Before Building Laboratory
University of Virginia
beforebuilding@virginia.edu





MISSION

The Before Building Laboratory pioneers new material assemblies, with the aim of creating building material systems that sequester carbon and reduce construction’s contribution to the environmental crisis. Current projects focus on rapidly renewable biomaterials, including wood, bamboo, grass, various invasive plant species, and hemp.

We engage emerging technologies to work with natural materials and processes in new ways, reframing the relationship between biology, technology, and authorship. We seek to advance the accessibility of computation and robotic construction, leveraging democratized and consumer-grade technologies as well as inventing and building low-cost ground-up construction systems.

UPCOMING LECTURES
🎙 2022 Exhibit Columbus Symposium @ Columbus, Indiana City Hall, October 22, 2022
🎙 “(re)Building through Disruption: Biomaterials @ AIA Virginia Conference, November 3, 2022
🎙 Curated Urbanisms Lecture Series, Univeristy of North Carolina Charlotte, November 16, 2022

LECTURES, PANELS, & PODCASTS
🎙 “Lush: From Field to Fabrication” @ UTK
🎙 “This is America: Design Practices Memorializing Difficult Histories” @ Brown
🎙 “Growing, Buliding” @ UVA
🎙 “Growing Buildings” @ Public Building
🎙 “After Specification” @ UVA
🎙 “How After Architecture Balances Practice with Materials Research” @ Architect Magazine
🎙 “After Specification” @ Pecha Kucha Knoxville

RECENT REVIEW
Journal of Architectural Education


DIRECTORS

KATIE MACDONALD, AIA NCARB
KMACDONALD@VIRGINIA.EDU
 
Katie MacDonald is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, Cofounder of After Architecture, and a licensed architect in Virginia and Massachusetts. She is Co-Director of the Before Building Laboratory at UVA, Co-Director of the Hemp Co-Lab at UVA, and Co-Curator of the Biomaterial Building Exposition. MacDonald is a member of Madame Architect’s National Council.

EDUCATION
︎ M.Arch. Harvard University
︎ B.Arch. Cornell University

PRIOR EXPERIENCE
︎ Morphosis Architects
︎ Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
︎ Clive Wilkinson Architects
︎ Stayner Architects
︎ MALL

AWARDS
Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellow, 2022-23
☆ Tennessee Architecture Fellowship, 2019-20
☆ Emerging Designer, Virginia by Design Awards, 2018
☆ Housing Design Education Award, American Institute of Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2020
☆ Paul M. Heffernan Travel Grant, 2015

PRESS
UVA Today
Madame Architect Profile


KYLE SCHUMANN
SCHUMANN@VIRGINIA.EDU

Kyle Schumann is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, Co-Director of the Before Building Laboratory at UVA, Cofounder of After Architecture, and Co-Curator of the Biomaterial Building Exposition. Schumann was an Editor of Pidgin from 2016-8.

EDUCATION
︎ M.Arch. Princeton University
︎ B.Arch. Cornell University

PRIOR EXPERIENCE
︎ Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
︎ Anmahian Winton Architects

AWARDS
Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellow, 2022-23
☆ Tennessee Architecture Fellowship, 2019-20
☆ Robert A.M. Stern Architects Travel Fellowship, 2017
☆ Princeton University Fellowship, 2016-8
☆ William S. Downing Prize for Architectural Design, 2012

PRESS
Madame Architect Profile


DIRECTORS

︎ Katie MacDonald


︎ Kyle Schumann


CURRENT TEAM

︎ Collette Block


︎ Cecily Farrell


︎ Abby Hassell


︎ Rachel Lee


︎ Reagan McCullough


︎ Liv Orlando


︎ Charlotte Pitts


︎ Emily Ploppert


︎ Jonathan (Yianni) Spears


︎ Jolie Talha


︎ Mia Hsu
︎ Fah Keerasuntonpong
︎ Dillon Mcdowell

PAST TEAM

2022
︎ Sonja Bergquist
︎ Brandon Dennis
︎ Sophie Depret-Guillaume
︎ Leila Ehtesham
︎ Alex Hall
︎ Caleb Hassell
︎ Kristopher Kollias
︎ Chujun Dina Luo
︎ Meredith Magness
︎ Chris Osterlund
︎ Russell Petro
︎ Timothy Victorio
︎ Andrew Spears
︎ Valerie Speirs
︎ Cecilia Yiyue Su
︎ Annabelle Woodcock
︎ Haoran Zhang

