Faculty: Laura Garofalo
ARC 606 – Graduate Studio
Students: Adam Feit, Joseph Piwowarski
This studio in the Environmental Practices Graduate Research Group asks students to see the challenges posed by taking high density urban housing off the grid as generative of new modes of domesticity. The studio addresses how resource management and deployment practices impact where and how we live. It relies on the assumption that disconnection from any of the resource grids, impacts a building’s spatial, programmatic, tectonic, and ecological relationships with both its occupants and the ambient and physical environment. In response, the design output addresses scarcity and seeks alternative sources of abundance.
In particular, the ecological and infrastructural challenges facing New York City are explored as opportunities for alternative domestic programs and environmental systems. The semester long project will develop a housing prototype that is off the grid while on the grid. The unit and or its aggregation will supply its own power, water and waste management, but it will be integrated into the city’s transportation, food, and culture networks. Our reliance on a manmade climate defined through technologies like electricity and air conditioning, has been said to dismiss architecture’s role as creator of living environments through physical and material boundaries. While foregrounding the age old goal of creating a thermostable condition for human habitation, an opportunistic architecture takes form to continue to supply basic needs of urban dwellers. This is an architecture that asks its users to alter their habits while it develops explicit tectonic expressions of its relation to natural and artificial systems of energy, waste and water, and transportation.
1 Reiner Banham, The Architecture of the Well Tempered Environment (1969).