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2020 Student Thesis Showcase - Part II

We are back with week two of the 2020 Student Thesis Showcase featuring five more projects from schools across the US and Canada! This week’s projects range from large scale community interventions to small-scale material based projects. Check on August 7th for the next group of projects. Make sure to check out Part I of this series!

Finding a New Commons: ReInhabiting the School in Post-Urban Japan by Julia Nakanishi, M.Arch ’20
University of Waterloo / Advisor: Lola Sheppard 

Japan’s megacities are often captured as dense, dynamic, and ever-expanding. These images, disseminated in popular media, belie a growing national phenomenon: urban migration, a declining birthrate, and an aging population have transformed Japan’s countryside over the past thirty years. These demographic changes have had a slow but dramatic effect, resulting in socio-economic decline, abandoned buildings, and a loss of local cultures across the country. This thesis explores how reinhabited architecture might facilitate the preservation of culture, knowledge, education, and community connections to local contexts. 

Among the vast number of leftover buildings in Japan’s rural areas, the public school is becoming increasingly prevalent due to waning fertility rates. These vacant structures, referred to as haikō in Japanese, are imbued with collective memory. In villages needing a revival of public and cultural spaces, schools with existing relationships to the community are potent opportunities for reuse. Using fieldwork that documents haikō in three culturally and geographically distinct sites (Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, Tsuyama Municipality, Okayama Prefecture, and Kamiyama Village, Tokushima Prefecture), along with ethnographic interviews with community members, the three design projects of the thesis explore how the reuse of haikō could generate new rural lifestyles and micro-economies. 

The research presents emerging methodologies for designers working in the context of depopulating communities, which includes interviews with communities, analytical site mapping, and techniques of building reuse. This concept of “degrowth” poses a challenge for architecture — a profession significantly influenced by the capitalist structures and administrative frameworks of urban areas. In this way, Japan’s rural areas, or “the post-urban,” are the testing grounds for new design processes, programmatic overlaps, and plurality in public architecture.

Autopsia in Abstentia: The Continued Collapse of Chernobyl by Marco Nieto, M.Arch ‘20
University of Michigan ARCH 662 “Reassembling the Earth” Studio / Advisor: El Hadi Jazairy

This thesis explores the complicated history and identity crisis of Chernobyl and examines its post-mortem reality through ameliorative apparatus that allows it to heal from its trauma. It investigates the death, or fallout, of an event while not being present at it by using the remnants and traces of its existence. This has helped create a profound framework focused on process and factors of time, allowing for the embedding of five specific interventions that react and respond to the pain of the existing environment: Radiosynthetic Needle, Bioremedial Bubbles, Reverse Repository, Half-Life Lab, and Carbo Conclusus. Read more about the project: http://myumi.ch/Nx3my

This project won the Burton L. Kampner Memorial Award which is presented annually to one student in the thesis program whose final design project has been selected by a Super Jury as the most outstanding. View more award-winning work from Taubman College students

Follow Marco on IG: @m_nieto24

3D Printing Adobe Vaults and Domes by Wanchen Cai, Taoyu Han, Hanyang Hu, Sinae Jung, Vasudha Maiya, Pei Li, Dingtong Wang, Shengrui Xu, Xu Zhang, and Churan Zheng
University of California at Berkeley /
Advisor: Ronald Rael  / Course: ARCH 205

The primary focus of Studio One over the fall semester has been the design and development of 3D printed roofs in the form of vaults and domes. Nubian vault and squinch dome structures, popularized by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy in the early 20th century, have been constructed for thousands of years, employing fundamental principles of laying mudbrick in courses that require no shuttering to create roof enclosures. The primary building material for these architectural structures was mud brick, comprised of water, locally available soil, and straw. The coursing of mud bricks by traditional masons followed particular patterns to allow for these complex structures to be constructed without formwork. By emulating and altering these coursing patterns, and using a customized Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) robot, an array of complex vault and dome structures can be created through the robotic deposition of an adobe mud admixture.

3D printing earth through vertical layer deposition for walls is relatively straight forward. However, when it comes to printing a roof or enclosures, the self-weight of the adobe often leads to the collapse of the printed roof structure due to gravity. The resolution of this challenge is crucial for the realization of a completely 3D printed building. This research is further extended to the proposal of a shelter in Darfur, Sudan.

This research culminated in the design of five unique, 3D printed shelters. The proposal was for a low-cost housing prototype for Darfur. The house has three main functions: gathering, sleeping, and eating. Locally sourced soil was used for printing. Further, materials like straw, palm leaves, jute, and fabric were used as cladding for roofs and openings. The potential for generating apertures, integrated furniture, and staircases that integrate with vaults and domes were tested at a 1:50 scale. Techniques for inserting wooden sticks between layers of prints were explored to accommodate auxiliary systems like a staircase or secondary roof structure. One of the printing methods took the unconventional approach of layer depositions in a bath of sand to eliminate the need for conservative print angles or printed support material. Once the clay print was dry, the sand was excavated from within the dome. The projects also looked at the experiential quality of the printed adobe spaces, where the entry of light, air, and water into the built space is carefully crafted. This research is being further developed in the ongoing spring semester, where the mud printing is integrated with a wooden roof.

