One of the columns at Baird Point.

James’ Info

Picture of Alex
  • Major: BS in Architecture
  • Class Year: 2015

James’ research has taken him around the world

Since receiving my bachelors, I’ve been in graduate school studying my Masters in Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). In my junior year at UB, I was asked to work on a team of students to develop a tensegrity project with funding from CURCA.

“The project proved to hold many architectural challenges that tested our abilities as architecture students to design and fabricate the full scale tectonic model.”

Together on this team we worked to assemble a full scale prototype that challenged a structural system under the guidance of UB Architecture professors. The project proved to hold many architectural challenges that tested our abilities as architecture students to design and fabricate the full scale tectonic model. Ultimately it was techniques that translated from our group research into a summer abroad design build studio that I partook in the following summer. It was a culmination of my architectural education, and research conducted with the help of CURCA’s funding that led me to understand tension and compression systems inherent to tensegrity structures.

The research well prepared me for the design build studio where we successfully designed and built a tensegrity structure in Kreuzberg, Berlin, responding to cultural and socio-economic transience that exists in the dynamic and ever changing touristic environment of Berlin. The research did not stop with the pavilion in Berlin rather further expanded during the following summer, my Junior year in Architecture, I studied abroad yet another time in Tokyo, Japan. It was on this trip that I was fortunate to participate in yet another design build of a Pavilion, this time in Fukushima, Japan. This structure was roughly 15’ high by 15’ wide and constructed out of steel components, all plasma cut to fit together without any pins, welds, or tethered connections.

With the experience and preliminary research conducted by the aid of CURCA, I began to research tectonic systems of joining materials and developing strategies to build them. The research not only spawned my interest in these topics which has grown tremendously during my post studies from UB, but it has aided to bring valuable design build experience to the table for discussion with multiple design teams around the world. I owe a lot of thanks to my fantastic team of designers while working with CURCA, as well as the teams that I’ve worked with afterwards to continue architectural research. I am looking forward to future projects that will increase in size and complexity and while doing so carve viable solutions to economic and sustainable Architectural approaches.

Last updated: October 07, 2016 3:01 pm EST