New York, NY
The design for the Science Lab at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction developed in response to our student-clients' grievances: the current lab is comprised of mostly unusable or broken cabinetry and equipment, there is no safe place to store jackets and bags during lab time, and the bland, pea-green walls of the room are unappealing. Given that our work was to be restricted to finishes, we considered the ways in which a single surface such as a wall could be embellished to host many different activities: storage for large and small equipment, improved desk and overhead lighting, individual white-boards at each workstation, and graphics which could inspire students to think about the role of science beyond the classroom. We began with a familiar icon of high school labs: the standard Periodic Table. Using the shape of the Periodic Table as a building block, the design developed as a thickened wallpaper: an appliqué which could organize the many required functions in a continuous yet varied 3-dimensional surface. While the overall shape repeats from station to station, the mix and locations of the various functions shift to create unique combinations. Ultimately, the thickened wallpaper system transforms each desk area into a self-contained working/teaching station, where students can access stored materials, record their observations, and identify their work with the vast world of science.
Exhibited in “Gathering on Greene”, New York (2007), and published in Resonance (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010)