We are working with Joshua Fletcher of Terrace15, Eric Baldwin of Baldwin West, Yuval Sofer of YSbuilt on a micro housing project in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. Our working title is Loft|Haus, we are working with Peter Reppe of Solarc Engineering on Passive Haus certification and working towards a total of net zero energy use. We are very excited to be working on a project that has an intense interest in energy. thermal analysis sm This chart shows the temperature inside of one our the west facing units during the warmest months of the year. There are many systems we are working to integrate into the project and are thrilled with the enthusiasm of the whole team.

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canopy testing

So when we finally got to fabricating a canopy for a project we found that we seemingly had over engineered it. So thanks to Aaron Pambianco for consulting his trusty structural bible we came up with a testing solution as follows.

Load up one of the canopies with 580lbs of steel and test it’s deflection against an unloaded canopy, with only a 1/4″ of deflection we now don’t have to weld on 3″ flat bar to the top of the canopy.


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kateWe are helping Jason Stratton and Carrie Mashaney on their new Restaurant Aragona, next to the porte cochere of the Four Seasons Hotel and just across the street from the Seattle Art Museum at 96 Union. We are very excited about the new murals from Kate Jessup and chairs and lighting from Erich Grinder. Big ups to Dolan Construction for making it happen.

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a rain catchment system built into the entry of a residenceIMAG1652

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Shadow Space

Don’t forget to watch it full screen!

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Kohler Bellevue



shower display

shower display

We’ve been asked by Kohler to work with them to open a showroom in Bellevue Washington.  Here’s a couple of images of what it will look like.


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Barloon landscape wall and stair

Nice work Kevin!  UrbanWilds

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more office videos


thanks tony!

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Studio Grade

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office video

Tony in our office has produced a first draft of a video of our office we anxiously await the final cut.  thanks tony!


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Our new lamp

After many hours of contemplation and fabrication our table lamp is getting closer just a few more tweaks and we might be done!


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LA House

 a new house in LA (near the beach)  
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We’ve already had two open forums at the project room and it’s been a great ride.  Great conversations with great people including our regular collaborators, Cameron HallShahana DattaguptaIan Campbell, Eric Baldwin, Gundula Proksch and new ones as well, Fred MetzFlora GoldwaitheKen YocumAmy Lindemuth
We ended up drawing an abstract diagram of what the model might consist of, three pieces an adapter a processor and a sensor and we decided that if we could generate a series of these out of biological material and have them communicate like cells that we approach a way buildings can be a living system integrated with its wider context.
Looking forward to future sessions, including Shannon LoewAna Pinto da SilvaAnnie Han and Daniel MihalyoGreg Howes
The The Project Room is a public venue show up and let us know what you think?  


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NANO for next nature

(update 07 13 12  Nansense has been selected to be exhibited in the NANO supermarket which will be launched for the first time at the end of October in Eindhoven, afterwards it will travel to cities and festivals worldwide).

We recently did a project for Next Nature looking at what products might be produced using nano scaled fabrications for their traveling exhibit Nano Supermarket. We imagined two possibilities including a nano watch we called Nansense and synthetic seed called Delta Seed.  

We were joined by our fearless collaborators Ian Campbell, and Eric Baldwin
Product Pitch 

Extrapolating trends in the evolution of social networking, Nansense produces a cloud-to-body interface whereby the remote Perception Engine models relevant data for the enhanced individual perception of time. A rotating bezel on the Nansense dial  speeds up or slows down one’s perception of time passing, stretching or narrowing the attentive frame, and thus the subconscious experience of moment.
Technological Feasibility 
Through subliminal stimulation of the body’s limbic system, Nansense regulates neuronal signalling, while regulating feedback cycles to the Claustrum. Mimicking and amplifying signal pulses in the synaptic cleft, the remote driver fills in gaps in the prefrontal cortex packet stream, smoothing out peaks and valleys while inserting anticipatory data, for a richer personal experience of time. 
Implications on Everyday Life
Augmentation of sensory experience through time slowing can become addictive. The harried individual may choose too often the calming effect of slowed time between office tasks; or speeding up of the reference frame when say approached by the patrol officer having caught you in a speed trap. Despite the many risks, users claim a heightened empathic experience, deepening friendships, and for the frequent user group, effectively linking up individual intelligences into an incipient hive mind state. Nansense cloud-based simulation code runs in the background allowing anticipatory modelling to infer predictive behavioural cues while upgrading social response time and perceived cognitive bandwidth. The rotary dial pares the complexity of choice down to a single bodily variable, the subjective experience of time’s passage
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exspace interview

Our proposal for the 2012 expo in Yeosu Korea called bio[da]ta has been featured in this Polish website. Recently they contacted us and interviewed Josh in more detail about the project here:
Here is a copy of the full transcript of the interview as it gives some background about the project.

