Ross Wimer
Senior Vice President
AECOM, Los Angeles

Society is currently undergoing the long-anticipated move from analog to digital, not only with the conception of design, but in its construction. Through case studies of three current projects with distinctive formal typologies; horizontal, vertical and object, the design implications of changes in production are explored. The approach for a new city master plan for a rapidly developing district in China was centered on a cellular grid of prefabricated components that could expand and contract organically according to need. The modules developed could accommodate a variety of uses ranging from civic to commercial.

The high-rise, also designed for a rapidly expanding district, utilizes components that are both locally crafted and high-tech. Terra cotta panels, produced locally, based on a long-standing craft tradition have been designed to allow for heat transfer through the façade via internal cavities. These are combined with high-performance glass for a unique effect that has aesthetic and performative advantages.

A new arena is currently being designed that has a complex envelope comprised of prefabricated panels. The configuration of the array is defined by both power generation and solar shading. The panels themselves are defined by the technique of their manufacture and their materiality. The benefit of connecting design to manufacture is revealed in the way the built environment can communicate the logic of its creation.