2021
︎ Collette Block
︎ Brandon Dennis
︎ Youfang Duan
︎ Leila Ehtesham
︎ Ephrata Johannes
︎ Kristopher Kollias
︎ Audrey Lewis
︎ Chujun Dina Luo
︎ Meredith Magness
︎ Jacob McLaughlin
︎ Lizzie Needham
︎ Kate Nguyen
︎ Chris Osterlund
︎ Andrew Spears
︎ Elizabeth Tatham
︎ Timothy Victorio

2020
︎ Sarina Hermanto
︎ Mason Millner
︎ Lisa Rowland
︎ Kevin Saslawsky

2019
︎ Connor Brown
︎ Tim Cox
︎ Ellie Cuthrell
︎ Brian Gore
︎ Aria Hill
︎ Mason Millner
︎ Alex Munro
︎ Jack Wasielewski

2018
︎ Brian Gore
︎ Brianna Morales

2017
︎ Brianna Morales

&

Before
Building
(Laboratory)









TANGENTIAL TIMBER

Tangential Timber advances circular construction, customization, and democratization of technology by (1) developing a structural application for carbon-sequestering, non-linear wood, (2) piloting methods for adapting designs to non-standard material stock, and (3) lowering the cost and data intensity of digital imaging techniques. Non-linear wood is an underutilized material, available globally but limited in use due to the constraints of sawmilling. Tangential Timber defines a methodology in which logs that are curved, irregular in cross section, or otherwise unfit for lumber, are cut into cross sections, cookies. A low-tech, parametric digital imaging workflow was developed in which cookies are photographed and traced in 2D, then translated into 3D models. The digital cookies are sorted across a designed form, then inscribed with a set of joints. Fabrication requires minimal part reduction with a 5-axis waterjet. CNC routing adds surface continuity across a patchwork of irregular structural blocks. This timber masonry system is designed for disassembly: structural blocks are joined with minimal hardware, allowing for assembly, disassembly, and reuse.


DATE ACTIVE
2021 - 2022

AWARDS
Architect Magazine R+D Award, 2022

PAPERS
🕮 “Tangential Timber: Non-linear Wood Masonry Construction Designed for Disassembly,” 2022 (forthcoming)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Katie MacDonald

PROJECT MANAGER
︎ Abby Hassell

ARCH 3021 STUDENTS
(WALL)
︎ Abby Hassell
︎ Audrey Lewis
︎ Jacob McLaughlin
︎ Rohan Singh
︎ Abbie Weissman

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

(IMAGING)
︎ Cecily Farrell
︎ Alex Hall
︎ Caleb Hassell
︎ Dillon Mcdowell

(VAULT)
︎ Sonja Bergquist
︎ Sophie Depret-Guillaume
︎ Cecily Farrell
︎ Russell Petro
︎ Emily Ploppert
︎ Jonathan (Yianni) Spears
︎ Jolie Talha
︎ Annabelle Woodcock

GRANTS
︎ UVA Jefferson Trust Flash Funding
︎ UVA Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation Faculty Global Research with Undergraduates Grant











HOMEGROWN

Homegrown is a temporary pavilion installed in the Knoxville Museum of Art’s South Garden, between the stepping pink Tennessee marble facade designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes and the historic brick elevation of the neighboring factory building. The installation’s four walls form an exterior room within the larger walled garden. A series of volumes are subtracted from the walls to create openings that serve as doorways and windows.

The installation proposes an alternative material ethic by making use of small-scale landscaping waste, including invasive species such as kudzu, bamboo, and various tree species, as well as forestry waste. The plant fibers are formed into lightweight wall-scale panels using a liquid bio-based binder. This material was additively formed into panels using a custom process, pillow forming.

In a nod to the materials of traditional American framing, the panels are faced in pine needles and rest on a base of dimensional lumber. The top edge steps up and down, suggesting doorways, windows, ledges, seats - a rewilding of the domestic. The exterior is flat and angular, reflecting more conventional architectural production, while the interior is undulating, suggesting possibilities for further customization and the creation of integrated, sculpted furniture.

