Makers in the Making Soft Opening

Posted on November 30th, 2013 by Lisa LaCharité

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions

In recent years, the privileged role of representation has given way to other critical forms of pedagogy within the Academy of Architecture. Beyond acts of drawing, specification and communication, the architect’s role has not only been expanded to include a political domain that challenges the industry’s means and methods of fabrication, conventional protocols of building, and a subservience to the construction industry at large, but also a re-evaluation of the instruments of analysis to include tactics from the arts, sciences, and cultural media to expand the critical terrain of the discipline at large. Architects are, more than ever, researching, making, testing and simulating with materials – both physical and cultural– as a foundation for imagining other ways to transform practice as we have come to know it. In the Academy, instead of preparing students for a practice on the verge of obsolescence, our faculty is taking on material practices that invent alternative ways of creating architectural organizations, smart systems, interactive environments and an architecture that is responsive to complex social and cultural demands. This is MIT, and these are Makers in the Making. Nader Tehrani

MIT SA+P tweet from Makers in the Making soft opening on November 14, 2013:

NADAAA Gallery and MITM exhibitors are now in preparation for the Makers in the Making (MITM) opening in December. The NADAAA Gallery doors will be open to visitors after December 13 for regular viewing. More details to come. See photos from our soft opening in November below.
















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Posted on November 26th, 2013 by pmacdowell

Posted under: construction, Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB

Recently, the warped ceiling surface of the DFALD Level 3 design studios came under scrutiny as a major cost item during DD cost estimating.  Conventional building practice suggested that the complex form could only be achieved with hand-troweled plaster on metal lathe.  We proposed an alternative methodology using simple framing with cost-effective sheetrock and proved the viability of the concept with a 1:1 mock-up, fabricated in-house.  The mock-up convinced the construction team and reduced estimated costs by more than 50%.






UT_mockup_01c2×4 metal studs are cut to length and attached in the proper orientation for mounting rails.  Stud locations are measured and marked on the rails.  Because they are different lengths, stud spacing is 11-7/8” o.c. on one rail and 12-1/4” o.c. on the other.


UT_mockup_02Spanning studs are attached to the mounting rails.  As the geometry twists, the studs get longer, so each stud must be cut to a unique length.  The shortest stud, in the foreground, is 126-1/2”.  The longest, at the far end of the structure is 135-1/4”.


UT_mockup_03Because the studs have been spaced equally along both mounting rails, straight lines can be struck across the twisting surface.  Support members may be run through the knock-outs of the studs to reinforce the structure.


UT_mockup_06We chose to unify the structure with more 2×4 studs above the spanning members.  We achieved straight lines by dividing the first and last spanning members into thirds and running the reinforcement between those points.  Additional members attach the system to the structure above.  Note that both the mounting rails and the spanning members twist to accommodate the curvature of the surface.


UT_mockup_08Gold Bond “High Flex” gypsum board (1/4”  thick) is cut into 12” wide strips and attached to the frame, perpendicular to the spanning studs.  We did not need to score or wet the gypsum boards. The joints between boards are staggered to reduce the appearance of facets on the surface.

UT_mockup_09BThere are inherent geometric errors when mapping  rectangular sheets onto a doubly-ruled surface.  The maximum gap size we observed was approximately 3/4”.


UT_mockup_10Gaps between panels are relatively inconsequential at this stage, as this layer of gypsum will simply act as a substrate for the second, final layer.

UT_mockup_15BThe second layer of gypsum is hung perpendicular to the first.  These sheets are screwed directly to the first layer, avoiding the studs everywhere except the perimeter of the surface.


UT_mockup_20The rough edges of the sheets are cut back to the bounds of the surface and trimmed with corner bead.  Joints and screw holes are taped and mudded.


UT_mockup_21The surface is shown here after a single application of joint compound (Level 2 finish).  The joints are still wet and are not sanded.


UT_mockup_22The form is clean, with no apparent  inconsistencies or planar facets.



Melbourne University Construction Progress

Posted on November 26th, 2013 by achang

Posted under: _Melbourne School of Design, construction







JWA in collaboration with NADAAA.  Photo credit: Multiplex

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University of Melbourne FABP made of food?

