Beta-fields exist parallel to, and provide counterpoints for, traditional forms of practice.
Occupying the position between inception and completion, beta suggests the possibility of evolution and the expectation of change with the processes and practices of design. Fields are both formations and phenomena, they are collections bound by affinities, intensities, qualities or logic.
Beta-field is an interdisciplinary design/research office with a multimodal approach to practice. Our work includes buildings, landscapes, environments, installations, exhibitions, texts, design workshops and research projects. With backgrounds in architecture, industrial design, landscape architecture, and exhibition design, along with experience working as researchers, designers, and educators, we developed a view of design practice that operates through various modes of inquiry, development, and production. We focus not only on the built environment, but also on the effects of design on knowledge, technology and culture.
Leighton Beaman | CV
Leighton currently teaches at the University of Virginia where he is an Assistant Professor in Architecture and is a Design and Technology Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. His research and writing focus on the history, discourse, and speculative future of technology in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and its implications for design culture, environmental responsibility, and socially conscious design practices.
Leighton has been named a MacDowell Fellow, an American Institute of Architects Emerging Practitioner, and a University of Virginia Teaching Fellow in Architecture. Prior to his appointment at the University of Virginia, he was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas in Austin, and has taught at Harvard University, the Rhode Island School of Design, North Carolina State University, Northeastern University, and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.
In addition to teaching, Leighton is a writer for Architectural Record focusing on design technologies and techno-centric design practices. He has contributed articles and chapters to a number of publications including, Traces & Trajectories, Innovations in Landscape Architecture, Cite, Int|AR and Issue. Leighton is also an associate editor for II Journal and is currently working on a design manual for housing in rural Kenya and Rwanda.
He is also a Co-founding Principal at GA Collaborative, a design-oriented non-profit organization focused on the design and strategic implementation of culturally specific architecture, landscape, urban design and planning projects, as well as research and education. GA Collaborative currently has projects in Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, and Nicaragua, as well as ongoing research projects in the US.
Leighton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Harvard University.
Zaneta Hong | CV
Zaneta Hong is currently an Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, where she teaches courses in information-based digital practices and materials systems and technology.
Prior to her current appointment, Zaneta was a Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Lead Faculty in Landscape Architecture for the Harvard Career Discovery Program, and the 2013-14 recipient of the Daniel Urban Kiley Teaching Fellowship. During her years at Harvard, Zaneta was awarded the Certificate of Teaching Excellence by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 and was the editor for Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research. Published and exhibited in 2015-16, Platform 8 was awarded one of the winners for the American Institute of Graphic Arts Top 50 Books for 2015.
In addition, Zaneta has worked with a number of academic material collections including the Harvard GSD Materials Collection as a materials researcher, and the University of Texas in Austin Materials Lab as the Materials Lab Curator, where during her time, she initiated, designed and developed the online materials database along with the Advanced Materials Research Lab and Gallery.
Her research has appeared in numerous publications including Living Systems: Innovative Materials & Technologies for Landscape Architecture, Material Design: Information Architecture by Materiality, Innovations in Landscape Architecture, Journal of Landscape Architecture, and Landscape Architecture Magazine.
Zaneta is also a Design Principal at GA Collaborative, a design-oriented non-profit organization focused on the design and strategic implementation of culturally specific architecture, landscape, urban design and planning projects, as well as research and education. GA Collaborative currently has projects in Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, and Nicaragua, as well as ongoing research projects in the US.
Current + Former Members:
Sarah Canepa | Kathrine Cannela | Ru Chen | Roderick Cruz | Thomas Gibbons | Qi Gui | Joshua Jow | Lawrence Lazarides | Gwen McGinn | Madeleine Iribarren | Ivy Pan | Andrew Spears | Foad Vahidi | Nicolas Wickersham | Phoebe White | Hao Wang | Iok Wong
All material is © Leighton Beaman, Zaneta Hong and beta-field, 2018, unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael Leighton Beaman, Zaneta Hong, and beta-field with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.