Emerging Voices winner profile

Studio (n-1)

Studio (n-1) | IM Blanky, 2011. Image courtesy (n-1) with RAD

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Studio (n-1) won a 2012 award.

Founded in San Francisco by Carol Moukheiber and Christos Marcopoulos, Studio (n-1) works on projects traversing different scales and disciplines: from urban design and architecture, to diagnostic objects, and building materials.

The work presented here focuses on the domestic environment, showing a preoccupation with the subject’s perceptual experience of architecture. Explicit is the physiological engagement of the body, through physical/material and informational processes. In the built houses these effects are achieved through material and programmatic mediation. In the more recent conceptual houses this mediation becomes animated with responsive systems. With the incorporation of computational power into building matter, the ambition is broadened towards issues of physical, psychological, and environmental wellness and delight.

Through the integration of small computing, sensing and actuating devices into the physical realm, architecture is confronted with the possibility of becoming sentient—moving away from a static, inert state, into one capable of dynamic responses. These technologies offer the potential for sensitizing matter to respond and adapt to the inhabitant as well as to changing environmental conditions. The idea that an object can now think, act and communicate is opening up the potential for an architecture that is more closely aligned with the dynamics of living systems.

The domestic environment—through these technologies—is conceived as an ecosystem, a system of feedback loops, integrating the physiological complexities of an active subject with an ever changing outside.