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by Sia Herr

Posted under: _Melbourne School of Design, construction

Spaghetti-like steel captured by Stefan Mee of John Wardle Architects, NADAAA’s collaborator on University of Melbourne FABP.

Construction Photo_Steel for Monitors

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Learning Spaces of the Future

Posted on November 19th, 2013 by Sia Herr

Posted under: Events, Lectures, Things We Like

Nader Tehrani will be lecturing on November 21st, 2:00pm at Kuwait University.


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On the Cover

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by Sia Herr

Posted under: _Raemian, Press, Things We Like

Model Home Gallery is featured in the current issue of The Plan: Architecture & Technologies in Detail.  Check it out on the cover! Download the article here.


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Aesop Toronto, Yorkdale

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by pmacdowell

Posted under: construction, Installations + Exhibitions

Negotiating the relationship between datum, display and surface, Aesop Toronto, Yorkdale comprises fiberboard layers spaced consistently from the floor to the top of the display region.  The layers create the demising wall as well as the cantilevered shelves for the display of specific product lines.  Utilizing the same tectonic logic, the basin is housed within a block of stacked layers, routed and cut to accommodate the various components of the demonstration area.

A highly efficient architect-as-fabricator delivery model minimized costs for the client, facilitated an accelerated project schedule, and guaranteed adherence to design intent.  As pressures of construction and installation were incorporated into the design process, the digital design model became a virtual “shop drawing.”  This synthesis allowed the fabrication team to strategize construction methodology, material procurement, and installation procedure simultaneously with design development.  Our in-house fabrication capacities here at NADAAA sponsor a feedback-loop between digital design and construction processes, challenging developing architectural concepts with the rigors of physical production in an immediate and informative way.



Custom pieces are cut on NADAAA’s CNC router for assembly in-house.



Large components, sized for ease of installation, are stacked to form the shelving wall.



A plasma-cut steel element for holding tubes of product is welded together and nested in the shelving.



The installation team reassembled the millwork in Toronto overnight.



Through form and material sensibility, the installation establishes a distinct merchandising voice.



The width and position of the shelves respond to the requirements of specific product lines.




Functional detailing is integrated into the broader project form, as shown in the draw pull detail.



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Adam Silverman’s Monograph Features Boolean Valley

Posted on November 15th, 2013 by Sia Herr

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions, Press, Things We Like

Boolean Valley, Nader Tehrani’s 2008 installation with potter Adam Silverman, is one of the works featured in recently published book Adam Silverman Ceramics.

boolean valley


Image courtesy of

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Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Lisa LaCharité

Posted under: NADAAA Alumni


Below is a list NADAAA Alumni, some of whom are featured in the gallery above:

Alana Folsom, Alda Capi, Amara Abdal Figueroa, Aminah H. Alkanderi, Andrea Pompili, Austin Jarvis, Caitlin M Scott, Craig Chappel, Dane Asmussen, David Richmond, Dominique Asnault, Ellee Lee, Ergys Hoxha, Galo Canizares, Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh, Haydee Casellas, Hussa Al Hassawi, Iman Amini, Jalisa Joyner, James Juricevich, Jin Kyu Lee, Joana Rafael, John Chow, John Houser, John Mars, Jonathan Palazzolo, Kelly Pierson, Kevin Lee, Kian Hui Lan Yam, Laura Williams, Leonidas Pierson, Marta Guerra Pastrian, Mazyar Kahali, Mehdi Alibakhshian, Mohammed Almutawa, Monica Burckhardt, Nick Safley, Noora Al-Musallam, Peter Osborne, Parke Macdowell, Rawan N. Alsane, Ryan Gagnebin, Ryan Murphy, Samuel R Jacobson, Sarah Dunbar, Sarah Hirschman, Sasa Zivkovic, Sergio Verrillo, Sharon Xu, Shahad Khalifa, Shiyu Wei, Sia Herr, Sina Mesdaghi, Stephen Saude, SunMin May Hwang, Suzanne Costello, Tammy Lee Teng, Todd Fix, Tom Beresford, Wesley Hiatt, Yewona Chun

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Gwangju Design Biennale 2011

Posted on November 12th, 2013 by Sia Herr

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions, Press

NADAAA designed one of 10 “urban follies” for Gwangju Design Biennale 2011 which also became a permanent installation after the event.


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