Inflection Point By Satoru Igarashi, Katherine Martin, Josymar Rodriguez, and Matthew Stoll, M.Arch ‘20
University of Oregon / Advisor: Justin Fowler

Developed in the Winter 2020 graduate studio on housing relief at the University of Oregon’s Portland Architecture Program, The “Inflection Point” is a social housing proposition for Northeast Portland that argues for a Green New Deal program of decarbonization that does more than just the “less bad.” This prototype employs an adaptable framework that integrates modular housing, energy and water infrastructure, and an accessible landscape to provide social, recreational, and productive amenities for the residents and broader community. The proposal includes a mass timber structure, water reclamation strategies, and solar energy capture for its distribution to the site and the surrounding neighborhood.

Conducted by Program Director Justin Fowler, and working in consultation with Portland’s Public Housing Authority (Home Forward) and Lever Architecture, the studio explored proposals for Home Forward’s Dekum Court site in Northeast Portland currently being redeveloped for increased housing density on its heavily-sloped 5.5-acre lot between residential and industrial areas. In the spirit of past social housing design practices and reform from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of Red Vienna to the London County Council, students worked in teams to address issues of climate-induced migration, sustainability, and public health through care- and justice-based approaches to housing and landscape design. 

Team
After working in the field of brand design for many years, Satoru Igarashi had decided to pivot his career by finding an outlet which can provide more meaningful and improved experiences through design. 

Katherine Martin is a graduate of Georgia Tech and worked for two years in one of the largest firms in Atlanta. She enrolled at the University of Oregon to further her knowledge on passive sustainable design strategies.

Josymar Rodriguez a Fulbright Scholar and a 2017 Young Leaders of the Americas Fellow. She is the co-founder of INCURSIONES, an architecture studio and social initiative in her hometown of Caracas, Venezuela.

After four years of working professionally on radically-adaptive reuse projects in the historic urban center of his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Matthew Stoll returned to Portland to focus on creating positive social impact through space.  

Center for Autonomous Witness by Will Reynolds
Georgia Institute of Technology / Advisor: Keith Kaseman – CORE III Studio, Arch 6030 

The intent of this project is to facilitate a new form of justice – one that holds those enforcing the law to a new standard of honesty and transparency. Body cameras (bodycams) have proved to be ineffective. Though they are mandated by every state, less than 10% of cases of police brutality are captured on body cams. This is because officers do not use them, will turn them off leading up to the conflict, or will tamper with the footage after the event. This is unacceptable

It is now time to use the advancements of technology and the accessibility of digital information to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions.

This system of drone outposts is dispersed throughout a city. The structures, or outposts, deploy drones when a civilian reports a police stop. Ideally, this report could be vocally activated with a smartphone – “Hey Siri, the police are here.” The drone arrives onsite and records the police throughout the interaction. The information is streamed back to the outpost to be monitored by civilians.

These drone outposts would act as a facility to store and maintain drones, store and broadcast information securely, and create a safe space for civilians. This new building typology could be freestanding or occupy existing structures like the space between billboards.

Check back on Friday, August 7th for the next edition of the 2020 Student Showcase. Thanks for reading!

2020 Student Thesis Showcase - Part I

Have you ever wondered what students design in architecture school? A few years ago, we started an Instagram account called IMADETHAT_ to curate student work from across North America. Now, we have nearly 3,000 projects featured for you to view. In this series, we are featuring thesis projects of recent graduates to give you a glimpse into what architecture students create while in school. Each week, for the rest of the summer, we will be curating five projects that highlight unique aspects of design. In this week’s group, the research ranges from urban scale designs focused on climate change to a proposal for a new type of collective housing and so much in between. Check back each week for new projects. 

In the meantime, Archinect has also created a series featuring the work of 2020 graduates in architecture and design programs. Check out the full list, here.

Redefining the Gradient by Kate Katz and Ryan Shaaban, Tulane University, M.Arch ‘20

Thesis Advisors: Cordula Roser Gray and Ammar Eloueini / Course: 01-SP20-Thesis Studio

Sea level rise has become a major concern for coastal cities due to the economic and cultural importance tied to their proximity to water. These cities have sustained their livelihood in low-lying elevations through the process of filling, bridging, and raising land over coastal ecosystems, replacing their ecological value with infrastructures focused on defining the edge between city and nature. Hard infrastructures have been employed to maintain urban landscapes but have minimal capacity for both human and non-human engagement due to their monofunctional applications focused on separating conditions rather than integrating them. They produce short-term gains with long-term consequences, replacing and restricting ecosystems and acting as physical barriers in a context defined by seasonal transition. 

