Emerging Voices 2014
Recorded: March 27, 2014
Running time: 42:19
Brooklyn-based SITU Studio was founded in 2005 by Basar Girit, Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, Wes Rozen, and Bradley Samuels while completing architecture degrees at The Cooper Union. With a commitment “to interrogating design ideas through physical and material experimentation at a wide range of scales,” SITU Studio is organized into three divisions: design studio, fabrication, and research.
In 2014, The Architectural League named SITU Studio an Emerging Voice. The annual Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. Each year, winners are invited to participate in the Emerging Voices lecture series.
In their lecture, the partners detail their interdisciplinary practice and the wide range of spatial issues that they explore through process-driven driven. With their workspace split evenly between a design studio and fabrication shop, the firm engages in material and spatial experimentation through collaborations that “seek new territory for the designer’s role in politics, science, society, and the environment.” These methods of working are demonstrated in two design projects presented, the Maker Space and Design Lab for the New York Hall of Science and the Heartwalk installation first placed in Times Square. Four research projects are also detailed: the Trezona Fossil Reconstruction with Professor Adam Maloof of Princeton University’s Geosciences Department; an inquiry into civilian causalities by drone strikes for the United Nations conducted in collaboration with Professor Eyal Weizman of Goldsmiths, University of London, and Forensic Architecture; an analysis and visual study of the impact of Air Burst White Phosphorus munitions in urban environments in collaboration with Forensic Architecture; and research into illegal housing conversions and the “hidden density” of New York City with proposals for new modular apartment typologies for MoMA’s Uneven Growth exhibit opening this fall.
All four partners met while students at The Cooper Union, where they received their B.Arch. degrees. Rozen has taught at The Cooper Union, Girit at Pratt, and the partners have served as critics and led seminars at a number of institutions. The firm has been awarded an Independent Projects Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, and a grant from the National Science Foundation. They were winners of the annual Times Square Valentine’s Day Heart Competition, Interior Design Best of Year in the Exhibition/Installation category, and the Award for Excellence in Design from the Art Commission of the City of New York.