KR: Where did you get the idea of BIO(da)TA? What was your inspiration?
J: We have been researching and pursuing the idea of an architecture that comes closer to living and adaptive system for quite some time. Like biological examples that are brilliantly designed to be able to maintain and balance themselves as they manage complex ‘infrastructures’ like water, energy, air and waste efficiently and without toxic bi-products, buildings can be thought of in a similar fashion. Looking at the site for the 2012 expo in Yeosu, Korea, we found that although it is a very rich and beautiful setting, the bay itself had been very damaged by years of industrial impact from the surrounding area. We were very interested in a solution that might begin to repair natural ecology of the bay over time using panels on the underside of the walkway that are seeded with filtering bivalves and sea plants that would begin to remediate the pollution and destruction that occured and begin to re-establish the dredged seabottom. These walkways were also meant to move and respond to tidal conditions so it moves throughout the bay. We imagined that this would actually be an amazing way to engage and educate visitors in imagining ways that the buildings we created could be beneficial and symbiotic to its surrounding rather than just containers that consume and pollute. In the end, it was created to be an entirely emersive experience, with the idea of attracting people to the building repeatedly, due to changing conditions, the experience would be different over time.

KR: How long did you work on the project?
J: It was designed over the course of about 4 months. During this period the building evolved quite a bit and there was a lot of intense discussion amongst our team members during development as to how and why to move away from simply creating a typical “iconic” expo building especially knowing that such a proposal would be a long shot as a competition winner. But the proposal gives an alternative way to think about a visitor experience that is not simply a slick building but one that also increases one’s sensitivity and perception about the surroundings as it becomes an integral part of the biological process of the bay.

KR: What was the main technical difficulty in design?
Engineering of the walkways to deal with the realities of a changing tidal condition was a big challenge. We worked with ARUP to develop a solution on a schematic level and were forced to go back to the drawing board and modify our expectations of the original floating” seanet” walkways to make it much less extensive than we originally conceived. It was also difficult to maintain the articulation of the walkways. You know that because it is designed as a living system that is not a static thing, we don’t necessarily want to control how it transforms but allow it transform based on site influences. Within the ocean, but that might mean growth that could eventually restricts movement. It was very interesting to wrestle over that idea.

KR: What you think about building BIO(da)TA in Poland? Would it be possible?
A bit of research would need to be done to determine the exact conditions.This design grew out of a response to a very specific place and program. It could be interesting to adapt it but conditions of the site are critical consideration that would inevitably modify and influence the design.KR: Have you thought about modification of the project? Floating bar/restaurant at the seashore would be a fantastic idea.

Actually, as we were working on the project, we thought that it would be spectacular depending on pollution levels to create an oyster bar or seafood restaurant that harvested from the building and actually became a destination for the very freshest spicy kim chi and clam soup and fresh oysters from the bay.KR: What about winter time, can the building function when water freezes?

No, it would not function, but that in itself could be a very magical experience, different from floating.KR: Is BIO(da)TA storm proof?;) have you consider this, while designing? 

We imagined that when storms were predicted, the walkways would need to be secured to prevent damage.

KR: I have read about DEWelectric on your blog, are you mainly interested in Eco-design?
We have an interesting practice in that we engage in many built projects where the main focus is more on traditional building approaches rather than development that focuses on eco-development (for whatever reason-clients, budget, program etc — although we carry much of those sensibilities into every project.) But we also make a large effort to focus on research and theoretical projects that allow us to explore and experiment with how architecture might evolve into the future and provide new ideals and examples of efficient and responsible building that push the boundaries of conventional practice.
DEWelectric was one of these research projects. Designed as a passive water and power generating land art installation in the coastal dessert climate of Dubai. In this project we looked at how we might begin to address the increasing demands for power and water resulting from rapid development in the region. Currently water supply is very limited and most clear water is obtained through desalinization. This process requires large amounts of energy as well as creating a saline sludge that is damaging to the environment—our solution proposed a natural evaporative process to produce clean water thus reducing energy consumption as well as eliminating polluting by-product.