To address the issues of hard infrastructure and sea level rise, this thesis proposes an alternative design strategy that incorporates the dynamic water system into the urban grid network. San Francisco was chosen as the location of study as it is a peninsula where a majority of the predicted inundation occurs on the eastern bayside. In this estuary, there were over 500 acres of ecologically rich tidal marshlands that were filled in during the late 1800s. To protect these new lands, the Embarcadero Sea Wall was built in 1916 and is now in a state of neglect. The city has set aside $5 billion for repairs but, instead of pouring more money into a broken system, we propose an investment in new multi-functional ecologically-responsive strategies. 

As sea levels rise, the city will be inundated with water, creating the opportunity to develop a new circulation system that maintains accessibility throughout areas located in the flood zone. In this proposal, we’ve designed a connective network where instance moments become moments of pause and relief to enjoy the new cityscape in a dynamic maritime district. 

On the lower level, paths widen to become plazas while on the upper level, they become breakout destinations which can connect to certain occupiable rooftops that are given to the public realm. The bases of carved canals become seeding grounds for plants and aquatic life as the water level rises over time. Buildings can protect high-risk floors through floodproofing and structural encasement combined with adaptive floorplates to maintain the use of lower levels. The floating walkway is composed of modular units that are buoyant, allowing the pedestrian paths to conform and fluctuate with diurnal tidal changes. The composition of the units creates street furniture and apertures to engage with the ecologies below while enabling a once restricted landscape of wetlands to take place within the city. 

The new vision of the public realm in this waterfront district hopes to shine an optimistic light on how we can live with nature once again as we deal with the consequences of climate change.

Unearthing the Black Aesthetic by Demar Matthews, Woodbury University, M.Arch ‘20

Advisor: Ryan Tyler Martinez
Featured on Archinect

“Unearthing The Black Aesthetic” highlights South Central Los Angeles’s (or Black Los Angeles’s) unique positioning as a dynamic hub of Black culture and creativity. South Central is the densest population of African Americans west of the Mississippi. While every historically Black neighborhood in Los Angeles has experienced displacement, the neighborhood of Watts was hit particularly hard. As more and more Black Angelenos are forced for one reason or another to relocate, we are losing our history and connection to Los Angeles.

As a way to fight this gentrification, we are developing an architectural language derived from Black culture. So many cultures have their own architectural styles based on values, goals, morals, and customs shared by their society. When these cultures have relocated to America, to keep their culture and values intact, they bought land and built in the image of their homelands. That is not true for Black people in America. In fact, until 1968, Black people had no rights to own property in Los Angeles. While others began a race to acquire land in 1492, building homes and communities in their image, we started running 476 years after the race began. What percentage of land was left for Blacks to acquire? How then can we advance the development of a Black aesthetic in architecture?

This project, most importantly, is a collaboration with the community that will be for us and by us. My goal is to take control of our image in architecture; to elevate, not denigrate, Black life and culture. Ultimately, we envision repeating this process in nine historically Black cities in America to develop an architectural language that will vary based on the history and specificities of Black culture in each area.

KILLING IT: The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Amanda Golemba, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M.Arch ’20

Advisors: Nikole Bouchard, Jasmine Benyamin, and Erik Hancock / Independent Design Thesis

For decades, post-industrial cities throughout the United States have been quietly erased through self-imposed tabula rasa demolition. If considered at all, demolition is touted as the mechanism for removing unsightly blight, promoting safety, and discarding the obsolete and the unwanted. Once deemed unworthy, rarely does a building survive the threat of demolition. 

In the last decade, the City of Chicago has erased over 13,000 buildings with 225 in just the last four months. Not only does this mass erasure eradicate the material and the spatial, but it permanently wipes the remnants of human bodies, values, and history — a complete annulment of event, time, and memory. 

But why do we feel the need to erase in order to make progress?

Our current path has led to a built environment that is becoming more and more uniform and sterile. Much of America has become standardized, mixed-use developments; neighborhoods of cookie-cutter homes and the excessive use of synthetic, toxic building materials. A uniform world is a boring one that has little room for creativity, individuality, or authenticity.

This thesis, “KILLING IT,” is a design proposal for a traveling exhibition that seeks to change perceptions of the existing city fabric by visualizing patterns of erasure, questioning the resultant implications and effects of that erasure, and proposing an alternative fate. “KILLING IT” confronts the inherently violent aspects of architecture and explores that violence through the intentionally jarring, uncomfortable, and absurd analogy of murder. This analogy is a lens through which to trace the violent, intentional, and premature ending and sterilization of the existing built environment. After all, as Bernard Tschumi said, “To really appreciate architecture, you may even need to commit a murder.”1 But murder is not just about the events that take place within a building, it is also the material reality of the building itself. 

Over the life of a building, scarring, moments in time, and decay layer to create an inhabitable palimpsest of memory. This traveling exhibition is infused with the palimpsest concept by investigating strategies of layering, modularity, flexibility, transparency, and building remains, while layering them together to form a system that operates as an inhabitable core model collage. Each individual exhibition simultaneously memorializes the violence that happened at that particular site and implements murderous adaptive reuse strategies through collage and salvage material to expose what could have been.

