Design Lab Awards Pre-Fab Architecture and Digital Dresses

Design Lab at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art last Friday night presented entries including a tornado house fantasy design for windy midwestern cities, an urban backyard chicken coop with implications for the biological clock of the chickens, and “intriguing innovations in form” across visionary built and unbuilt projects in furniture, lighting and architecture. (Design Lab was part of the Santa Fe Interior Designers Presents weekend of events, with sponsorship by Creative Santa Fe and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art.)

Kramer Woodard receives professional prize from Laura Carpenter at Design Lab

Kramer E. Woodard of K.E.W. Architects, Albuquerque, won the professional prize ($1,500) for a pre-fabricated building system, Penthouse Prototype, that is part of Woodard’s  patented pre-fab enterprise, Slider Structure Systems (S3). Envisioned as having potential in settings from worker housing to classrooms, the penthouse prototype Woodard submitted is for an urban rooftop site and incorporates key elements of the S3 design including  a double-channel  “T-post” assembly to facilitate the sliding together (and easier disassembly) of interior or exterior wall panels made of wood, glass, metal or composite materials, along with a photo-voltaic brise-soleil.

Woodard wrote in his application:  “Compaction of our cities is rapidly becoming more important than ever, given our energy / environmental concerns. Slider Structure Systems, (S3) is a prefabricated building system that offers a unique solution in part to these concerns. This patented wall system design described in this submission can be implemented in other applications, here however the investigation focuses on the use of an existing roof as a building site.”

Interviewed by the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2008, at the time of the patent approvals for S3, Woodard described its development (since 2005). Woodard who also shared in a 2009 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture was associate architect on the Turbulence House in Abiquiu, New Mexico, a project that architect Steven Holl (currently on tap to design an expansion to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston) designed for artists Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Richard Tuttle. (A second edition was created for a sculpture park in Vicenza, Italy.)

Residents of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah were invited to apply for the Design Lab competition, which netted some two dozen finalists. Four jurors —  Laura Carpenter, creative director of Creative Santa Fe and the principal of LC Projects; Michael McCoy, of Denver, Colorado, who has designed the Horizon light for Humanscale and the Bulldog chair for Knoll;  Susan S. Szenasy,  the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine; and  Suzanne Tick of Suzanne Tick Inc., and former creative director of Knoll Textiles from 1997 to 2005 — judged the entries and awarded the winners.

Kramer E. Woodard’s penthouse prototype submission took the professional prize from Design Lab

Caitlyn Blythe, a student at University of Colorado at Denver, took the student prize ($1000) for “digital dresses,” which she described in her application as a “hybridization of fashion and architecture.” A dress form makes a “digital replica” of the female body and is the form on which 3D garment design is effected into objects that are parametrically tabbed and laser-cut before being assembled from flat panels. Blythe modeled one on Friday night.


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