KR: What do you think, does ecological design have a future, everyone is talking about it but who really cares?
We have yet to see where this goes, architecture is at a very interesting point where old *means of building remain the prevelant and somewhat entrenched, yet technology, materials development, our understanding about incorporating and emulating natural processes and so many other possibilities are expanding rapidly and are ripe for application.
It is challenging for us all to explore new ways of doing things. Cost, risk aversion and the tremendous effort required to develop and test new systems discourage it, but it is becoming ever more important as we look at our human impact- industrialization and globalization has made our capacity to do damage so more rapid and dramatic. The goal of harmonizing and integrating buildings as part of their living surroundings is an effort to minimize and manage our impat.
(*old is not necesarily bad, but when not updated in regard to current circumstances, could miss a great opportunity)

KR: Do you talk much about ecology in Seattle?
Seattle is progressive in this respect, there is always a concern for the ecology but generally in building trades it is still considered more in terms about ‘sustainability’ than approaching it from the standpoint of an integrated ecological response, which we are interested in exploring.
But we are lucky to live in a city that is concerned with looking at different approaches to answering these larger questions of sustainability which relates tangentially to this larger picture.
KR: If you had a chance to design the building again would you create it the same way, or you’d change something? If yes, say what would be different?
It has been several years since we designed the project, things have moved on, so I am certain the outcome would be influenced by the subsequent projects and investigations we have done since that time although I think the general idea is still powerful and interesting on many levels.
KR: Do you think that your project may be an inspiration for young designers?
I don’t know what young designers might think of the project but I do hope that regardless of the specifics of the execution of the solution, the underlying principles might be inspirational and influential to how they think about architecture and building in general.
Biodata project is very fascinating for me because it seems like an living organism being brought to the water surface- it starts to breath and move like a plant, and it could survive in the ocean. This is a new form of life in some way. What you think about projects/buildings that starts to be alive? 
I think it is very interesting to move towards buildings that function in this way. We also worked on a proposal for Seattle 30 years in the future that envisioned a building envelope system that would begin to process air, water, power much like a membranes within the body. The important question is how this would be implemented with responsibility and sensitivity.

What does that mean for contemporary architecture- is it this a new way of looking at design? 
These days there seems to be a trend towards looking at buildings as objects, sleek and beautiful forms generated somewhat arbitrarily. If we could begin to make buildings that are shaped by their ability to adapt and respond to their conditions like sun wind water light, program, need etc… not only would they become exponentially more efficient, they would be in harmony with the natural systems that support our lives.

Can building be brought to the point that it starts its own “living”?
The idea that buildings can self organize, self repair and perhaps even replicate themselves is an idea that we must come to terms with it is only a matter of time before this is possible the bigger question is how long will that take? When will technology and our ability to manipulate biological processes reach the places we inhabit.  

Additionally, Biodata, incorporates humans to be part of that live form. It is like symbiosis. Isn’t that great? Have you thought about that while designing the project?
Yes, as we approach projects, it is important to us that our buildings encourage inhabitants to tune themselves to their surroundings and we are interested in investigating ways that the building can evolve to become more intricately intertwined in the networks of systems that already exists on a site rather than destructing a place to build invasive infrastructure based on aging paradigms.


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[gu] transformation in Seattle

It’s Not a Fairytale: Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest

Forget meadows. The city’s new park will be filled with edible plants, and everything from pears to herbs will be free for the taking.

Check out the first implementation of [growing urbanism] , this part of our scheme envisioning a more ecological Seattle 25 years into the future reappropriates ‘leftover’ places and portions of freeways (made obsolute by a variety of high efficiency new vehicles) to provide an abundant food supply to the community within the city. Though food forest gardens (as well as living machine permaculture) were just one element of an overall comprehensive vision of the urbanscape as a vibrant self sustaining ecosystem, it is exciting to see this idea developed.

Some of our original images:

These videos of ancient systems inspired our design, high output minimal maintenance systems perfectly balanced to specifics of climate and culture:
permaculture is not a new idea, but figuring out how to incorporate it in the densest urban locations is.
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afternoon light, fans a-whirring

look up and breathtaken

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   progress on the new space they say drywall is halfway……..

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scene at 14th and Pine

late summer night at artusi bar

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cut sheet

The bunkhouse is a container that was designed for a barge that provides support for remote construction workers at sea. Five bunk rooms with three bunks each in the shipping container. The project was designed to be prefabricated in plywood.
The project was conceived and constructed by Snow and Company.
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