October 16, 2007
by: Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: Inter Operate: Experiments in Digital Fabrication
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.09.07
Speakers: Bradley Samuels & Basar Girit — Situ Studio
Organizers: AIANY Technology Committee
Sponsors: ABC Imaging

CitySol -- Situ Studio

This year’s pavilion for 2007 CitySol. Benches and counter surfaces are made with bamboo plywood that adapt to the same structural system, and eco-friendly cornstarch plastic panels provide shade.

Keith Sirchio, courtesy Situ Studio

Founded in 2005 while the partners were studying architecture at The Cooper Union, Situ Studio has established a reputation for its expertise in the field of digital fabrication and has explored these technologies across a range of disciplines in collaboration with geologists, artists, biologists, engineers, and architects.

Partners Bradley Samuels and Basar Girit discussed the role that CNC (computer numerical control) and rapid prototyping technologies play throughout their projects — from models and prototypes to full-scale building components and installations. Situ Studio works between architects and fabricators (clients include Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Eisenman Architects, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro), and Samuels explained that their training in architecture helps in this role. Using Rhino as a tool for basic modeling and more complex scientific software for precise calculations, Situ Studio is able to create intricate, organic forms.

One example of how design, research, and fabrication results in a built project is this summer’s pavilion for the CitySol 2007 green arts and energy festival at Stuyvesant Cove Park, the second consecutive summer Situ Studio has contributed an installation. The pavilion structure was built of lightweight CNC cut plywood pieces and was designed to be collapsible in segments and easily deployed again in any shape and size. A flexible connection system allows any two pieces of plywood to be notched together at any point, held in place with a flexible tie-strap connection. Plastic cornstarch sheeting was donated by Alco (developed by Cereplast), and Situ Studio incorporated the material by attaching scale-like squares of it to portions of the interior structure, providing shelter for occupants.

Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA, is a designer with TEK Architects and Director of Forward, a publication of AIA’s National Associates Committee.


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