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I.D. MagazineExcerpts from Get Smart section of magazine by Barbara Flanagan
Implacable sculpture made by ancient methods is no way to build now, say architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake...the partners claim that a new industrial revolution ought to transform the way buildings are planned, designed, constructed, and operated.
In short, they want to redesign design.
Why do ships, cars, planes, and spaceships keep getting better, while buildings don't budge? Part of the problem is that architects don't fully exploit "transfer technologies" — that is they don't mine fields outside their niche. To speed the progress, Kieran Timberlake tries to turn down projects with "obvious" solutions and has, for the past two years, run a tiny inhouse think tank for nonapplied research...
SmartWrap, exhibited last fall at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, is one fruit of the 55-person firm's collaboration with students and with manufacturers such as DuPont. The project, resembling gift-wrapped scaffolding, showcased a "first-generation prototype" of a potential building material that absorbs energy and then uses it to heat, cool, light, decorate, and communicate. ...
...the firm's proudest achievement is the new addition to Penn's engineering school. Their plot to undermine architecture emerges in their new book refabricating Architecture.