatóo A, Ramage M.H. (2015) “Effect of processing methods on the mechanical properties of engineered bamboo.” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, 83: pp 95-101, Elsevier. (7 pages)

Sharma B, Gatóo A, Bock M, Ramage M.H. (2015) “Engineered Bamboo for structural applications.” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier., 81: pp 66-73. (8 pages)

Sharma, B., Gatóo, A., Bock, M., Mulligan H., Ramage M.H.  (2014). “Engineered bamboo: state of the art.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials. Thomas Telford: 168:2, pp 57-67. (11 pages)

Gatóo, A., Sharma, B., Bock, M., Mulligan H., Ramage M.H.  (2014). “Sustainable structures: bamboo standards and building codes.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability 167 (ES5). Thomas Telford: pp 189–96. (8 pages)

Ramage M.H. , Dejong M.J. “Design and Construction of Geogrid-reinforced Thin-shell Masonry” in Taller, Longer, Lighter: meeting growing demand with limited resources, eds. D. A. Nethercot and S. Pellegrino. London 2011.

Fleming, P., Ramage, M.H., Smith, S. “Super Tall Timber.” in High Rise Shuffle -- 4th International Alvar Aalto Meeting on Modern Architecture, eds. A. Ahlava and E. Laaksonen.  Aalto Academy, Helsinki, 2011, pp 32-40.

Wray, G., Sinclair, M., Ramage, M. 2011. The Bowls Project – A Prototype for Full Scale Testing as an Alternate Approval Process for Small Scale Base-Isolated Structures, Procs. of the 2011 Structures Congress. 171(401)74.

Ramage, M.H., Ochsendorf, J. , Rich, P.  Sustainable Shells: New African vaults built with soil-cement tiles, Journal of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures, Vol.51 No. 4 December 2010, pp 255-261.

Ramage, M.H., J. Ochsendorf, P. Rich, J.K. Bellamy, P. Block. Design and Construction of the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretive Centre, South Africa,” African Technology Development Forum Special Issue: architecture and Development, October 2010, pp 14-23.

Ramage, M.H. “Guastavino’s Vaulting Revisited,” Construction History, Vol. 22, November 2007, pp 47-60.

Ramage, M.H., W.W. Lau, and J. Ochsendorf. “Compound curves in thin-shell masonry:  Analysis and construction of new vaults in the UK,” International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures 2007, Proceedings, Venice: IASS, 2007.

Ramage, M.H. “Structural Vaulting Built with Aircrete Masonry,” Masonry International, Vol. 20, No. 1 April 2007, pp 29-34.

Ramage, M.H. Catalan Vaulting in Advanced Material: New Approaches to Contemporary Compressive Form. Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2006.

Publications written about my work

“Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre,”  Vitamin Green, Phaidon 2011. pp 204-207.

Gregory, R.,  “Skill: Earth Pavilion by Peter Rich Architects and Michael Ramage, Lancaster House, London, UK,” The Architectural Review. Vol 228 No 1365 October 2010, pp 76-81.

Chilton, J. “Heinz Isler’s infinite spectrum: form finding in design,” Architectural Design: the new structuralism. Vol 80 No 4 July 2010, pp 65-71.

King, J., “Public Art: Domes rise at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,” The San Francisco Chronicle. 3 July 2010.

Fagan, G., photos by Obie Oberholzer.  “Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre by Peter Rich Architects, Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa”, The Architectural Review.  Vol 227 No 1356 February 2010, pp 40-47.

Fitchett,  A., photos by Iwan Baan. “Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa,” Domus 932. Januar

Director, Centre for Natural Material Innovation
Reader in Architecture and Engineering
Vice Master, Sidney Sussex College
 Michael H.  Ramage
Not available for consultancy