If we continue down our current path, we will only continue to make the same mistakes and achieve the same monotonous, sterilizing results we currently see in every American city and suburb. We need to embrace a new path that values authenticity, celebrates the scars and traces of the past, and carries memories into the future. By reimaging what death can mean and addressing cycles of violence, “KILLING IT” proposes an optimistic vision for the future of American cities. 

      1. Tschumi, Bernard. “Questions of space: lectures on architecture” (ed. 1990)

A New Prototype for Collective Housing by Juan Acosta and Gable Bostic, University of Texas at Austin, M.Arch ‘20

Advisor: Martin Haettasch / Course: Integrative Design Studio
Read more: https://soa.utexas.edu/work/new-prototype-collective-housing

Austin is a city that faces extreme housing pressures. This problem is framed almost exclusively in terms of supply and demand, and the related question of affordability. For architects, however, a more productive question is: Will this new quantity produce a new quality of housing? 

How do we live in the city, how do we create individual and collective identity through architecture, and what are the urban consequences? This studio investigates new urban housing types, smaller than an apartment block yet larger and denser than a detached house. Critically assessing existing typologies, we ask the question: How can the comforts of the individual house be reconfigured to form new types of residential urban fabric beyond the entropy of tract housing or the formulaic denominator of “mixed-use.” The nature of the integrative design studio allowed for the testing of material systems and construction techniques that have long had an important economic and ecological impact.

“A New Prototype for Collective Housing” addresses collectivity in both a formal and social sense, existing between the commercial and residential scales present in Austin’s St. John neighborhood as it straddles the I-35 corridor; a normative American condition. A diversity of programs, and multigenerational living, create an inherently diverse community. Additionally, a courtyard typology is used to negotiate the spectrum of private and shared space. Volumes, comprising multiple housing units ranging from studio apartments to four bedrooms, penetrate a commercial plinth that circulates both residents and mechanical systems. The use of heavy timber ensures an equitable use of resources while imbuing the project with a familiar material character.

ELSEWHERE, OR ELSE WHERE? by Brenda (Bz) Zhang, University of California at Berkeley, M.Arch ’20

Advisors: Andrew Atwood and Neyran Turan
See more: https://www.brendazhang.com/#/elsewhere-or-else-where/

“ELSEWHERE, OR ELSE WHERE?” is an architectural fever dream about the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning with the premise that two common ideas of Place—Home and Elsewhere—are no longer useful, the project wonders how disciplinary tools of architecture can be used to shape new stories about where we are.

For our purposes, “Home,” although primarily used to describe a place of domestic habitation, is also referring generally to a “familiar or usual setting,” as in home-base, home-court, home-page, and even home-button. As a counterpoint, Elsewhere shifts our attention “in or to another place,” away. This thesis is situated both in the literal spaces of Elsewhere and Home (landfills, houses, wilderness, base camps, wastelands, hometowns) and in their culturally constructed space (value-embedded narratives determining whether something belongs, and to whom). Since we construct both narratives through principles of exclusion, Elsewhere is a lot closer to Home than we say. These hybrid spaces—domestic and industrial, urban and hinterland, natural and built—are investigated as found conditions of the Anthropocene and potential sites for new understandings of Place.

Ultimately, this thesis attempts to challenge conventional notions of what architects could do with our existing skill sets, just by shifting our attention—Elsewhere. The sites shown here and the concerns they represent undeniably exist, but because of the ways Western architecture draws thick boundaries between and around them, they resist architectural focus—to our detriment.

In reworking the physical and cultural constructions of Homes and Elsewheres, architects are uniquely positioned to go beyond diagnostics in visualizing and designing how, where, and why we build. While this project looks specifically at two particular stories we tell about where we are, the overall objective is to provoke new approaches to how we construct Place—both physically and culturally—within or without our discipline.

 

The Second Studio Podcast

(via The Second Studio)

The Second Studio, formerly known as the “Midnight Charette,” is a podcast about design and the everyday. Hosted by architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of renowned design professionals in unscripted and long-format interviews, allowing for thoughtful takes and more personal discussions. With the hosts’ extensive professional and academic backgrounds, the show’s array of subjects are covered critically and honestly. Some episodes are reviews of projects, while others are guides for young designers, discussions on questions from listeners, interviews, or humorous explorations of everyday life.

In The Second Studio’s “Tips and Tactics” episodes David and Marina provide helpful advice on “How to Get Hired as a Designer”, “How to Make a Portfolio”, “Choosing the Right Architecture Program”, and “What Software Programs to Use” among other topics. The show also has a hotline through which guests can call or text questions for the hosts.

The Second Studio Podcast has over 130 episodes and has been rank favorably across podcast aggregators, reaching number one on Player FM’s trending architecture podcasts and tenth in Apple’s design podcasts. The show was also included in Draper’s list of Architectural Podcasts You Should Follow. The show is available on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and all other Podcast directories.

David Lee is a registered architect in New York and California and holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Urban Design. He worked in New York City for several years on custom residential projects, towers, master plans, and an award-winning PS1 MoMA installation. He has taught a range of undergraduate architecture studios and guest lectured at schools and conferences.

