Pop Up Playhouse proposes a prototype for play to reactivate abandoned sites as places to learn and interact with the architecture of the city.
Fabricated out of durable panels made from 100% post-industrial wood and plastic waste, the waterproof structure is easy to cut and assemble. Simply pick out the stencil, pop out the panels, line them up, connect the openings, and inhabit.
Inspired by the pages of a pop up story book… each panel contains a life sized profile of a historic housing style significant to the city’s past. From the austere-fronted Federal Style to the ginger-breaded Shingle Style, the stylized panels can be arranged in any order to equip an array of connector play spaces. Varying from a ground level tunnel to an elevated look out, these in-between play spaces enable users to inhabit history… literally: by climbing through its portals and peering through its apertures.
David Cole founding partner of Building Trust international said, “The layered facades of Pop Up Playhouse peeled apart to create pockets for interaction and play was in a way a mini representation of the city with a clear message that both present, past and future generations should be engaged with to make our cities work better for everyone...it also looks pretty fun!”
Adaptable in both size and configuration, Pop Up Playhouse can be tailored for sites of any size. Simply reduce the number of panels to create a more space efficient design, or increase the count to maximize the number of connector play spaces within.
While playhouse prototypes can pop up in any one of the city’s 40,000 vacant lots, the first installation is proposed for the abandoned grounds of the oldest surviving school building in Philadelphia- the Mifflin School. Connecting children to the history of their city, the playhouse would celebrate a public elementary school which served immigrant populations until 1919.
Historical periods that exemplify the architecture of Philadelphia become the jumping off point for its stylized panels, connecting programs which range from canopied seating to sandboxes and monkey bars. Bring history back to life while revitalizing underused spaces in the city with Pop Up Playhouse… a prototype for learning and play in Philadelphia!
Credit: Building Trust International
Site: Philadelphia, PA
Focusing on the power of participatory design + mindfulness to support mental health in the classroom, Scharc Studio Impact : Wrkshp partnered with Newark Yoga Movement, to design and build The Hammock Room at the Sussex Avenue Renew School. Impact fellows designed and fabricated a set of interactive partitions to help divide an open plan classroom into activity zones for yoga, art-therapy, and writing, to help students reduce stress, develop relaxation and breathing skills, and unleash creativity through art and writing.
The partitions serve as active interfaces, helping to engage the students as participatory learning tools within the classroom. Our design features a modular system which abstracts yoga positions into three-dimensional laser-cut textile patterns, which teach students how to position their bodies to control their breath. Partitions contain storage compartments and integrated signage to encourage students to physically interact and play with the textiles themselves. Design is considered an active participant (rather than a passive backdrop) in the classroom; engaging, enabling, and empowering the activities within.
Impact : Wrkshp Director and Project Lead: Irina Schneid, AIA
Visual Impact Coordinator: Naz Ertugrul
PRIVATE CHOICES PUBLIC SPACES
PCPS was a participatory architectural installation that questioned how design could enable dialogue in contested public spaces. Visitors were encouraged to share their voice and contribute to the discussion at a series of events for the ArchiteXX-led design action for the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. Attendant programs included lecture panel and discussion, film screening, design charette, and MiXX meeting.
The installation comprised a curtain track suspending 594 postcards rotated on 66 dowels. Creating a private space within the public realm of the gallery, each postcard contained a story, message, call for action, or graphic responding to a series of prompts regarding the role of design in providing safe access to reproductive care.
In Collaboration With: ArchiteXX
Photo Credit: Ashley Simone
Location: Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, New York, NY
Of the 350 million magazines that are published each year, a meager 20% are recycled. PaperWall looks to intervene within the paper waste cycle, offering an alternative destination for 30,000 magazines this summer. Initiating the recycling process, PaperWall proposes a hands-on structure which uses stacks of magazines as the building blocks of its walls.Each wall tapers in thickness and height, activating various forms of inhabitation within. From a 3’-0” perch to a 10’-0” enclosure, the walls transform continuously along their length, providing gathering spaces, private retreats, and seating alcoves which are carved out of the magazines which comprise them.
Structurally, PaperWall consists of two loadbearing walls, each made of 15,000 magazines formed into modular bundles. The bundles are held together with zipties, drilled, and threaded onto vertical support pipes. Reclaimed panels are scattered throughout the bundles, providing lateral support for the walls within as well as waterproofing at the top of each magazine stack. In the center of the pavilion, vertical members are tied together by aircraft cable to create a canopy made of laminated magazine louvers. This enables simultaneous enclosure from the summer sun and exposure to views beyond. Accessory seating is provided by loose bundles scattered between pavilion walls.