The resulting architecture is not flat and hard, but fuzzy, fluffy, furry, shaggy. It is primitive and high-tech. It is not permanent, but temporal, requiring caretaking and maintenance, like a landscape or an occupant. The work begs a questioning of how our buildings are made, the materials with which they are made, and the new potentials that might be unveiled if these established systems and societal expectations can be reimagined.
LOCATION
Knoville Museum of Art,
Knoxville,TN

DATES EXHIBITED
Oct - Nov 2020

AWARDS
☆ The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award in Research, 2021
☆ Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention in Materials Category, 2021
☆ Dezeen Awards, Longlisted in Installation Design,  2021

PAPERS
🕮 “Pillow Forming: Digital Fabrication of Complex Surfaces through Actuated Modular Pneumatics”, 2021

PRESS
The New York Times
Fast Company
Architect Magazine
The Architect’s Newspaper
Inhabitat
Southerly
Inform Magazine

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Kevin Saslawsky

GRANTS
︎ University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Tennessee Architecture Fellowship
︎ University of Tennessee Office of Undergraduate Research Spring Semester Research Assistant Award








MASS GRASS

Developments in mass timber have demonstrated the potential for renewable, structural alternatives to concrete and steel as well as bipartisan support and industry investment in sustainable construction. While timber offers benefits of renewability and carbon sequestration, its drawbacks include energy and material waste, and volatile prices and availability affecting its consistent, affordable implementation. Simultaneously, the plant-based composite sector has emerged, but been hampered by a lack of systematic analysis, characterization and design techniques required to realize its potential.

Mass Grass seeks to advance applications for the common, abundant, and rapidly-renewable poaceae (grass) family as material which grows globally and with which nearly the entire plant can be utilized, as compared to the many offcuts of timber. Historically, poaceae has been used in thatch roofing and bundled, vernacular structures, while modern applications are limited to lightweight composites, acoustic panels, and insulation. With the exception of bamboo, the potential of grasses has been overlooked due to perceived shortcomings and lack of test methods needed to characterize small-diameter fibers which are highly anisotropic, fragile, and difficult to grip.

This research aims to develop a comprehensive framework for characterization of poaceae and poaceae-based composites and pilot structural applications of this material. The project brings together a multidisciplinary team of four scholars/disciplines to leverage and synthesize well-established elements of composite mechanics, structural engineering, environmental science, and architectural design.

DATES ACTIVE
2021 - 2022

ARCHITECTURE:

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
︎ Katie MacDonald 
︎ Kyle Schumann

PROJECT MANAGER
︎ Brandon Dennis

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Ephrata Johannes
︎ Kristopher Kollias
︎ Rachel Lee
︎ Reagan McCullough
︎ Liv Orlando
︎ Elizabeth Tatham

ENGINEERING:

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Marek-Jerzy Pindera
︎ Jose Gomez

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Heze Chen

FIELD SURVEY, SPECIES ANALYSIS,& SELECTION:

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
︎ Deborah Lawrence

GRANTS
︎ UVA 3 Cavaliers




HEMP HERO

Recent advances in the production of industrial hemp represent a significant opportunity for the development of rapidly-renewable, bio-based composite materials enabling the decrease in carbon emissions and energy consumption in both the construction and operation of buildings. Industrial hemp is ideal for carbon sequestration as it absorbs more carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare than any forest or commercial crop during plantation growth, making it one of the most sustainable crops available. Alternative building materials that employ fibers and hurds obtained from this low input and potentially carbon-negative crop offer substantial climate benefits. 

Hemp Hero is a structurally insulated panel (SIP) composed of two sheets of hemp board and a mycelium interlayer.
DATES ACTIVE
2022

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Osman Ozbulut
︎ Lisa Colosi-Peterson

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Mia Hsu
︎ Emily Ploppert

GRANTS
︎ UVA Environmental Resilience Institute Co-Lab Grant








VARIABLE SAWMILLING: MULTI-AXIS ACTUATED STRATEGIES FOR NON-STANDARD TIMBER

Since the industrial revolution, timber construction has relied on the reduction of trees into mass-produced, standardized parts. Recent developments in mass timber have generated a renewed national interest in timber construction but rely on the same processes of standardization that generate material waste in the forest, at the factory, and on the job site. Customization of these standardized components occurs largely through subtractive manufacturing methods. Variable Sawmilling proposes a shift in this paradigm, embedding customization of timber elements into the earliest stages of the process, when the raw log is milled into non-standard parts.

The project will see the creation of a multi-axis CNC sawmill capable of milling raw logs into specialized timber components. This sawmill will be designed with novel architectural timber assemblies in mind and developed to enable these possibilities. It will be constructed and applied to demonstrate its capabilities in creating non-standard parts including tapering, twisting, and other irregular geometries.

