Catalyst No. 04 | Now Available

Catalyst No. 04 edited by Zaneta Hong and including fonts from Leighton Beaman is now available for pre-order here. Catalyst, now in its fourth volume, is an interdisciplinary catalogue of ideas, methods, and discourses that have recently taken place at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. This cross section of design, research, and pedagogy is organized as a sequence of endeavors, from the practical to the speculative; and represents the breadth of applied and theoretical production embarked within the school’s degree programs and minors including architectural history, architecture, constructed environments, design thinking, global sustainability, historic preservation, landscape architecture, and urban planning & design. Catalyst IV catalogs the work of UVA School of Architecture’s faculty and students – celebrating the heterogeneity of multiple disciplines, multiple voices, and multiple approaches within design.

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Oyster Blocks published in IntAR Journal

Sub-aqueous Interventions for Non-Humans, an article about the Oyster Block Project is available in the Int|AR Journal Vol. 08

As more emphasis is placed on humanity’s impact on the Earth’s environments, and what might be called an acknowledgement and exploration of the ecological context of our activity, designers have become more involved in adaptive and interventional projects that are realized in larger, more interconnected ways. Increasingly, those projects are involving sub-aqueous environments and ecotones. These projects are expanding the notion of intervention and adaptation for designers to encompass water. The Oyster Blocks Project, which began as a collaboration between Beta-field and Allied Concrete, was born from this approach to design intervention. Our collaborative goal was to investigate how manufactured elements which play a role in these environments, might be reconsidered to be more specific in form, material, and construction; more responsive in relation to its intended intervention and more mindful of unintended effects.

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Zaneta Hong Selected as Catalyst IV Editor

Zaneta Hong was selected as the editor of the 4th volume of Catalyst which spans design education and research at  the University of Virginia. This volume will examine the relationship between academic levels and how course are organized within and outside of research frameworks. 

Catalyst IV will be published by ORO and is scheduled to be available in 2018. 

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"The Virtualized Practice" Published in Architectural Record

Virtual reality, or VR, has had many lives. Expensive and clunky, VR, whose goal is creating an immersive spatial experience from data, never gained a foothold outside of academia, the military, or specialized industries. However, in the past few years, VR has reemerged as a way of developing and exploring proposed environments by architects, builders, and clients. 

Leighton Beaman writes on the virtual turn for architectural practice in the Novemeber issue of Architectural Record.  Read more here.

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Material Vocabularies | ii Journal Vol. 4

ii Journal vol. 4: 'Material Vocabularies' is now available at Amazon. 

Editors: Gregory Marinic + Ziad Qureshi

Contemporary architects and designers manipulate materials into increasingly complex spatial conditions–engaging their inherent behaviors, performative capacities, cultural identities, and modular constraints as generative opportunities. Central to this emerging dialogue, a tendency to resist formal biases acknowledges the agency of materials in the conceptual design process. Smooth, rough, porous, or impermeable, materials expand the parameters of what we understand as surface in the production of interior architecture, spatial installations, furniture, fashion, and media.

This issue endeavors to reveal hybridized agencies, methodologies, and pedagogies in design education, scholarship, research, and practice revealing a global paradigm shift in the role of materials in the design process. ii invites trans-disciplinary research and collaborations that include, but are not limited to, architecture, interiors, industrial design, fashion, furniture, film, performance, sociology, cultural studies, and the arts.

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Autodesk's Live 360 | Review In Architecture Record

I recently reviewed AutoDesk's new VR cloud service LIVE. For the full review check out Architectural Record. Here is an excerpt:

Last week, Autodesk released Autodesk LIVE, a new cloud-based visualization service. It quickly transforms a building information model (BIM) into an interactive, rendered, 3D environment that can be navigated in real-time. Amar Hanspal, Autodesk Senior Vice President, describes LIVE as “dynamic visualization” because it allows designers, collaborators and clients to move through digital models as they choose and it creates these immersive experiences without long lead times.

