Closing the Gap: Information Models in Contemporary Design Practice


000-000 Jacket(10spine430).79.2Richard Garber, Scott Marble, Neil Meredith, Coren Sharples
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
7:00 p.m.
The Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue
This program was part of the 2008-09 program calendar. Click here for information about our current season.

In the last 25 years, the broad use of computer software has revolutionized the way architectural design proposals are generated and documented.  Much of this work has occurred in either visualization or formal speculation – largely academic concerns; or in conventional documentation and management – largely professional preoccupations. This separation, often articulated as one between theory and practice, becomes amplified between architects and those that build their design proposals – creating a gap between Modern vs Contemporary design.  Traditionally, this translation between architect and builder has invited breaks, or gaps, in what should be a continuous and interrelated process of design translation and building actualization.

Closing the Gap, a new issue of AD, brings together academics, architects, engineers, and construction managers each engaged in the use of BIMs, or Building Information Models, which synthesize advances in design computing with better construction management, in the actualization, from design to construction, of complex building projects.  Richard Garber, Coren Sharples, Dennis Shelden, and Scott Marble, contributors to the issue, will discuss advances in these technologies and their applications in a number of built projects.

Richard Garber is an assistant professor at the New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA), where he teaches design studios and directs the school’s FABLAB. His work involves the use of computer simulation and computer numerically controlled (CNC) hardware in the generation of innovative design, construction, and assembly solutions. In 2007 his practice, GRO Architects, won the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s re:Construction Competition. The resulting work, Best Pedestrian Route, was fabricated at NJSOA’s FABLAB and was installed at the corner of Broadway and John Street in Lower Manhattan. In 2008 GRO won an AIA Merit Award and a New York Designs Award from the Architectural League of New York for these efforts. He was also the ‘Emerging Architect’ Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College in 2007, with Nicole Robertson. He was previously a project manager at SHoP Architects and at Greg Lynn FORM. He holds architecture degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University.

Neil Meredith is a former Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Michigan where he operated the school’s Digital Fabrication Lab and taught in the areas of Design, Construction, and Fabrication. He holds an M.Arch degree from the University of Michigan and is the founder of the design and fabrication office Sheet. Current research in experimental ceramic building materials undertaken at the European Ceramic Workcentre (EKWC) in The Netherlands is available in a recent publication titled Loose Fit. He is currently located in New York working as a parametric modeling consultant for Gehry Technologies.

Coren Sharples is a founding partner of SHoP Architects and SHoP Construction Services. SHoP’s work has won numerous awards, has been published and exhibited globally, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Current projects include several multifamily residential buildings in and around New York City, including the LEED’s certified Garden Street Lofts in Hoboken, New Jersey; the East River Waterfront Park in Lower Manhattan; and a new campus for Google in Mountain View, California. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland’s College of Business and Social Science (1987), and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Marble Fairbanks is an architecture, design, and research office founded in 1990 by Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks. Over the past years, Marble Fairbanks has received many local, national, and international design awards including an Art Commission of New York City Award for Excellence in Design, AIA awards, American Architecture Awards, a PA Award, an ID Award, and an ar+d Award for Emerging Architecture from Architecture Review magazine. In 2004 Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks were the Charles and Ray Eames Lecturers at the University of Michigan, and the book Marble Fairbanks:Bootstrapping, was published on the occasion of that lecture.  Scott Marble teaches at the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University where he directs the Avery Digital Fabrication Research Lab.

Organized by The Architectural League; co-sponsored by Urban Center Books.