From Surface to Structure

From Surface to Structure.

"From Surface to Structure": A still from the film, of the Rigidized Metals factory floor in Buffalo.

Buffalo is a city of tenacity, grit, invention, and reinvention. Rigidized Metals, a family-run company spanning over 75 years and three generations, illustrates this legacy. A global leader in the production and distribution of textured metals for architectural interiors, the corporation is partnering with faculty and students to reimagine uses of thin-gauge, textured metals, such as for structural purposes. This will enable new forms of architectural expression while significantly reducing the amount of material needed in construction.

Visions and Works


Architecture faculty members Chris Romano and Nick Bruscia have just created a self-supporting wall made of 152 panels of super-thin, textured steel. Sited at the entrance to Silo City and its hulking grain elevators, the experiment in facade design for metals is the result of the Department of Architecture's ongoing research partnership with Rigidized Metals Corporation.


Two award-winning design concepts by Jin Young Song explore sustainable building envelope strategies using elastic instability—the same technology used in Snap Bracelets. 

Projecting forward from Buffalo’s legacy in material innovation, this group explores constructive sensibilities and investigate how our culture is deeply embedded in material artifacts. Pursue design, production, and potential materials through full-scale fabrication, assembly, and installation.