The project will collaborate with UVA Sawmilling to utilize raw logs harvested from UVA Grounds, diverting this material from the waste stream so that it can be utilized for research and teaching purposes.


DATES ACTIVE
2021 - 2022

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Manuel Lerdau
︎ Gavin Garner

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Ross Brown
︎ Fah Keerasuntonpong
︎ Gordon Liebowitz
︎ Andrew Spears
︎ Jonathan (Yianni) Spears
︎ Valerie Speirs
︎ Tim Victorio

GRANTS
︎ UVA 3 Cavaliers

PILOTING SUSTAINABLE AGRO-INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE MORVEN KITCHEN GARDEN

The Morven Kitchen Garden (MKG) is a student-led sustainable agriculture hub for learning, innovation, and food production for the University and the community. Several grants are enabling a mapping of MKG’s existing resources to identify infrastructural needs to support growing capacities. This is building toward a design proposal for expanded infrastructure that address MKG’s needs while simultaneously creating opportunities for research in sustainable construction and agriculture.

The project is currently entering its second phase, in which sustainable farming techniques such as passive thermal fruit walls and hugelkultur, and 1:1 mockups will be piloted on site. A complete proposal will them be prepared for a fundraising campaign to realize the design at Morven.


LOCATION
Morven Farm, Charlottesville, Virginia

DATES ACTIVE
Aug 2021 - July 2022

PHASES
Programming
Schematic Design

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Sophie Depret-Guillame
︎ Youfang Duan
︎ Kate Nguyen
︎ Russell Petro

GRANTS
︎ UVA Office of Sustainability
︎ Morven Farm








PILLOW FORMING

Typical digital fabrication systems used to create complex curving geometries often require a time and material-intensive process in which a series of molds are made out of foam or some other mass of material. Each mold’s geometry is specific to a surface, and can therefore only be used once.

Pillow Forming is an adaptable system that allows the surface geometry to be highly controlled via a digital workflow and eliminates the use of wasteful, single-use molds. The machine consists of a rigid plywood surface and a grid of one foot cubic inflatable pillows made of clear vinyl that can be inflated individually. The flexible top surface of each pillow is attached to all neighboring pillows, such that when they are inflated to different heights, they create a single and continuous surface, against which material can be cast or formed.

A digital workflow allows the machine to be operated from a 3D digital model, translating average surface heights into inflation times for each pillow in the surface. The flexible nature of the vinyl pillows allows their tops to bend and curve, reforming a smooth, continuous geometry.
MEDIUM
Machine

DATES ACTIVE
2019 - 2020

PAPERS
🕮 “Pillow Forming: Digital Fabrication of Complex Surfaces through Actuated Modular Pneumatics”, 2021

PATENT
U.S. Provisional Patent Serial No. 63/253,693, filed October 8, 2021

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

RESEARCH ACKNOWLEDGMENT
︎ Rachel Crosslin
︎ Zherti Jasa
︎ Rose Gowder

GRANTS
︎ University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Tennessee Architecture Fellowship
︎ University of Tennessee Office of Undergraduate Research Spring Semester Research Assistant Award







SMART CROSS-LAMINATED BAMBOO

Smart Cross-Laminated Bamboo (SCLB) is a material that takes advantage of the best qualities of both Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), while offering a more sustainable material stream, a thinner profile, and a computationally informed custom interior structure. Because such panels are custom built for each job, SCLB intelligently arranges bamboo poles for specific structural applications. SCLB utilizes the naturally lightweight and hollow bamboo to form structural panels that can accommodate insulation and utilities within the thickness of the material.

DATES ACTIVE
2019 - 2022

PRESS
Metropolis Magazine
Architect Magazine

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Jonas Hauptman

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Mason Millner
︎ Alex Munro
︎ Jack Wasielewski

GRANTS
︎ Center for Architecture Arnold W. Brunner Grant
︎ Virginia Tech Major SEAD Grant

DATE COMPLETED
2020

DESIGN
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann





RETOOLING BAMBOO TECTONICS

Bamboo is a rapidly-renewable, low-carbon, sustainable building material, yet it remains underutilized due to laborious manual evaluation and fabrication as well as deeply-rooted aesthetic stigmas. This project developed an democratized, intelligent, digitally-enhanced fabrication system for the evaluation, milling, and joining of structural bamboo. First, Visual, noninvasive evaluation of the bamboo poles was performed through low-data photographic imaging and analysis. Second, the resulting digital models of each bamboo pool was input into a parametric part selection model which adapted the larger geomtry to the inventory of bamboo poles.
DATES ACTIVE
2018 - 2020

