New York's First Prefabricated Apartments 2015

The first micro units design by nARCHITECTS will be unveiled in Summer 2015. The 260 square feet housing units will be the first step in solving New York's demand for affordable housing and spacing for residents entering the New York rental market. The units will be stacked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this spring.

New York City zoning and density rules originally set a minimum apartment floor area of 400 square feet. However, this regulation was waived for My Micro NY in the interests of creating more affordable housing. The inflated rental market has made it difficult for renters those seeking housing in new york, particularly singles and students with tight budgets. The units will be comprised of 32 stories and 55 individual apartments, features include 9 and 10 foot ceiling heights, Juliette balconies, and concealed storage space.

Pictures: nARCHITECTS / NY Mayors Office


DIA - Designing Interface Architecture [workshop]

FABberz ( and LaN ( are collaborating to hold a series of workshops for students and other interested parties to be held in multiple locations each year, leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It is not very often that students in a country like Brazil have the opportunity to take part in these kinds of educational events. Generally speaking, this is due to the significant cost associated with setting up a quality workshop. We are really happy and excited to bring our idea to Kickstarter as a way to support students in Brazil. Check out the widget below to see our progress!  Click on it to watch the project video, learn more, and pledge to help!

The workshops will collectively form part of a long term, additive research scheme focused on the infusion of user participation in design processes. Participants will explore digital fabrication techniques and parametric design tools as a means to create their own architectural interface prototypes - ways for residents to become directly involved in design and building.

A core line of investigation into social and infrastructural problems in favela (slum) neighborhoods in Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro will set the stage for the development of student proposals.

The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics create a unique opportunity for architectural innovation in South America, and we hope to take advantage of these economic catalysts for the implementation of sustainable digital manufacturing processes in the favelas.

Phase 1 [ Rio de Janeiro - February 2010 ]

FABberz co-founders, Raquel Gallego + Josiah Barnes, along with LaN global director and IaaC Digital tools professor, Luis Fraguada, will head down to Rio to hold a 10 day workshop with local architecture students. The workshop will be broken into 3 parts - LEARN, DESIGN, and BUILD.

We will begin with an intensive introduction to parametric design softwares such as Rhino Grasshopper and other Rhino based digital tools. As a part of this introduction, students will give back to Kickstarter patrons (you - who is making all of this possible), by designing rewards for them (look over to the rewards section).

Students will evaluate the user as a parameter for creating design interfaces, and mass customization techniques will emerge as the central strategy in connecting material and experiential processes. Fabrication will be studied as a complex process from the design stage to the construction stage, incorporating the participation of favela residents.

DIA phase 1 will explore multiple fabrication techniques using laser cutting, including fabric forming and puzzle joinery. An introduction to these techniques will be followed by team development of customizable user interfaces and fabricated prototypes of different iterations of the proposals. Local residents will be invited to participate by customizing their own prototypes using the systems developed by students in the workshop.

The research and work done at the workshop will be disseminated through a publication by AA (Architectural Association) Adaptive Ecologies, as well as exhibited at the Architectural Association (in London) "Project's Review" and WOOD 2010 'Architecture of Necessities' exhibitions.

We think that the real potential of this project lies in the power of collaboration. With the involvement of many people from different backgrounds, and by layering diverse ideas over time, we can collectively make tremendous improvements to living conditions in Rio and really make a positive impact on people's lives. Oh behalf of FABberz, LaN, and the workshop participants, we thank you in advance for your interest and support!


Pike Loop – Robot Built Brick Wall in NYC

Pike Loop, a Robot-Built Installation in NYCSep 30 2009 - Nov 14 2009

Completed Installation on display until early January

Location: Pike Street between Division Street and East Broadway (map) Digital Materiality exhibition at Storefront: On show until November 14

In September 2009, Storefront for Art and Architecture will inaugurate an exhibition of the work of Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler, Architecture and Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich and, in conjunction with NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program, Storefront will present the first architecture project to be digitally fabricated on site, at 1:1 scale, in the US.

Developed through their research at ETH Zürich Faculty of Architecture, Gramazio & Kohler's work explores highly complex architectural artifacts, built by industrial robots typically used to assemble automobiles and perform other high-precision tasks. The accuracy, strength and speed of these robots allow them to fabricate architectural forms of unprecedented complexity and intricacy.

Gramazio & Kohler's work represents the cutting edge of innovation in the field of digital fabrication in architecture. For many years architects have relied on digital manufacturing processes such as CNC milling or 3D printing as a tool for formal research at model-scale. For the first time, Gramazio & Kohler’s work explores the potential of mobile digital fabrication techniques that can fabricate at 1:1 scale on site.

Positioned on the central mall on Pike Street, the robot will work for up to four weeks - in full view of the public - to construct a brick wall, a highly sculptural response to the specific identity of the site. For the Pike Loop installation, more than seven thousand bricks aggregate to form an infinite loop that weaves along the pedestrian island. In changing rhythms the loop lifts off the ground and intersects itself at its peaks.

The exhibition at Storefront Gallery will present the results of Gramazio & Kohler’s ongoing research into digital fabrication in architecture at ETH Zurich Faculty of Architecture. The same robot, R-O-B, unit recently built the award-winning installation, Structural Oscillations, at the 2008 architectural biennial in Venice.

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