+FARM Design, Fabrication, and Construction

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    +FARM: SoftCore-HardForm

    By +farm
    Apr 3, '14 11:21 AM EST

    SoftCore-HardForm //////// Project Bio

    Due to their resilience while threatened by a blizzard, students successfully designed, fabricated, and constructed a seven-person sweat lodge over the course of three-and-a-half days. As students constructed the lodge on a mountain of snow, nasty weather didn’t slow down the fast-paced, all-hands-in collaborative design and construction process. The project focused on the design, fabrication, and construction of a sweat lodge using stainless steel and cedar planks on a 300 acre farm, adjacent to a 1860s farm house. Through design and work sessions, focused discussions, and technical sessions with metal fabricators as well as craftsmen, the assignment intended to spark new life into the old house and nearby apple orchard. The farmers also wanted a structure that was visible from the road and reverent to the surrounding fields. Although the area is predominantly farmland, the sweat lodge seeks to enhance an emerging relationship with secondary user groups such a local cycling team that trains nearby , providing an opportunity to connect their interests with an unlikely context.

    The charrette produced a contrasting interior and exterior that is carried out through both the material strategy and environmental response, but also directly parallel to the iterative, form-finding design process.  The hard stainless steel exterior protects a soft cedar interior core from the harsh environmental conditions.  By considering ergonomics and the sustained environmental forces, a pentagon knife form emerged that divides wind and sheds snow loads. Experiencing the winter weather first hand directly informed the direction and performance requirements.  While considering the experience of a "sweat" the students selected a soft warm wood such as cedar to comfort users inside the lodge. 

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About this Blog

+FARM is a design and construction summer studio program that brings together a range of professionals to work directly with the participants selected from an open call. The studio is located on a 300 acre farm, and the culture is based on experimental research in the context of fabrication and construction.

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