By utilizing magazines as the building block of its structure, PaperWall not only mitigates the paper waste landfill burden, but also advocates for city-wide literacy. PaperWall would looks to partner with local schools, shelters, and community centers, to provide a venue for hosting literary programs, reading groups, and cultural events throughout the summer. As part of the summer 2015 programming, visitors will be encouraged to bring their own magazines to the site- sparking a city wide magazine swap within the pavilion walls, activating Governor’s Island as a place for learning for all.
In Collaboration With: RAW
Location: Governor's Island, New York, NY
NL + NY
The design for the Nanette Lepore flagship store challenges traditional modes of fashion display translating conventional garment racks into custom lit alcoves suspended from the ceiling. Completed in 2009, the project entailed the creation of a dramatic wall system to act as a multi-functional centerpiece transforming from staircase-to seating platform-to clothing display-to lighting installation.
In collaboration with: Lepore Design
Location: New York, NY
Rohr Chabad House
Located in the heart of Columbia University, Rohr Chabad House serves as an academic, cultural, and social hub for Jewish life on campus. Looking to renovate their Upper West Side brownstone, the Chabad house was eager to preserve and enhance the historic details of their student center while opening up the floorplan to allow natural light, sightlines, and activities to flow within the space.
Location; New York, NY
Year: 2014, in process
Piecelines attempts to engage Derrida's notion of the specter as it enables a re-conceptualization of Belfast's Piece Line fragments. Addressing the untimeliness of the spectral moment, the project sets in tension the historical grids of Catholic and Protestant enclaves which serve as reminders of the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
Mapping the relative paranoia on either side of a Piece Line fragrment, the resultant gradient was translated into a tectonic system of grid overwriting. The fragment transformed from a wall to a series of overlapping planes, shifting away from legibility. Occupying a space of transformation between the grids, the mapping makes manifest a series of interstitial presents-each haunted by the last; ultimately disabling a linear reading of time.
In collaboration with: Eric Suntup
Location: Belfast, Ireland
Armadillo is a playmat prototype designed to stimulate various exploration strategies in children helping them to build their spatial reasoning skills. The playmat provides an open environment in which the child gets to be the author of his or her play narrative. Its form is a 38-celled collapsoid, but at the same time could be a crocodile, a castle, a chair, or a treasure chest for your favorite toys.
Designed to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play, and has proven to stimulate the following exploration strategies:
+Color Recognition and Pattern Finding
+Storing and Locating
+Interacting and Social Play
+Resting and Seating
Armadillo is a flexible tool that catalyzes invention, ideation, and exploration, contrary to what a rigid play environment would do. It is a prototype with modifiable rules that promotes original ideas, creation of new games, creation of stories, problem solving, and construction of something distinctive out of common shapes and forms.
Armadillo gives children the opportunity to learn through active play and the tools to become creative innovators in the future.
Impact : Wrkshp Director and Project Lead: Irina Schneid, AIA
Branching Out sets out to transform the tree lined context of the
Pushkinsky Cinema into an interwoven structural façade system in hopes of
reactivating the site as a critical hinge between culture and nature within the
city. Addressing the historic location
of the project as part of the thriving boulevard greenbelt, the proposal
attempts to return the site back to its natural context through a trifold
Initially, Branching Out creates an inhabitable roof as an
artificial landscape within the project. The new elevated topography
revitalizes the roof as a dynamic hub of activity at a vantage point
overlooking the city.
The proposal translates the iterative pattern of cascading trees
into a rhythmic façade of structural members which support a new circulation system to wrap around the
existing exterior of the building. In doing so, the additional circulation
comprised of walkways
and stairs transform the original structure into a gazing device for watching
the city. Much like the cinema
facilitates the viewing of moving pictures internally within its theater halls, Branching Out comes a full scale viewing platform enabling sprawling
lookouts onto the urban fabric.
A digitally printed birch moiré pattern captures the tree lined panorama within the two-dimensional plane of the
entrance facade; further reflecting the branching system onto itself to create
a layering of forested views. The
experience of walking along the arboreal structure begins to mirror that of
being amidst a forest of echoing trees; a path on which one’s pace slows down
and speeds up with the bustling activity of the city.
