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Prototyping Tomorrow

To support the research and creative practice thrust of Building Tomorrow, last year Dean Massey launched a college-wide competitive research incentive funding program. By supporting work that moves concepts from idea into some form of provisional reality, allowing a hypothesis to be studied, tested, and refined iteratively, Prototyping Tomorrow targets the deployment and potential impact of the discoveries made over the past decade via precursors Research Through Making, Research on the City, and Research Through Planning.

This spring, faculty submitted 13 proposals. Based on evaluation by a jury of Deborah Cullinan (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts), Michael Murphy (MASS Design Group), and Ron Rael (University of California Berkeley), Dean Massey committed $140,000 to fund seven of these proposals, which are listed below.

Breathing Territories

Leads: Kathy Velikov, Associate Professor; Geoff Thün, Associate Professor; Ersela Kripa, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech College of Architecture, El Paso | Partner, AGENCY;  Stephen Mueller, Instructor, Texas Tech College of Architecture, El Paso | Partner, AGENCY

Description: Breathing Territories addresses questions of material territories that cross national divides in the US/Mexico borderlands and engages the urgent matter of air quality and public health in the region of El Paso/Ciudad Juárez.

Collective Reality: Image without Ownership

Lead: McLain Clutter, Associate Professor

Participants: Cyrus Peñarroyo, Assistant Professor; Laida Aguirre, 2017-2018 William Muschenheim Fellow; Mark Lindquist, Assistant Professor Landscape Architecture; Tiffany Graham Project Director at Cleveland-based LAND studio; Vince Reddy, Project Manager at Cleveland-based LAND studio.

Description: This project develops an augmented reality application allowing residents of marginalized urban communities to image alternative spatial and social scenarios beyond conventionalized epistemologies of urban development.

Compressed Light

Lead: Catie Newell, Associate Professor

Collaborator: etC Construction Services

Partnerships: Fish Factory Creative Center, Bullseye Glass, CCS Glass Studio, U-M Biological Center, Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop

Description: Compressed Light is an experimental construction process that works with cast glass blocks in compression, pairing their strength and light transmission qualities to develop systems that interrelate in form and construction to concrete block counterparts.

De:Molding: Concrete 3D Printing for High Performance Building Envelopes

Leads: Wes McGee, Assistant Professor; Tsz Yan Ng, Assistant Professor; Dr. Victor Li, E. Benjamin Wylie Collegiate Professor, Prof. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Macromolecular Science of Engineering

Partner Organizations: Davide Zampini, Global R&D and Intellectual Property Head of Cemex Group; Stu Sheppard, CEO Gudel Americas; Mike Chaffee, Senior Applications Engineer, Kuka Robotics

Description: This research rethinks contemporary methods of concrete design and construction while accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies into the construction sector.

Inclusive Socio-Sensory Theater

Leads: Sean Ahlquist, Assistant Professor; Dionne O’Dell, Michigan State University, Department of Theatre, Outreach and Engagement

Partner Organizations: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Children’s & Science Museum; MSU Department of Theatre: Arena & Studio performance venues, Auditorium rehearsal space

Description: Combing sensorial engagement and participatory theater as means to model social behavior for children with autism spectrum disorder in complex sensory-toxic environments

Informal + Sustainable: Designing Anticipatory Urban Strategies for Young Informal Occupations in São Paulo, Brazil

Leads: María Arquero de Alarcón, Associate Professor; Ana Paula Pimentel Walker, Assistant Professor

Collaborators: Olaia Chivite Amigo (MArch ‘18), Michael Amidon (MUD ‘18)

Partner Organization: UF ABC LabJUTA (Francisco Comarú, Benedito Roberto Barbosa, Patricia Cezario Silva, Talita Anzel Gonzales)

Description: In partnership with LabJUTA, this project will devise, test and disseminate visionary tactics of inhabitation for younger occupations while stewarding the land, protecting human rights and adding cultural meaning to the found environmental values.

Post Post Rock: Applying Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship to Fabrication Research

Leads: Meredith Miller, Assistant Professor; Thomas Moran, Assistant Professor

Partner: Divya Patil Hangargekar, Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan

Description: Having developed fabrication methods for combining waste plastics and construction debris into a new stone-like material, Meredith Miller and Thom Moran are partnering with the Center for Entrepreneurship to connect with stakeholders and define a specific building application for the material.