Marina Bourderonnet is a French architect and designer with a Bachelor of Architecture and studies in art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She has worked in several architecture offices in New York City and Paris on a variety of projects including mixed-used, residential, healthcare, and interior design. She loves cheese and is a brutal critic at design reviews.

RPI Turns Packaging into Protective Shelters

(via A|N)

Second Lives | After Bottles is an experimental prototype shelter designed by students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that turns packaging into structurally-sound shelters. First assembled for NYC x Design Week 2018, this project took engineered plastic bottles which had an interlocking design to build a pavilion.

“Throughout the design studio, RPI students, educators, and engineers sought to design a shelter that would be self-tensioning, stable, and that used the least amount of materials. Even the bottles packaging has been integrated into the final design; the team has created a triangular wooden crate that can unfold to form a topography-following floor and acts as a base for the plastic walls above.

3D printed joints and cross bracing were used to connect bottles at angles other than what the bottles themselves allowed. Lydia Kallipoliti, project lead and Assistant Professor of Architecture at RPI, said that the aim was to ship as few materials as possible into a disaster area. With a 3D printer on the ground, crates of water and an assembly diagram could be shipped in and the required parts printed in-situ.

The team found multiple uses for the bottles, running LED lights through the bottles making up the roof, and filling bottles on the side with water and food for easy takeaway. Testing is still ongoing to ensure that the final design would be tight enough to keep out rainwater.

Another structure made from the same interlocking bottles was set up across from the Wanted exhibition hall, this one courtesy of RPI’s Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE). The CASE team has built their “testing chamber” by arranging the bottles vertically and have been monitoring the internal heat, humidity, and air quality. Making sure that the bottles aren’t decomposing and releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is especially important, as the UN has strict air quality guidelines for disaster shelters.

Ultimately, the goal of Second Lives isn’t to introduce a new bottle into the plastic ecosystem, but to convert existing companies over, said Kallipoliti. If the Cokes and Pepsis of the world switched to a bottle that could then be used as a construction material, the worldwide reduction in waste would be immense.”

Read more

Blank Space Selects 40 Stories for 'Storytelling Architecture' Book

(via Blank Space)

40 Stories Announced for
‘Storytelling Architecture’

Blank Space and Volume are proud to announce the selected stories for ‘Storytelling Architecture’ – a breathtakingly diverse set of narratives collected from 5 years of architectural fairy tales submitted to Blank Space’s Fairy Tales competition.

The publication will be organized into the most pressing themes of our times and planet: Urbanism, Globalization, Equality, Sustainability and Technology. Explore the imaginations of fifty architects, artists, designers, and creators, from around the world, who dare to take a deeper look at architecture.

“Storytelling Architecture is a mind-bending collection of the most innovative and thought-provoking architectural narratives today – all in a  large-format, hard cover book. We were approached by the founders of Volume to publish this retrospective edition last year, and were thrilled by the concept of creating a community around the book, before it was published, echoing the manner in which the stories were born from an open call to the Fairy Tales competition,” says Blank Space cofounder Matthew Hoffman.

The 5th annual Fairy Tales competition brought significantly more entries than previous years, submitted from more than 70 countries. Entries are currently being reviewed by an all-star jury that includes Bjarke Ingels, Elizabeth Diller, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and more.

To accommodate the increased interest and participation this year, the publication funding deadline has been extended to April 12, to coincide with the selection of this years winners, who will be announced live at a special event in one of the most historic buildings in Washington D.C., the National Building Museum.

The event will provide an impressive backdrop to the Storytelling Architecture campaign. As an added benefit, all backers of the Storytelling Architecture campaign will receive a free ticket to the event.

Please visit the crowd-funding campaign here.

Selected Stories for ‘Storytelling Architecture’:

