• Intervention

    albuquerque NEW MEXICO

    University of New Mexico SA+P
    Instructor: stephen MORA
    Students: Jason Argyropoulos, Brooke Belyeu, Ricardo Cano, Sam Flores, Angelina Grey, Stevie Hartmann, Hooman Keyhan, Adriana Liberman, Dale Lusk, Servando Miranda-Parra, Eduardo Ordaz, Stephen Conner Reichert, Michael Salinas, Sonia Vinajeras-Gallegos, Natalia Vladimirova, Maggie Wells, and Zhu Zhu.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project:

    stephen MORA: The design process for this project exists in an intersection where the digital “drawing board” collides with the necessity of a full-scale, physical realization of such design.

    “Intervention” is an installation that sits in the belly of the George Pearl Hall, home of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). This installation is an aggressive response to the harsh rectilinear facility that was conceived by AIA Gold Medalist, Antoine Predock. The plaza at Pearl Hall provides the perfect canvas for a spatial intervention of this scale, one that explores the manifestation of complex geometry through the techniques of CNC fabrication, tectonics, details and joinery. Here, the students were responsible for analyzing the current conditions of the plaza and developing an installation that had the capacity to activate the space in a way that would allow the plaza to function in a much more robust way. The result is an installation that breaks new ground for the University of New Mexico SA+P at this scale.

    Additional credits and links::

    This project took place in the Graduate Communication course at UNM. Designed, developed and fabricated by first year graduate students with no architectural background, “Intervention” is the culmination of a series of fast paced digital explorations combined with the rigorous development of critical fabrication skills.

    The Graduate Communication courses at the UNM SA+P are an integral component of the curriculum for students with non-architecture backgrounds. Here, students quickly learn how to utilize various analog and digital technologies to represent, visualize, and communicate the implications of proposed architectural forms.

    Photos: Jason Argyropoulos

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    • johnny f Says:

      “This installation is an aggressive response to the harsh rectilinear facility” …the argument is as if the main influence was the site, when in reality, how could the main(er) influence not be:

      or better yet,

      this is not original, offers no insight into anything that the previously done projects offer except they engage with the issue of authorship…is it OK now to directly copy and not reference the original in ANY way now?

    • recon:decon Says:

      While I agree there are obvious design influences here, I imagine they were likely explored as part of this exercise. Sure, many of us have seen work like this before, but for The University of New Mexico, this is pretty new territory. Not like we don’t see enough Zaha knockoff projects from architects who should know better. Let the kids have their fun.

    • Ani Says:

      Of course there are design influences. I agree with recon on letting the kids have their fun. As a recent graduate, I think these type of excersizes should be explored. Otherwise how are they/we going to learn? It is very rare to come out with projects that are fully resolved in their conditions and as students, we try to learn about how to improve or to learn from precedents. Why so harsh on issue of authorship? Ask yourself whether you were completely genuine in your designs during school. This type of commentary really gets to me. Design is not trademarked, nor should it be. We all don’t have to and do not design anything new at all, just different perspectives.

    • pablo Says:

      An architectural education is about discovering the problem and designing solutions in the realm of the built environment. Authorship is a perspective that shows what your limits are which is far from an environment of collaboration. Sure, authorship is great for learning but we should recognize that it’s just a sprint in a marathon. There are far greater issues out there that I believe designers should channel his/her energy in.

    • LOLA Says:


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    • Lola Says:

      Stephen, I think you are so flippen sexy.