PAPERS
🕮 ”Digital Fabrication of Standardless Materials”, 2019
🕮 “Addressing barriers for bamboo: techniques for altering cultural perceptio,” 2019

PRESS
Metropolis Magazine
Redshift
Inch Magazine
Sustainable Construction Materials
Architect Magazine

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Jonas Hauptman

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
︎ Lizzie Needham
︎ Connor Brown
︎ Tim Cox
︎ Ellie Cuthrell
︎ Brian Gore
︎ Aria Hill
︎ Mason Millner
︎ Alex Munro
︎ Jack Wasielewski

GRANTS
︎ American Institute of Architects Upjohn Research Initiative






PARKLET CHAIR

Parklet Chair is an island landscape, displaced from soil, water, and sun and resituated in the interior. It is real, in that it is grown, but perhaps unnatural, in that it sprouted indoors without soil. Germinated from seeds and preserved with a bio-based binder, it is a seat that can transport its occupant beyond the envelope of building systems and into the landscape, into warmer seasons when grass was still vibrant green.
The form of the chair is suggested by the designer through the scaffolding of a mold, but pliable to the whims of each blade, seeking light, and each root, interlacing in its trek downward. Like an orthopedic insert, the seat conforms to the sitter’s posterior.

DATE COMPLETED
2020

DESIGN
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann



GROWN MODELS

Grown models draw from agricultural practices such as fodder production and artists such as Diana Sherer, developing methods to grow barley seed hydroponically into volumetric molds.
Grown volumes and surfaces self assemble through the interweaving of growing roots, without adhesive. The forms and textures produced are a mediation between design intent and the behaviour of the barley itself.

DATE COMPLETED
2020

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann



Exhibtions & Symposia






BIOMATERIAL BUILDING EXPOSITION

An exposition at the University of Virginia demonstrating new approaches to biomaterial construction.

The construction industry has been slow to adapt as local climates shift, overextended supply chains threaten the viability of traditional building materials, landfills pile up, and material life cycles come into question. This is a major concern for communities worldwide over both the short and long terms as they are thrust into the turmoil of increasingly frequent and dramatic climate events that stress aging infrastructure.

The Biomaterial Building Exposition is a platform focused on architectural-scale biomaterial research. The Exposition places multiple novel approaches in dialogue, fostering a larger discussion on how rapidly-renewable, carbon-sequestering biomaterials can be utilized in contemporary construction. The Exposition seeks to establish a multi-institutional scholarly discourse and raise the public visibility of novel approaches to biomaterial construction. Architect-scholar teams from University of Arkansas, Cornell University, Kansas State University, Penn State University, and Rice University convergeD in Charlottesville, Virginia to exhibit full-scale installations developed at the scholars’ home institutions and with students at the University of Virginia.

The Exposition opened to the public on Grounds at the University of Virginia. Since its inception, UVA’s Academical Village has been an architectural testing ground. The Exposition expands this tradition, forging a path toward a radical material future that foregrounds environmental and human health, set against the backdrop of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A gallery exhibition in Campbell Hall’s Elmaleh Gallery brought together process work from the development of the installations, as well as material samples and images of ongoing biomaterial work being advanced across disciplines at the University of Virginia.

FORMAT
Exhibition & Symposium

LOCATION
University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, Virginia

EXPOSTION
5 Pavilions exhibited across UVA Grounds,
Mar - May 2022

GALLERY EXHIBTION
Elmaleh Gallery, Campbell Hall,
Mar 2022

SYMPOSIUM
The Rotunda and Campbell Hall,
March 14, 2022

PRESS
Journal of Architectural Education
The Architect’s Newspaper
Inform Magazine
Archinect
C-Ville Weekly
UVA Today
The Cavalier Daily
University of Arkansas News

CURATORS & CONVENERS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

PAVILIONS (LEFT)
1. Liz Gálvez, Office e.g.
2. Jonathan Dessi-Olive, Myco Matters
3. Jessica ColangelO & Charles Sharpless, Somewhere Studio
4.Benay Gürsoy Toykoç & Ali Ghazvinian, ForMat Lab; Arman Khalilbeigi Khameneh & Esmaeil Mottaghi, Paragen Creative Studio
5. Leslie Lok & Sasa Zivkovic, HANNAH

