Controlled burn is a contemporary proposal of traditional fire treatment as a material construction and ecological process. A controlled burn would be conducted on the garden during the Inaugural event. The remainder of the festival would exhibit the natural development of regrowth from ashes, putting the process on display prior to the plantings.
A shou sugi ban cedar boardwalk acts as an induced edge effect, a structural boundary between two habitats. It provides a fire resistant material palette during the brush fire and seals the natural fibers preventing rot and insects during regrowth. The structural contour of the boardwalk meeting the ground plane provides a choke point to extinguish the fire. The dark luminous sheen of the wood is balanced aside the light filigree of plantings.
The walk separates an untouched exterior edge of grasses and an interior of ashes. As the interior regrows, the fragrance of charred cedar planks remains as a continuous path wrapping between the two plantings. A pocket in the garden provides a ledge to sit and pause along the boardwalk, feet sweeping just above the surface as to not disturb the growth, absorbing the immediate aromatic sensorial experience and slow renewal of plantings. As a result, the garden is a proposal of connecting built and ecosystems into productive rather than destructive natures.
Top 20 entry for the New Gardens of the 15th International Garden Festival in Quebec, Canada.
Originally designed for The Lunch Room.
30” - $249.00
48” - $399.00
© 2013 Synecdoche Design Studio LLC
The Lunch Room | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 2013 | Design+Build
Designed as a second iteration of the culinary adventures of The Lunch Room, the space borrowed design motives from the operations of the start-up food cart. The long continuous counter has variations in detailing for the bakery, point-of-sale and counter service. The open kitchen allows interaction throughout the meal, critical for the charismatic owners to always be engaging with their customers.
Synecdoche designed and fabricated all the custom features of the space. The soffits within the space help define separate zones of dining and service within the cozy space. The typical bamboo skewers are dipped in paint and as aggregate of small details lose their individual appearance and becomes one large installation. Custom cut cement board gives definition and durability to the walls, hinting at the restaurant’s signature yellow color within the reveal joint. A large banquet buffers sound and provides flexible seating with moving tables custom welded with the same detailing as the counter.
location: ann arbor, michigan, u.s.a.
role: design + build
additional credits: joe donelko, jeff gearhart, aaron willette, jason prather, john hilmes
robertson + morrison hvac
innovative drywall services
burt forest products
alro metals plus
Kerrytown’s newest restaurant, The Lunch Room—whose name you’ll recognize from its former iteration at Mark’s Carts—is set to open its doors on Tuesday. I had a chance to visit the restaurant last night for a preview and talk with proprietors Joel Panozzo and Phillis Engelbert.
The Big Top
2013 Flat Lot Competition - Semi-Finalist - Exhibition: Flint Art Walk, April 14, 2013
Like the public pool, Big Top is a collector of individual summer adventures in public space. Conceived as a tensile double skin mesh woven from ¾” swimming pool rope the canopy provides a shaded flat lot and sprawling Big Top. Vertically scaffolds surrounding existing light fixtures and base footings at three parking space clusters define the mesh anchor points. Digital modeling and computational physics engines applied the tensile weaving forces on the mesh deriving the parabolic canopy. The inverted pitched canopies into these courtyard stages allow aerial access for lounging and camaraderie. The rope mesh extends the full North-South length of flat lot along Saginaw with aims to extend the width of the street.
For spectators of summer events the canopy gives a birds-eye view from above or a shaded retreat below. When the sun goes down and the summer nights start an array of activated buoys affixed to the rope float above the lot to define space through light and sound. Small solar panels on the buoys nodes provide power to light the stages during evening events and wirelessly project sound through the lot to large crowds. When the summer days end and the Big Top comes down what will happen to the nearly ten miles of rope? We’d like to keep the summer fun going and cut and cap the rope into 6,500 jump ropes for the Flint community.
Crease, Fold, Pour: Advancing Flexible Formwork with Digital Fabrication and Origami Folding -
A (mock) documentary about the making of Maciej Kacynski’s architectural research project as part of the 2012 Research Through Making grant at the University of Michigan Taubman College.
Directed by: Adam Smith, Maciej Kacynski
Written by: Adam Smith, Oona O’leary, Maciej Kaczynski
Edited by: Adam Smith
Director of Photography: Adam Smith
Full credits on vimeo
Renovation of a 1950’s ranch house from a compartmentalized spatial arrangement into a modern open plan.
Our proposal has been selected for Flint Free City Art Festival! See you this summer!
The Lunch Room signs deal to open vegan restaurant in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown to be designed by Synecdoche.