  • Chapter Thirteen by Kevin (Pang-Hsin) Wang and Nicholas O’Leary
  • Man and Ground by Anna Pietrzak
  • Oscar Upon A Time by Joseph Altshuler, Mari Altshuler & Zachary Morrison
  • Hypnagogic set of events experienced by 132x12866y78z by Zygmunt Maniaczyk and Marcin Kitala
  • Endeavourism by Mark Rukamathu and Yarinda Bunnag
  • The Secret Life of New World Towers by Berenika Boberska
  • Ocularcentrism by Gianna Papapavlou
  • Detroit S.A.R. by Ya Suo & Rania Ghosn
  • Crust by Chanel Dehond
  • Away With The Fairies by J.P. Maruszczak, Roger Connah & Ryan Manning
  • Empty by Zigeng Wang
  • Beautifully Banal by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis
  • Screenland, By A Pixel by Samantha Lee and Zhan Wang
  • CTRL C CTRL ME by Pauline Marcombe, Helene Marcombe, and Jay Robinson
  • Allegories of Home by Zabie Mustafa and Neda Kakhsaz
  • What About Sleeping Beauty by Hugo Reichmann
  • The Doomers Ball by Matt Ozga-Lawn and James Craig
  • The Invisible Apple by Zigeng Wang and Tanli Liu
  • The Museum of Lost Volumes by Neyran Turan, Melis Ugurlu, and Anastasia Yee
  • The Death Rehearsal by Carol Nung
  • Welcome to the 5th Facade by Olson Kundig – Alan Maskin, Jerome Tryon, Kevin Scott, Gabriela Frank & Katie Miller
  • Parisian Lullaby by Hagai Ben Naim
  • 12 Nautical Miles by Kobi Logendrarajah
  • Chat/SMS by Olalekan Jeyifous
  • On The Road by Kostis Ktistakis
  • Ink-Soaked Boy by Mark Morris & Neil Spiller
  • Toll by Sean Cottengim & Alex Gormley
  • +Z by Patch Dobson-Pérez
  • Software Version v.5.1 by Nicola Chan, Nikolas Kourtis & Pui Quan Choi
  • Malthusian Curve Program – Love Is To Die by Liao Hung Kai & Huang Hsiao Rou
  • Last Day by Mykhailo Ponomarenko
  • City Walkers by Terrence Hector
  • Up Above by Ariane Merle d’Aubigné & Jean Maleyrat
  • iDentity: Virtual Reality Therapy for Cultural Identity Crises by Minh Tran, Alan Ma, & Yi Ning Lui
  • One Thousand and One Nights by Xinran Ma
  • Call for Submissions: The Great Wall of America by Carly Dean & Richard Nelson-Chow
  • Course of Empire by Aidan Doyle & Sarah Wan (Wayndoy Studio)
  • Amazonia Pier: Manufacturing An Architecture of Pleasure by Julien Nolin
  • Aisha’s Asylum by Chong Yan Chuah, Nathan Su & Bethany Edgoose
  • The Dearest by Janice Kim & Carol Shih

+10 winners from this year’s competition!

UBuffalo architect creates Light/Station installation

(via University of Buffalo News Center)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the day, light pours in from two sides through the more than 72,000 holes laser-precision drilled into the stainless steel panels that veil the building’s façade.

At night, an inversion occurs and light glows from within, identifying the structure’s presence in the surrounding neighborhood.

For his newest project, University at Buffalo architect Christopher Romano embarked upon a two-year journey through the manipulation of light and metal as design materials. The result is a signature architectural structure nestled in the shadows of three iconic buildings on Buffalo’s historic East Side.

It’s called Light/Station, and the recently completed project has transformed an abandoned gas mart into a striking 1,545-square-foot design studio, green room and conference facility for Buffalo-based Torn Space, a critically acclaimed, avant-garde theater company.

Light and history were core components of Romano’s design concept from the beginning.

“Light serves as the connective tissue for all the components of the façade. It’s a material. It’s a central element to the multi-layered façade, where the lighting is a layer behind the steel panels, which typically isn’t done because it’s risky,” says Romano, who designed the façade through his firm Studio NORTH Architecture.

Romano is also a research assistant professor in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. A small team of UB architecture students also worked on the project.

Some of the smaller prototypes were developed and tested using the school’s digital fabrication equipment under the direction of Daniel Vrana, a staff member in the Fabrication Workshop and current employee at Studio NORTH Architecture.

A LOOK AT LIGHT/STATION (PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS LEVERE)

 

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Real World Ready by Creating Real World Design Solutions

University of Arizona’s Bachelor or Architecture students test their designs by building homes for low income Tucsonans

The University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture’s (CAPLA) architecture students are faced with many of the same educational chores that other school of architecture students are faced with: they toil solving many theoretical design problems, they work long hours in their studio spaces looking to their classmates for inspiration and they dream of just how and when they’ll get to see their projects come to life. While theory and research are necessary parts of the curriculum, students at CAPLA also have the unique opportunity to work on real world design solutions through experiential education. One such way is through the Drachman Design-Build Coalition (DDBC), a 501 c3 non-profit housing provider organization.

The DDBC is the product of Professor Mary Hardin’s desire to ensure that her architecture students were able to have an experience that allowed them to see their designs come to life and to help an underserved population of low income Tucsonans achieve home ownership. Recently, the DDBC, through the design-build studios and hard work of 33 students across three semesters, completed its ninth residence, “The Sentinel House.”

“My involvement in DDBC has allowed me to bring the excitement of designing and building real projects into the studio experience with students. I get vicarious pleasure from seeing them enthused about building their own project designs. I also have been touched by how much extra work my students put into these projects, knowing they are building a home for a family who would not otherwise benefit from the talents of architectural designers. Seeing my students put so much into each project has constantly revived my own sense of commitment and enthusiasm,” states Mary.

Mary and her students were fortunate to receive a grant from the UA Office of Student Engagement (OSE) as this project meets the requirements of the UA’s 100% Engagement Initiative. The initiative works to provide students with experiences beyond the classroom, helping to enrich their professional and personal growth. Even with the generous grant from the OSE, the residence has been designed under a very strict budget so that it can be sold to a Tucson family earning below 80% of the Area Median Income.

