From Field to Form: Hemp

A group of experts discuss the broad potential of hemp-based building materials.

November 8, 2023
7:00 p.m.

From Field to Form is a series of events exploring the possibilities, life cycles, and architectural implications of plant- and earth-based materials.



What if regenerative local agriculture was connected with building healthier homes? With new incentives to grow hemp in the US, there is an opportunity to shift from a reliance on fossil fuels to an agricultural system that supports the production of building materials and a range of other products. Producing hemp-based building materials will create new jobs in manufacturing and construction. These new value chains for agrarian communities will produce the feedstock for constructing carbon-sequestering, healthier, affordable buildings.

Building products made from industrial hemp, lime, and water have a range of valuable characteristics, including energy efficiency, fire resistance, mold resistance, lightness, and the regulation of indoor climate and humidity. HempLime products absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and are recyclable and biodegradable after use. They support a zero-waste economy and they can last centuries. 

Organized in partnership with Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design, this program convenes critical voices from across the hemp ecosystem to investigate how new design approaches and building with hemp can be a viable, healthy alternative for design and construction in the United States.

Tommy Gibbons is the Chief Innovation Officer at Hempitecture Inc., a public benefit corporation created to develop, manufacture, and distribute sustainable, high-performing building materials based in Idaho. He is a LEED Green Associate and a Department of Energy IMPEL+ Innovator.

Jennifer Martin is a designer, builder, and advocate with extensive experience in natural building materials and systems. She is a partner at HempStone, a New England-based company focused on hempcrete, where she specializes in jobsite training for architects and contractors.

Larry Smart is a plant geneticist and breeder who uses genomic tools to understand plant biology and to breed improved cultivars of hemp. A professor at Cornell University AgriTech in Geneva, New York, Smart leads the Cornell Hemp Research and Extension team.

The discussion will be co-moderated by Jonsara Ruth and Alison Mears, design director and director of Healthy Materials Lab (HML) at Parsons School of Design.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The event is co-presented with the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design.