Situated Technologies

The Situated Technologies Graduate Research Group is engaged in design experimentation that repositions architecture in an expanded field.

Architecture today is expansive in its practices and in its composition. Complex assemblages of code, people, space, material, infrastructure, practices, processes: each are technologies unto themselves, as is their gathering in architecture. There’s no digital architecture anymore; there’s just architecture. In this context, “technology” refers to different things, to design and building technologies, but also to technology within the built environment, to methods of work, and more.

We depart from these observations to explore methods of study and to conduct experiments that probe the limits of architecture: prototypes, processes, techniques, modes of collaboration, and workflows. We adopt new methods to identify new sites of inquiry, at different scales and within different social and political settings, for an expanded field of practice. Design studios and seminars result, accordingly, in a wide range of outcomes–buildings, devices, events, infrastructures, tools, workflows, interfaces–and in skillsets that enable our students to articulate new agencies for architecture.

This prepares our students for a field that now supports increasingly diverse modes of practice. Graduates of our group join architectural design firms, but also engage in critical creative and scholarly work, design digitally interactive and responsive environments, and innovate novel methods of design and fabrication.

Faculty members working in the group are associated with the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (CAST).

Related Courses

6/26/18

Code and Space is a fast-paced design workshop aimed at providing students with an introduction to both the tools and concepts required for creating objects, spaces, and media that sense and respond to their physical surroundings. 

6/26/18

This studio will be closely coordinated with ARC 619: Architecture and the Information Environment and ARC 593 Code and Space. No prior conceptual or technical expertise required.

6/26/18

This course examines the many ways in which humans respond to (and often modify) both private and public space. It falls within the intellectual domain of Inclusive Design.

6/26/18
The Cybernetic Factory is the second studio in the Situated Technologies Research Group’s 2018-19 curriculum. It takes as its subject the architecture of advanced manufacturing and its integration into local economies and communities
6/26/18

The course will be hands-on and workshop-based. Technical introduction via skill-building exercises in computational design tools such as Grasshopper, Monolith, Kangaroo2, and K2Engineering will be incorporated into class-time to support student research. Prior experience with such tools is not mandatory.

6/26/18
This seminar will survey the changing dynamics between manufacturing, labor, technology and society from the Industrial Revolution to the present.
6/26/18
On August 27, 2005 Brice Phillips moved WQRZ, a low-power community station serving Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center in advance of Hurricane Katrina. Of the 4 broadcast stations that survived the hurricane, WQRZ was the only station to remain continuously on the air. Transmitting from ground zero, Phillips disseminated information related to evacuation procedures, search and rescue operations, and distribution points for food and water. Nine months after the storm, WQRZ remained the sole broadcaster serving the area and to this day continues to be instrumental in sustaining and rebuilding the communities within its broadcast area.
6/26/18
The Situated Technologies Spring studio will explore the space of manufacturing and the promise of mass customization. Stan Davis in his 1987 book Future Perfect coined the term “mass customizing” to describe the change in business perception from a mass market to a mass-customized market, where products could align more specifically with individual customer needs. The advent of digitization and CNC fabrication opened the possibility for producing multiple versions of a product at relatively little cost. This forecasted the notion that accommodating a customer’s individual desires may no longer be cost prohibitive.
6/26/18
This course will explore a mixed reality workflow between digital simulation and fabrication. Using the Microsoft Hololens and Fologram, an augmented reality platform within Rhino, we will develop a process to guide the assembly of digitally fabricated parts by attempting to calibrate the digital simulation to material behavior in real time. The mixed-reality workflow may provide more experiential design feedback than the simulations alone, and may enhance the representational responsibility of digital and physical models. 
6/26/18
This seminar will survey the changing dynamics between manufacturing, labor, technology and society from the Industrial Revolution to the present.

Affiliated Faculty

9/26/19
Omar Khan, associate professor of architecture, studies responsiveness and performativity in architecture. He is co-lead of UB's research center on Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies, which applies design, smart materials and automation to transform advanced manufacturing.
10/16/18
Mark Shepard holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Architecture and Media Study. He received a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, a Master of Fine Arts in Combined Media from Hunter College, City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.
10/17/18
Associate Professor Hadas A. Steiner received a Ph.D. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters degree in Art History from University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Art in Architecture from Columbia University.
9/16/19
Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture
nbruscia@buffalo.edu - Parker Hall 50 - 716-829-5926