The home has been built with several sustainability practices to help keep utility bills and lifetime maintenance costs lower for the future homeowners. For example, they’ve used scoria, a thermal mass material, for the exterior walls of the home. This dense material holds onto temperature for a long period of time, meaning it works hard to prevent outdoor heat from traveling indoors. Additionally, they placed a layer of rigid foam in the center of these walls to help hinder the heat transfer.

The team also built two water harvesting cisterns to collect rainwater from the roof for use on the landscaping. The landscaping is xeriscape, low water use desert plants that are located to help shade the home. The A/C system is four mini-splits rather than one central unit so that each room can be programmed for thermal comfort separately from the others. This will allow homeowners to fine tune their use of air conditioning to keep bills down, and the mini-split units are much more efficient (SEER 21) than the typical central unit (SEER 14).

Educational experiences like these help CAPLA students succeed beyond the classroom and well into their professions. They’ve had the opportunity to face real world challenges and then find the most efficient solutions to those problems. “These opportunities simply aren’t found elsewhere,” states Mary.


For more information on University of Arizona’s Architecture Program, visit their profile on StudyArchitecture.

 

 

 

 

Yale Architecture Students Build "Vlock House" for Homeless

(via New Haven Independent)

A homeless family will be able to look out onto Adeline Street while cooking dinner and also find privacy in a rock garden, thanks to the design of the latest house Yale architecture students built in New Haven.

Some 200 people came out Monday night to tour and celebrate the new house, the 28th annual home that Yale School of Architecture students have built as part of the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project. This is the first year that a home was designed specifically for the homeless.

The distinctive, many-windowed, pitched-roof modernist house is at 54 Adeline St. in the Hill.

Into it one homeless family and one individual will move next month, sharing a common modernist building with the adjoining units separated by an elegant breeze-way and fronted by a flower-lined path gracing the narrow street.

“Imagine if you were sleeping on a bench last week, and someone gave you keys to your own place [like this],” said Columbus House Chief Executive Officer Alison Cunningham.

54 Adeline, unveiled Monday night. (Photo credit: Allan Appel Photos)

School of Architecture Dean Deborah Burke said when she arrived she had wanted to “deepen” the Vlock Project. That took the form of a partnership with Columbus House, the city’s lead organization in the struggle to end homelessness.

The Valentine Macri Court houses, 17 units of affordable housing also managed by Columbus House, are adjacent to what was an empty lot, and on which 54 Adeline now rises.

Cunningham interacted with the students, brought them to the neighborhood, had them talk with homeless people, all to inform what they were going to build.

Then 53 students in six teams competed for a winning design. When it was chosen, all 53 learned teamwork by helping to fashion most of the components of the house not on site but as prefabricated elements put together in a warehouse on Yale’s West Campus. That was in June and July.

Read more…


Learn more about the Yale School of architecture, here.

CU Denver Students Build Pop-up Installation at Denver Park

CU Denver’s Maymester class designs and builds entryways for Square on 21st, a collaboration with the City of Denver.

(via CU Denver Today)

CU Denver students got to ditch the classroom in favor of turning soil, pounding nails and solving in-the-field design problems during a Maymester Design Build class. They put their creative stamp on an entire city block, installing archways that grace the entrances to a new City of Denver concept – a summer pop-up park, featuring food trucks, a dog park and music – in the Ballpark neighborhood.

“For me, it’s incredible to have the city say, ‘Yes, we trust you with $10,000,’” said student Genevieve Hampton. That was the budget that students and their instructors – Maria Delgado and Jo VandenBurg from the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) and Monica Wittig from Inworks – received from the city to design and install the eye-catching entryways.

In late spring, the city closed the one-block section and began covering the pavement with turf, 60 trees, a music stage and the artful, student-designed entrances at Lawrence and Larimer streets. It’s fitting that 21 students enrolled in the Maymester course as the the verdant and shady block is now dubbed “The Square on 21st.”

Architecture student Tyler Ellis said the tangible nature of the project has been rewarding. “We’re mostly focused on the page when we’re in design studio,” he said, “so being able to see it manifested in physical form has been great.”

Maria Delgado, a doctoral Design and Planning student at CU Denver, was so inspired by the new CU in the City marketing campaign that she scoured the internet for design projects that would integrate student learning with downtown’s urban environment. “I was researching possible content for my spring class. I was inspired by Chancellor Horrell and our campus leadership’s whole concept of CU Denver being ‘CU in the City,’” Delgado said. “This project is a result of that movement.” Jo VandenBurg, another instructor in the class, added, “This is what you get when you say ‘CU in the City:’ You get cool stuff in the city.”

Delgado, a doctoral student in the Design and Planning Program in CAP, reached out to the city’s office of Community Planning and Development last winter when she saw the project posted online. Her initial suggestion was for city officials to critique a few student-created renderings. “From that meeting they said, ‘Well, actually we have $10,000 budgeted (for the entryways) and we’d love for your students to design and build something,’” Delgado said.