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"Manufacturing Resonance" published in Innovations in Landscape Architecture

Manufacturing Resonance explores the productive discontinuities between representational systems in design and the exhaustively complex conditions they seek to affect. Through  human-nonhuman hybrid observers that attempt to manufacture greater observational scope and fidelity this chapter examines who and what is doing the observing and the implications on representational systems that operate beyond human access.

Innovations in Landscape Architecture is available here.

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"Reciprocal Artifacts" published in Computational Ecologies

"Computational Ecologies" The Exhibition  Exhibition Catalog of the 35th Annual Conference of the 35th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Reciprocal Artifacts an exhibition of on-going research from Beta-field + an exhibition installation which expands this initial research to anthropometric spatial datums, is featured in the book. 

Its available here.

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Platform 8 @ the Van Alen Institute

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Platform exhibition, now in its eighth year, presents a curated selection of work generated in the previous academic year at the school. Each year, a different GSD faculty member is chosen to edit the publication for the Platform exhibition.

Join us for a discussion with Zaneta Hong, lecturer in landscape architecture at Harvard GSD, and this year’s Platform faculty editor, for the launch of Platform 8: An Index of Design and Research. Professor Hong will be discussing the publication, as well as the production and exhibition of Platform 8.

For more information visit the Van Alen Institute Website

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Platform 8, Now Available

Platform 8 is now available for preorder from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

Platform 8 is designed as a companion to practice, education and research for architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and associated fields. This 8th edition surveys the people, products and discourse surrounding design culture at the GSD, providing a reference for future students, educators and practitioners. 

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The Landformation Catalogue Exhibition Publication is Now Available

The Landformation  Catalogue  Exhibition Publication is now available. The Landformation Catalogue is an ongoing research agenda that examines the generative methodologies of landform manipulation, revealing correlations between the histories, morphologies, assemblies, materials, and affordances of landscape practice. It analyzes the resulting spatial artifacts of humanity’s larger Earth transformation project.

The publication was made possible through a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

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The Digital Sketchbook

Apple’s first tablet, the Newton Message Pad, debuted in 1993. It came with a stylus. With the development of the iPhone and the capacitive touchscreen, the stylus was abandoned in favor of the finger. But the physical immediacy offered by this technology is offset by its inability to record precise and nuanced marks, making drawing on an iPad a tedious experience for many. 

For a run-down of drawing apps that make this experience a little less tedious for those who can't or don't want to drop $800 plus on a new iPad pro (plus the $99 apple pencil) check out the full article at the the Architectural Record website

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Preview Platform 8 on Facebook

Platform 8 will be available soon!  

 A preview is available now on the Platform 8 facebook page

Platform 8 chronicles a year of design education and research at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Platform 8 is designed as a companion to practice, education and research for architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and associated fields. This 8th edition surveys the people, products and discourse surrounding design culture at the GSD, providing a reference for future students, educators and practitioners. 

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Intermittency Studio Featured on

“Since the tools are often invented to do something else, it can take a novice or outsider to hack into the technology and come up with a new purpose,” 

Simone Solondz' article "Design for Flexibility" discusses the new Co-Works technology lab and the Advanced studio "Intermittency" lead by Leighton Beaman, visiting critic in Adaptive Reuse + Technology. We often think of adaptation and reuse as the long-term and relatively stable re-purposing of an existing, under-utilized space, towards a new agenda.  However our expectations, needs, and desires for change operate at various spatial and temporal scales, challenging this notion of adaptation and reuse. As the expectations, needs, and desires of the museum  have evolved into immersive experiences that go beyond architecture to incorporate interactive digital environments, way finding, and the transformation of existing spaces, the question temporality and extent present new opportunities to re-think the act of adaptation.   Working in tandem with the RISD Museum, this collaborative interdisciplinary studio explores how existing interior and exterior spaces can be redefined and delimited through graphical, material, and structural cues - reprogramming and re-imagining it’s parameters, program and identity.