PROJECT MANAGERS
︎ Collette Block
︎ Leila Ehtehsham
︎ Dina Chujun Luo
︎ Meredith Magness
︎ Chris Osterlund

GRANTS
︎ UVA Jefferson Trust
︎ UVA Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation
︎ UVA School of Architecture

PHOTOGRAPHY
︎ David Alf
︎ Tom Daly




LUSH

This exhibition presents an expanding body of work by 2019-2020 Tennessee Architecture Fellows Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann, including teaching, research, and creative work conducted during and following the Fellowship. Holistically, the work argues for a rethinking of materials in architectural production, forgoing the knowability of standardization for the embodied intelligence and variability of grown matter.

FORMAT
Exhibition

LOCATION
Art and Architecture Building Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

DATES EXHIBITED
Sep - Oct 2021

EXHIBITION DESIGN
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann







PROJECTING FELLOWS

Each year, many American architecture schools conduct searches for and appoint early-career fellows to join their programs and develop an intensive research or teaching project over a short-term, adjunct appointment. With the fellowship comes some combination of project support, cross-pollination between research and teaching, and a platform with which to present and exhibit the work. Commonly selected via national call for proposals, fellowship projects are dually indicative of current interests in academia and emerging institutional agendas.

Projecting Fellows was a five-evening, virtual symposium which brought together the 2019-2020 class of fellows from American architecture schools to explore a cross-section of emerging interests in the discipline, as well as the vehicle of the fellowship project.
FORMAT
Symposium

LOCATION
University of Virginia School of Architecture, Charlottesvile, Virginia (Virtual)

DATES
Jan 05, 2021
Jan 12, 2021
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Feb 02, 2021

CURATORS & CONVENERS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

FELLOWS
︎ Viola Ago
︎ Menatalla Ahmed Agha
︎ Priyanka Bista
︎ Galo Canizares
︎ Jacob Comerci
︎ Zach Cohen
︎ MatīssGroskaufmanis
︎ José Ibarra
︎ Michael Jefferson
︎ Karen Kubey
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Zannah Matson
︎ Piergianna Mazzocca
︎ duardo Medier
︎ Adam Barrett Miller
︎ Amelyn Ng
︎ Galen Pardee
︎ Ryan Roark
︎ Zahra Safaverdi
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Young-Tack Oh
︎ Hans Tursack
︎ Benjamin Vanmuysen

MODERATORS
︎ Maya Alam
︎ Erin Besler
︎ Neeraj Bhatia
︎ Brandon Clifford
︎ Sekou Cooke
︎ Felipe Correa
︎ Dana Cupkova
︎ Alvin Huang
︎ Sylvia Lavin
︎ Jason Young

RESEARCH ASSISTANT
︎ Ash Haoran Zhang



AUTHORSHIP AND THE ANTHROPOCENE

The gravity of the current climate crisis is indebted to mankind’s historic reliance on
models of infifinite growth, tending to supersede the needs of non-human organisms and
systems. Conceptions of design authorship in architecture and beyond likewise center on
the primacy of humanity in the Anthropocene.

The latent biomaterial revolution promises to liberate designers from an anthropogenic
paradigm, subverting the primacy of human beings over nature, proposing a new system for assigning value, and uncovering potentials for symbiosis with nature. Biological materials
and processes offffer embodied intelligence developed and refifined by iteration over millennia (morphogenesis) suggesting an immense knowledge base from which architects can learn.

A close analysis of authorship through the lens of process, rather than product, reveals
potentials for new alignments between architecture and ecology. Four emerging designers will share their approaches at the intersection of biology, technology, and design intent and speculate on new models of authorship that establish symbiotic relationships between designer and environment.
FORMAT
Roundtable

LOCATION
University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Knoxville, Tennessee

DATE
Mar 6, 2020

CURATORS & CONVENERS:
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann

SPEAKERS
︎ Edward Becker
︎ Jessica Colangelo
︎ Ryan Roark
︎ Charles Sharpless



BOOK CHAPTERS






“Villaggio ENI: Enrico Mattei and Edoardo Gellner build a new Italy.”