Location: Moscow, Russia
STOREY:Store personal goods + Tell your spatial story
A self-deployable unit, [storey] empowers children to become authors of the spaces they inhabit by allowing them to curate a common setting – lunchtime – and to re-design the act and space of eating.
The user will open [storey], disguised as a textbook, to find tools such as a magnifying glass (with a book reading/pathfinding light), a surface scratcher “pen”, earplugs, wayfinding map, (among others). A strategically designed section contains place setting for their lunch + condiments to host a pret-a-porter eating experience.
Upon meal completion [storey] can be locked up for safety and carried in the user’s arms or in their backpack without appearing conspicuous. Book and keys can be given to a close accomplice for two or more users to share their [storey]s.
This project aims to encourage collective territorialization (and perhaps privatization) of spaces in schools by giving children the functional and emotional stability to breakaway from the uniform and preset scripts of eating lunch as a public, synchronized, and place-specific experience.
2015 Impact : Wrkshp Fellow: Reina Imagawa
Impact : Wrkshp Director and Project Lead: Irina Schneid, AIA
Exploring the potential of a digital EPS foam cutter to drive the visualization and production of inhabitable space, this project examines the relationship between various construction processes and their ability to program specific modes of spatial experience.
The design for the G.W. Harley Mask Gallery extension was derived from a rotational extrusion of the existing apertures of the Peabody Museum facade. Generating a second skin and programming the internal extrusions which connect the two facades, the gallery enables occupants to inhabit the mask and use it as a gazing device for viewing the external site.
Location: Boston, MA
Sukkah: (Booth)-from sakak: to
weave together or to screen. Interweave
is a playful response to traditional sukkah design, weaving together prescribed
construction guidelines with an imaginative surface system drawn from
traditional basket weaving techniques. Integrating the walls, roof, and table, Interweave contains and screens the
Sukkah visitors much like a basket collects and shelters the harvest. Employing
bamboo rods and non-toxic laminate panels, the eco-friendly structure veils the
conventional sukkah form with a continuous curved surface which spans its walls
Principally composed of renewable
resources, the innovative ring laminate system enables easy assemblage and
dismantling of the sukkah, while securing the lashing of bamboo members to its
interwoven surface structure. The
bamboo rods climb down the sides of the sukkah to flank its structure, serving
as privacy screens while still enabling free flowing passage within. Seemingly rooted in the ground, the prefabricated system of
panels is weighed down by a series of sand filled hollow rings, rising up to sculpt
the body of the sukkah while entwining its screened structure in one continuous
swoop. Suspended from the roof, the communal dining
table which serves as the central hearth of the booth hangs down to
strategically shape the bamboo assembly into place while echoing harvest fruit
which serve to decorate traditional sukkah designs.
Interweave re-imagines the festival’s
long-established roots, traditions, and design constraints, integrating
responsible material resources within an innovative surface system to construct
a dynamic space of interaction.
In collaboration with: Aaron Kazam
Location: New York, NY
mantras have revolutionized New York City's food movement like "farm-to-table"
cuisine. Farmers markets, community agriculture shares, food co-ops and
boutique eateries all claim to bridge the gap between the organic grower and
the city dweller, but few consumers know how far away that local farm truly is;
how many miles their produce travelled from seed-to-stall, and how large the
system's effective carbon footprint is.
EAsT River challenges the city's current food production and
distribution strategies, proposing instead a local agriculture spine to run
along the East River Esplanade.
the latest movements in sustainable food sourcing, the project attempts to
localize the harvesting, growth, and delivery of produce by supplanting unused
waterfront space with community gardens to run along the river. Using a trifold
strategy, EAsT River attempts to activate the
esplanade as a vital core of food production in the city.
the design scheme proposes to relocate the city's growers markets and CSA shares
onto the esplanade, localizing them on the site of the urban produce gardens.
By centralizing the food growth and distribution processes on one site, the
East River takes on an active role in showcasing and educating the community
about the self-sustaining production cycle from field-to-fork.
the project enables the creation of multiple scales of urban farming, ranging from
micro container gardening, to raised bed and hydroponic systems, to vertical
farming initiatives. Varying the scale of production enables local farmers to
cater their growing strategies based on specific crops while maximizing the
potential of underutilized urban growing surfaces including bridge overpasses, abandoned
infrastructure and reclaimed urban refuse.
the project attempts to foster outreach and advance food justice by connecting
local growers with food banks, soup kitchens, and community pantries. Locating
educational food labs, delivery bike share systems, and produce drives side by
side with markets and co-op shares, EAsT River hopes to facilitate farm-to-city
partnerships, addressing local hunger while eliminating food waste.
the project strives to actuate the waterfront as a dynamic visual food web,
enabling urban growers to maintain the germination, generation, and celebration
of their local food scene.