Sisal Sukkah yields a static framework and loose material pallet which manifests itself into a interwoven construct deployed through the parameters of the traditional sukkah. A tensile weave of the sisal fiber transforms the limp cording into a dynamic textile. Architecturally programmed through modeling software the weave provides various densities amongst its surface and volume for gathering, shading, and viewing. The structure becomes a loom for compounding tensile fibers into a thick screen providing shelter and shade from elements during the Sukkot meal.
Seven miles of sisal twine aggregate into the a dense single Sukkah. Looping the twine through framing hardware establishes a web of fibers constructing the walls. Volumes of thick weave transform the space from a defined wall to a place which occupies the sukkah itself, no longer solely a shelter but also a consuming effect of thousands of strands of articulated twine transformed to a filigree. The work distorts when sisal begins looping through itself, pulling the straight tensile lines of rope to contort into voids. The assemblage resists the strict pattern of a weave in a loom while retaining porous variation for subtle effect through shadows, lights and view into an inhabitable texture.
Short film made for Supermanoeuvre and Matter Design Studio to show their robotic rod bending for the Venice Beinnale.
Client: Australian Institute of Architects
Project Leads: Supermanoeuvre (Dave Pigram and Iain Maxwell) in collaboration with Matter Design Studio (Wes Mcgee)
Fabrication team: Ben Hagenhofer, James “Whit” Self, Lauren Vasey
Fabricated at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Music: “Note Drop” by Broke For Free (brokeforfree.com/)
Film produced for Robert Yuen’s Master of Science in Digital Technologies at the University of Michigan Taubman College
Castable and malleable materials (e.g. concrete, plaster, rockite and etc..) deserve a renewed consideration in architectural design due to their connection historically to the craftsman role and embodiment of tacit knowledge that extends beyond what is explicitly gained to contemporary digital fabrication and design. Castable material in the contemporary discourse of architecture has faded mainly in response to two conditions, one to the rise of digital fabrication, the usability and feasibility of standardized sheet material such as plywood boards. Second is the incapacity for architecture to engage inexact materials to be integrated in the architectural design process. This project seeks bring castable and malleable materials back into the discourse of architecture with the advent of recent affordable and the re-purposing of specific technologies to explore 3D vision and scanning to capture the latent potential of an unpredictable means of generating form.
Master of Science in Architecture: Digital Technologies by Robert Yuen
Design Research Project
Not consequently a wal-mart sits adjacent to the site which has collected the residual consumer goods of the suburban culture. For years the region has been building it’s own foundation for a tabula rasa, for a landscape project. In the course of ten years since remediation decomposition has altered the site. As our consumer desires grow stronger our landfills also grow larger. In the mid-west there are nearly seventy five landfills nearing capacity. While simple solutions for remediation have been developed, post cap and greening these sites lay dormant as they shift, decompose, and settle through time.
Lyon township acquired user rights to the republic waste remediated landscape. An understated and uninformed reaction by the community was to utilize the site for ubiquitous neighborhood programming; benches, baseball fields, playground structures, and picnic areas. While the programming on top of the cap remained static during the first ten years of acquisition, the waste below continued to dissolve and compact ever changing and moving, a dynamic landscape.
While engineering has imagined infrastructure able to anticipate the changing nature of the contained waste, little opportunity has emerged to image new landscapes of possible futures as eccentric, unproportional and dynamic as the waste below them. Coupling relevant issues of designing through dynamic landscapes and engaging the remediation process, unexpected narratives and scenarios emerge. Designing through projection rather than the present.
As the land slopes and shifts low points wander through the field of monitoring caps. Using the weight of water and the shedding topography of the landscape, the proposal concentrates water to pools which over time create a weight large enough to amplify focused pressure to the compacting garbage. In the end the landscape finishes as a large crater filled with water. The residual berms which retained the waste erode into the lake mixing to a fully remediated marshland.
The transforming terrain also leads to adjusting top soil. As the base decomposes, the water swales and the ground erodes. Building interventions atop such a charismatic territory is reduced down to the simple issue that rigid bodies do not like moving foundations. Instead the work imagines a series of follies; initially nestled within the ground bridging, connecting and grounded. As the earth adjusts to the happenings underneath it wears away from the structure slowly exposing more while reducing its footprint.
Spotted through the landscape are a series of regulation caps. These caps monitor the methane levels being released from the decomposing waste. Currently a $30,000 budget is allocated to the mowing of a landfill. Why? because these caps need to be visible at a distance for safety and maintenance purposes. A small area surrounding each monitoring cap is all that is required to be manicured, this can be done with the mowing capabilities of a small heard of sheep. Tethered to each cap, the sheep graze the lawn providing the necessary radius of short grasses while greatly reducing budgetary constraints and maintenance efforts.
The means of extending our projections to the extreme allows a reach to the ends of reason and find emergent and revealing scenarios which would not have been discovered in the passive attention of resolving issues one by one. To resolve the post-landfill is to propose a projective landscape.
with William Liow