The Routledge Companion to Italian Fascist Architecture, Eds. Kay Bea Jones, Stephanie Pilat, pp. 408-422, 2020.
AUTHORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann







“Alpine Modernism: Sensitive Identities and Regional Placemaking”

Tradition and Invention: Robert A.M Stern Architects Travel Fellowship 2013-17. 2019.
AUTHORS
︎ Kyle Schumann


PEER-REVIEWED CONFERENCE PAPERS



“Learning From Logs: Introductory Analog and Digital Pedagogy Addressing Material Irregularity.”

Post-Carbon: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, (The University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney, 9 - 15 April 2022) Volume 1, pp. 355-364, 2022.



AUTHORS
︎ Kyle Schumann




“Pillow Forming: Digital Fabrication of Complex Surfaces through Actuated Modular Pneumatics.”

Toward Critical Computation: Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (Virtual, 3-6 November, 2021), 2021.

AUTHORS
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Katie MacDonald

“Twinned Assemblage: Curating and Distilling Digital Doppelgangers.”

Projections: Proceedings of the 26th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 29 March - 1 April 2021) Volume 1, pp. 693-702, 2021.


AUTHORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann



“Branching Inventory: Democratized Fabrication of Available Stock.”

Projections: Proceedings of the 26th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 29 March - 1 April 2021) Volume 1, pp. 513-522, 2021.
AUTHORS
︎ Kevin Saslawsky
︎ Tyler Sanford
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann


“Digital Fabrication of Standardless Materials”

Ubiquity and Autonomy: Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (The University of Texas at Austin, 21-26 October, 2019) pp. 266-275, 2019.

AWARDS
☆ Autodesk ACADIA Emerging Research Award, Paper Category: Runner Up, 2019

AUTHORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Jonas Hauptman




“Airforming: Adaptive Robotic Molding of Freeform Surfaces through Incremental Heat and Variable Pressure”

Intelligent & Informed: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 15-18 April 2019) Volume 1, 33-42. 2019.

 
AUTHORS
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Ryan Luke Johns

“Digital Postmodernism: Making Architecture from Virtual Tropes”

Future Praxis: Applied Research as a Bridge Between Theory and Practice, Proceedings of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium 2019 International Conference, (ARCC 2019), (Ryerson University, 29 Mau - 1 June, 2019) Volume 1, 93-98, 2019.

AUTHOR
︎ Katie MacDonald

Addressing Barriers for Bamboo: Techniques for Altering Cultural Perception

Future Praxis: Applied Research as a Bridge Between Theory and Practice, Proceedings of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium 2019 International Conference (ARCC 2019), (Ryerson University, 29 Mau - 1 June, 2019) Volume 1, 307-315, 2019.




AUTHORS
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Jonas Hauptman
︎ Katie MacDonald

“Structural Performance of Faced Calcutta Bamboo (Dendrocalamus Strictus) for use in Joined Structural Assemblies”

Proceedings from the 4th International Sustainable Buildings Symposium (ISBS 2019), (Dallas, Texas, 18-20 July) pp. 257-263, 2019.

AUTHORS
︎ Jonas Hauptman
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann
︎ Daniel Hindman
︎ Tom Hammett

        
“Social Engagement and the Construction of Place”

The Ethical Imperative: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 106th Annual Meeting Paper Proceedings (ACSA 2018), (University of Colorado Denver 14-17 March, 2018) pp. 43-47, 2018.

AUTHOR
︎ Katie MacDonald

“Crutches No More: Reframing Philip Johnson's Seven Crutches as Pedagogic Tools”

The Ethical Imperative: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 106th Annual Meeting Paper Proceedings (ACSA 2018), (University of Colorado Denver 14-17 March, 2018) pp. 13-16, 2018.
AUTHOR
︎ Kyle Schumann

EDITOR-REVIEWED ARTICLES

“After Standards”

Cornell Journal of Architecture 12: After, Ed. Val Warke et al. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University (2022): 120-133.

AUTHORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann



“A Verdant Future: Bioagency in the Material Realm”

Madame Architect: The Expert, April 21, 2020.
AUTHOR
︎ Katie MacDonalD




“The Devil in the Diagram”

Clog: REM. 2014.
AUTHOR
︎ Kyle Schumann




“Architecture Villainized”

Clog: Prisons. 2014.
AUTHORS
︎ Katie MacDonald
︎ Kyle Schumann


“Worlds Within Worlds”

Clog: SCI-FI. 2013.
AUTHOR
︎ Kyle Schumann