ADVANCED STUDIO: Component / Assembly: Prototyping Domestic Space

Core Faculty: Associate Professor Adam Marcus, Adjunct Professor Matt Hutchinson

Date: Fall 2017

This advanced architecture studio explores the architectural detail as a locus for reconsidering contemporary domesticity in the context of new technologies of design, fabrication, and assembly. The studio positions architecture as a process rather than a product, and the architect as a designer rather than a specifier. The work explores how new fabrication technologies like rotary laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and CNC routing can be leveraged to produce customized components and new spatial and experiential possibilities for architecture.

The studio looks to the recent past as a way to project forward into the future. In particular, the Case Study House Program spearheaded by John Entenza of Arts & Architecture magazine (1945-1966) provides a model for how architects can re-conceptualize and re-materialize domestic space through an understanding of contemporary, innovative fabrication and construction processes. Just as the architects of the Case Study House Program crafted new prototypes for domestic living inspired by the postwar (modernist) logics of mass production, this work speculates how contemporary (postmodernist) logics of mass customization can inform new models of domestic space appropriate for today.

The architectural detail serves as the primary site of research and experimentation. Rather than accepting the architectural detail as a predetermined assemblage of standardized parts or products, these projects speculate on the spatial, programmatic, and social possibilities of customizable, parametric, and bespoke details—and how such a paradigm can relate to contemporary domesticity. The work focuses on the domestic component: the guardrails, jambs, sills, stairs, moldings, doors, cabinets, coves, reveals, partitions, wall bases, and other parts that, when assembled together, constitute “architecture.” In the context of new technologies of design and production, the projects reconsider the component’s definition, its construction, and its assembly into larger configurations of structure and space. The ambition is to develop new understandings of part/whole relationships that derive their formal, compositional, and spatial principles from logics of material, fabrication, and assembly. 

Sponsorship: Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop
Fabrication Support: Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop, Tube Service Co.

Students: Ania Burlinska, Marlene Cacho, Jinda Guo, Viviani Isnata, Haonan Jia, Tianran Li, Yue Hector Liu, Levan Maghlakelidze, Shunta Moriuchi, Lilliam Navarro, Pete Pham, Leon Trinh