Location: New York, NY
The definition of the horizon as ‘an outer limit’ presupposes that the fold acts as a terminus; subservient to its “folded” planes. It serves as both the subject of and termination to the viewer’s gaze
We attempt to reconstitute the horizon from its current role as an inactive boundary to one as a proactive generator of space. Rather than serve as a vanishing point, the vertical horizon begins to generate new spatial readings; to create a narrative with its own logic regarding conventional systems of sequence and scale. If we consider currently inaccessible spatial conditions (such as the back side of a horizon) can the fold allow us to turn the corner? Can the seam serve as a threshold to what lies behind the perspectival gaze?
Machina Tabula Promineo:[the grid projection instrument]
Designed to enable its viewer to imagine the street perspective denied by conventional city maps, the Machina tabula promineo employs a tri-fold drawing seam suspended above the Manhattan grid to establish a measuring device for the vanishing point of each street projection.
As grid lines extend from their planar axis to structurally support each hovering perspective, the viewer is invited to peer through the central urban void and witness building facades dissipate into a vertical horizon.
Machina Orbis Volumen: [the orbit-fold instrument]
Intended to be read as a cyclical narrative rotating around a central vertical horizon, the Machina orbis volumen reconstitutes each folded seam as a structural spoke for turning the corners of the city. Enabling a privileged behind-the-horizon view of each Manhattan skyline, the reading instrument assumes a continuous orbit, suggesting the urban narrative is contingent on its viewer’s reading of the city, always in the process of becoming.
Measuring both the dimension of the city and its extension towards the earth’s core, the Machina dimensia infinitas combines the utility of a radial scale with the implied projection of a manifold drawing. Displacing its vertical horizon as a structural seam for gauging Manhattan’s extension beyond its urban context, the city wavers in midair, enabling a zoomed out view of its skyline and the global scope of its urban activity.
Machina Retrosinas: [the reverse-fold instrument]
Employing a bi-fold mechanism for enabling its viewer to envision two vanishing points at once, the Machina retrosinas splits the vertical horizon along two seams which project out from the optical origin. Ascending the inner folds of the section drawing, the instrument’s structural ribs materialize the drawing’s folds, suggesting an infinite extension beyond the scope of the paper. Reconstructed along the back of the outer vanishing point, the instrument implies a projected reality; one derived from, yet distorting, the perceived frontal view.
In collaboration with: Matthew Luck
Location: New York, NY
Composed out of four letters dedicated to keeping Jewish memory alive. Zayin-Kaf-Vav-Reish,
these letters combine to form the shell of a memorial vessel which encloses an
eternal flame surrounded by an uninhabitable void. As
light seeps out from within the vessel, an infinite play of shadows spills onto
the ground plane as a marker of chaos sheathed in hope.
Engraved with 20,000
names of Jewish havens which enabled escape, refuge, and spiritual preservation
for victims of the Holocaust, wooden panels radiate from the boardwalk and onto
the memorial forming a ‘field of resistance.’ This system of panels rises up to
sculpt the body of the vessel and its surrounding roofscape in one continuous
An overlook platform provides an
elevated view of the site, revealing a railroad track hidden below its surface.
Flanked by narrative panels, these ‘remembrance rails’ provide a structural
path for reflection, a foundation for hope amidst ineffable loss.
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
The mantra of sustainability attempts to break frame of
linear thought- all actions have immediate consequences. Text is a system of syntax with a certain legibility, which
we attempted to pollute in order to reveal those immediate ecological consequences
CON:TEXT App intends to raise awareness about the ecological impact of urban production within the city of Boston by activating the esplanade as a navigational device for collecting point source pollutants in the form of air, land, and water toxins along the Charles River. Reading the toxin source data as a 'text' to be inserted into the narrative of an existing walking tour, the app 'pollutes' the narrative with the appropriated data, enabling its user to scroll, click, write, and read its inherent text. CON:TEXT seeks to enable existing spaces to maintain local identity while creating new modes of engagement within their global context.