Construction Sequence Model (Still Working on It)

Here’s a little peek at some of the Byrdcliffe-focused research. It is a video of the assembly of a construction model. I’m still tweaking the design of the artist studio… but this model studies how the building might first be fabricated in chuncks off site, and assembled quickly on prepared land. This work involves ideas started in collaborations with SHoP Architects (also introduced in my coursework of ARCH 476) and a close reading of the work of Kieran Timberlake (concerning prefabrication, assembly, trade sets, etc.).

Summertime Night Hike

Byrdcliffe Moon Hike

The other night, most of the Byrdcliffe Fellows decided to head off towards Overlook Mountain for a night hike. Fellow James Adelman brought his camera. There was a full moon. We could hike without flashlights, hopping over brooks and logs — even in the ambient darkness that stuck under the tree canopy.

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Summer Travel – Byrdcliffe Fellowship (and beyond)

A Cabin in the Woods

I’m already off to a summer of research, testing ideas, and re-jiggering assumptions. There’s no better place to do that than in the woods – with very little internet access.

After the Fellowship, we’re traveling further afeild to research more land. Further afield is even more distant from 21st Century communications technologies.

Please forgive any delay in messages that result.

Accepted to Byrdcliffe! Artist Fellowship in Woodstock, NY


Wow. Great news arrived in an email this afternoon. I am one of the artists selected for an 2015 Byrdcliffe Fellowship!

I wasn’t sure my application even had a chance. As an architect, applying to a foundation that caters to visual artists and composers, I thought I might just get sorted out by dint of having the wrong title. I’m very grateful that the selection committee gave my application a second look!

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Walking through the Computer Labs in an Architecture School

This WRNS Studio model is a frequent image these student bring to class to ask about integration issues.
This WRNS Studio model is a frequent image these student bring to class to ask about integration issues.

I team-teach Project Integration Studio. By mid-semester, these students model structure, ducts, and lights to be integrated harmoniously with the floors, walls, and ceilings of their (otherwise) typical studio projects.

That’s a lot for an architecture student fresh out of Design II. That’s why the studio fosters teams of three or four students per project.

Teamwork is hard. Miscommunication is costly in a group. But, each year, the students arrive with more robust modeling abilities. Each year, they are quicker to get it all in the computer.

That’s why it is a pleasure to walk through the school computer labs and quietly listen to these teams work through their problems. They point to the model. They generate new views to visualize the issue. They talk spatially.

I tell my students “It is a fantastic time to become and architect.” because of these new tools. Those with sharper ears probably see the other meaning: “Its a fantastic time to be architecture professor.”

One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities...
One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities…

The Institute may invest in more desktop 3D Printers one day soon. Where should we put them?

When considering our Fabrication Lab, recent conversation turned to how the folks at the Makerbot store have done something quite skillful. They use a handful of inexpensive desktop printers to create an atmosphere of progress, experimentation, & technological ease.

The stores specifically get visitors excited about technology by addressing both their eyes and their ears. Read more

AIA E-202, G-202, and BIMForum on the Path to IPD

Snip from E-202
The Element table started in E-202, and has migrated to the G-202, and well beyond…

Defining roles on a team is of primary concern at any project Kick-off Meeting. It’s all the more important as BIM-capable teams try integrated delivery techniques.

The structure and form of the AIA E-202 (2008) was the AIA’s first exhibit in its suite of legal instruments to help architects define BIM Manager roles on any team attempting an integrated workflow. On many of the teams I work with, that document was largely considered incomplete. It might sketch modeling expectations, but it was a poor tool to answer detailed questions about who-delivers-what-when. Read more

Another “Coordinators Training” starts next week…


I love my job. I get to train a variety of folks at all kinds of design firms in new architectural technologies. Building Information Modeling, specifically, is a tool I can share that gives early-career and mid-career professionals a boost towards their goals.

It is too easy to say my favorite calls are for “Designer Level” training, where I work with fresh-out-of-school employees in architecture firms. This group is composed of quick studies. They already have a model-based way of thinking about design problems from Rhino, Sketchup, or Max. They immediately see how BIM will make them more productive, and thus, more potent.

In “Designer Level” training, the atmosphere in the room is joyful, and sometimes giddy. The participants are quick to laugh at my (pretty bad) jokes. They feel free. They feel empowered. Read more