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Transformations Studio featured in Harvard Magazine

“Architecture as Liberal Arts: Building an Undergraduate Design Program”

By Stephanie Garlock

Harvard Magazine | January - February 2015

Zaneta Hong was featured in the latest Harvard Magazine for her undergraduate architecture studio, the Transformations Studio.

“Design has no boundaries. It permeates through any kind of profession.”

New concentrators begin with “Transformations,” a studio that focuses on “the development of a common language”—of surface, frame, volume, and composite—according to Zaneta Hong, a lecturer in landscape architecture who taught the course for the past two years. Like Mulligan and Smith, she begins the semester with the simplest of transformations: folding a piece of paper in half. From there, students learn technical skills like digital modeling and laser cutting, and incorporate new materials like Plexiglas™ during the semester. What they never get in this first studio is an assignment to design what most people think of as architecture—a structure to be inhabited, on a site, with a specific use or “program.” Even the final project remains abstract, the only guideline being to “transform” paper, museum board, and Plexiglas™, within the constraints of a five-by-five-inch model. “The luxury to be able to focus solely on the design aspects is a good thing to do for a little while,” says Angie Jo ’16, who took Transformations last spring. “I never could have expected that you could get so much conversation, so much thought and creative iterations, out of such a small seed.”

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Zaneta Hong featured in Archinect Article

Harvard's new undergraduate design program teaches "Architecture as Liberal Art"

By Amelia Taylor-Hochberg


“The Graduate School of Design at Harvard has long been revered as one of the world's top institutions, but only recently has that pedigree been extended into an undergraduate architecture program. As recently as a few years ago, there were no architecture studio courses available to Harvard undergrads – those interested in architecture would concentrate in the department of History of Art and Architecture, a liberal arts program which isn't tailored towards the 5-year accredited BArch programs of similar undergraduate institutions. But for the first time in Fall of 2012, the GSD and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (where History of Art and Architecture is housed) opened a new, collaborative program for undergraduates. Students who enroll in this track of studies will take two studio courses in architecture, within the context of a wider-ranged liberal arts education – the foundational idea being that architectural design thinking is its own form of liberal-arts practice, and that the two fields will serve to complement and reinforce one another...”

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"Applied Geometries" ii Journal Vol. 03 Now Available

ii Journal Vol. 03: Applied Geometries is now available at Amazon.

Jonathon Anderson + Meg Jackson_editors

Geometry has always informed the process of design, serving as both as an inspiration and generator of space. More recently, the spatial design fields have increasingly engaged applied geometries in the analysis and optimization of the manufacturing and construction processes. As evidenced through the historical avant-garde interior architectures of Gaudi, Saarinen, and Fuller, the performative potential of geometry is nothing new, yet recent investigations have begun to challenge conventional practices by expanding the potential for complexity in design. Contemporary advances in the design process, largely due to digital technologies, continue to challenge the means and methods of architecture through emerging hybrids of advanced geometry.  While technological innovation has transformed the spatial and formal opportunities of designers, the unique context of architecture, as well as its humanist and social agencies, continues to challenge the fantastical potential of alternative geometries. It is within this relationship – at the interstitial space between architecture and geometry

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Interview with Lake Flato & NBBJ about Sefaira Energy Analysis

Following last year’s release of several tools, including an energy analysis plug-in for SketchUp, the five-year old software company Sefaira has released a revamped plug-in for Autodesk’s Revit.  San Antonio, Texas-based Lake/Flato Architects, which had already been using Sefaira for SketchUp and the web application, is now using the Revit plug-in. Like Lake/Flato, NBBJ also still relies on targeted analysis from consultants who use their own analytical tools, according to Sean Burke, digital practice leader in the Seattle office. But Sefaira works well with NBBJ’s “rapid conceptual design” process, he says.

 Read the entire article in  Architectural Recordrticle.

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