NewSchool of Architecture + Design

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, CA


NewSchool of Architecture and Design Senior Thesis: Soft Body Architecture Applied to U.S-Mexico Border

By NewSchoolSanDiego
Jun 10, '13 6:27 PM EST

Students: Michael Flynn, Ryan Raymundo, Christopher Schulte, NewSchool of Architecture and Design Master of Architecture program. Graduating class of 2013.

Thesis Title: Soft Body Architecture
Thesis Advisor: Gabriel Morales
Rendering Credit: C. Schulte, R. Raymundo, M. Flynn/NSAD

Thesis Summary: We seek to redevelop a portion of the San Diego-Tijuana border – Smuggler’s Gulch – according to its local context, both socially and ecologically. This in-between space serves as the prototyping stage for housing-infrastructure and landscape restoration mechanisms that cater to a new, borderless condition where architecture is contextually responsive without geopolitical constraints. A symbiosis develops wherein the site’s environment, topography and location directly benefit, and benefit from, the architecture. To do so, the standardized fabrication techniques and rigid formwork of Modernism are abandoned in favor of a more appropriate system that is able to develop this type of highly complex, adaptive and differentiated architecture. We propose a soft-body fabrication system that is able to create these surfaces via pressurized membranes that are welded together and can be quickly and precisely produced while yielding minimal waste. The system configures these membranes through digital simulation, which provides both the spatial organization as well as the associated discrete patterning. The attachment of a secondary inflated chamber serves as the fundamental support for the system and allows it to directly conform to topographic site conditions.

See more: Work produced by graduating students from NewSchool of Architecture and Design, located in San Diego, will be displayed at the Student Thesis Exposition on June 21, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The school is located at 1249 F Street, San Diego, Calif. 92101. The event is free and open to the public. Contact PR Manager Anna Cearley for more information:


About NewSchool of Architecture and Design
NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), founded in 1980, is located in San Diego, California. For the past two years, DesignIntelligence has ranked NSAD among the top 10 undergraduate architecture schools in the western United States in its publication “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools.” NSAD is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. NSAD’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NSAD also offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, along with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, a Master of Construction Management and a Master of Science in Architecture. The school’s expanding global design education offerings include a new Bachelor of Interior Design program available in 2013–2014. For more information, visit