With a tight deadline approaching – the park opened June 15, with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other dignitaries in attendance (photo at top) – Delgado wondered how she and her students would be able to get all the work done in time. The solution was a CAP-Inworks cross-listed Maymester course that literally put students in hardhats out on the street.

Hampton said Design Build students are usually limited to creating small-sized models in the studio. “To walk through this design on this scale is something we’re not used to – it’s exciting,” she said. “It’s a design project with real-world constraints that we’ve had to adjust to, like the curve of the street.”

In spring, CAP and Inworks students met several times with city representatives to explain their idea and receive feedback. The designs were nearly ready when the Maymester Design Build class started on May 15.

Although the class runs three weeks, students only had 11 days to complete everything for The Square on 21st project. That’s how quickly they moved from a computer rendering, to figuring out how to build the entrances, to ordering the materials, to cutting the wood sheets, to installing and painting them. “It was crazy,” VandenBurg said of of the process, noting that students worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day over that span.

Delgado, a doctoral student in the Design and Planning Program in CAP, reached out to the city’s office of Community Planning and Development last winter when she saw the project posted online. Her initial suggestion was for city officials to critique a few student-created renderings. “From that meeting they said, ‘Well, actually we have $10,000 budgeted (for the entryways) and we’d love for your students to design and build something,’” Delgado said.

With a tight deadline approaching – the park opened June 15, with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other dignitaries in attendance (photo at top) – Delgado wondered how she and her students would be able to get all the work done in time. The solution was a CAP-Inworks cross-listed Maymester course that literally put students in hardhats out on the street.

Hampton said Design Build students are usually limited to creating small-sized models in the studio. “To walk through this design on this scale is something we’re not used to – it’s exciting,” she said. “It’s a design project with real-world constraints that we’ve had to adjust to, like the curve of the street.”

In spring, CAP and Inworks students met several times with city representatives to explain their idea and receive feedback. The designs were nearly ready when the Maymester Design Build class started on May 15.

Although the class runs three weeks, students only had 11 days to complete everything for The Square on 21st project. That’s how quickly they moved from a computer rendering, to figuring out how to build the entrances, to ordering the materials, to cutting the wood sheets, to installing and painting them. “It was crazy,” VandenBurg said of of the process, noting that students worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day over that span.

While CAP graduate students in Design Build have created projects across the state and in the metro area, the Ballpark effort marks the first time a Design Build undergraduate class has installed a local project. “It’s really cool because it’s just a few blocks away from school,” Delgado said. “It’s been a real collaboration for CAP, Inworks and the City to be able to visit the site daily and see the project grow.”

Grand way to make an entrance

The collaboration included access to cutting-edge technology available through both CAP and Inworks. CAP recently acquired a computer numerical control (CNC) router that replicates a machine already available at Inworks. The two CNCs allowed students to cut 83 sheets of plywood for the arches – set in accordion-like fashion at the Larimer entrance, where 14 are installed, and the Lawrence entry (seven more) – in quick and precise fashion.

The pop-up park will host food trucks, summer concerts and serve as a pleasant gathering spot for folks strolling or cycling just east of Coors Field.  The Square on 21st acts as a trial run for a potential permanent “activated block” to be installed in a pocket of town lacking green space, said Delgado, who founded the CU Denver Design Build Institute of America student chapter club.

The entrances play a key role in the park. They guide walking and bicycling visitors into the green space, encouraging them to meander through the park.

For Delgado, the best part of Maymester has been seeing students’ faces light up with pride as the entrances gained dimension and flair. “It’s neat because other people will be able to experience what our students have designed and built,” she said. “They’ve left a mark.”


Check out CU Denver’s Architecture Program!

Tulane's Annual URBANBuild Program

Every year, students of Tulane University’s School of Architecture have the opportunity to take a course called “URBANBuild” where they design and construct a home for a family in New Orleans.

(via Tulane SoA News)

“The house at 1924 Toledano St. in Central City is a striking gray residence with a sharply angled roofline and louvered shutters over the front windows. Inside, every inch of its 975 square feet has been painstakingly pondered, debated and studied.

The house, which recently listed on the market for $220,000 and is now under contract, is the 12th project of the Tulane University School of Architecture’s URBANbuild program.

Fifteen students — a mixture of undergrads and grad students — designed the house in a class last fall, then submitted plans to the city and secured building permits. During the spring semester, they built it from the ground up on a vacant 30-foot-by-70-foot lot owned by Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, the nonprofit group which partners with Tulane on the program.

For some of the students, it was the first time they’d ever lifted a hammer or fired up a power tool, much less climbed around a roof.

The class operates like a full-time job, with students expected to spend six days a week on the job site, said Tulane architecture professor and URBANbuild director Byron Mouton. Licensed general contractor Anthony Christiana serves as lead contractor.

In the fall, the students create various architectural design schemes for an affordable residence; at midterm, they vote on the one that will be built. “Then they all work together as a group on the development,” Mouton said. Full Article HERE


Learn more about Tulane’s School of Architecture!