Perspective view of pavilion Views up through the fibers by day and night section plan sisal twine and mockup
Sisal Sukkah yields a static framework and loose material pallet which manifests itself into a interwoven construct deployed through the parameters of the traditional sukkah. A tensile weave of the sisal fiber transforms the limp cording into a dynamic textile. Architecturally programmed through modeling software the weave provides various densities amongst its surface and volume for gathering, shading, and viewing. The structure becomes a loom for compounding tensile fibers into a thick screen providing shelter and shade from elements during the Sukkot meal.
Seven miles of sisal twine aggregate into the a dense single Sukkah. Looping the twine through framing hardware establishes a web of fibers constructing the walls. Volumes of thick weave transform the space from a defined wall to a place which occupies the sukkah itself, no longer solely a shelter but also a consuming effect of thousands of strands of articulated twine transformed to a filigree. The work distorts when sisal begins looping through itself, pulling the straight tensile lines of rope to contort into voids. The assemblage resists the strict pattern of a weave in a loom while retaining porous variation for subtle effect through shadows, lights and view into an inhabitable texture.

Short film made for Supermanoeuvre and Matter Design Studio to show their robotic rod bending for the Venice Beinnale.

Client: Australian Institute of Architects

Project Leads: Supermanoeuvre (Dave Pigram and Iain Maxwell)  in collaboration with Matter Design Studio (Wes Mcgee)

Fabrication team: Ben Hagenhofer, James “Whit” Self, Lauren Vasey

Fabricated at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Music: “Note Drop” by Broke For Free (

Film produced for Robert Yuen’s Master of Science in Digital Technologies at the University of Michigan Taubman College

Project Description

Castable and malleable materials (e.g. concrete, plaster, rockite and etc..) deserve a renewed consideration in architectural design due to their connection historically to the craftsman role and embodiment of tacit knowledge that extends beyond what is explicitly gained to contemporary digital fabrication and design. Castable material in the contemporary discourse of architecture has faded mainly in response to two conditions, one to the rise of digital fabrication, the usability and feasibility of standardized sheet material such as plywood boards. Second is the incapacity for architecture to engage inexact materials to be integrated in the architectural design process. This project seeks bring castable and malleable materials back into the discourse of architecture with the advent of recent affordable and the re-purposing of specific technologies to explore 3D vision and scanning to capture the latent potential of an unpredictable means of generating form.

Master of Science in Architecture: Digital Technologies by Robert Yuen
Design Research Project

Landfill capacity around the great lakes



Not consequently a wal-mart sits adjacent to the site which has collected the residual consumer goods of the suburban culture. For years the region has been building it’s own foundation for a tabula rasa, for a landscape project. In the course of ten years since remediation decomposition has altered the site. As our consumer desires grow stronger our landfills also grow larger. In the mid-west there are nearly seventy five landfills nearing capacity. While simple solutions for remediation have been developed, post cap and greening these sites lay dormant as they shift, decompose, and settle through time.

Lyon township acquired user rights to the republic waste remediated landscape. An understated and uninformed reaction by the community was to utilize the site for ubiquitous neighborhood programming; benches, baseball fields, playground structures, and picnic areas. While the programming on top of the cap remained static during the first ten years of acquisition, the waste below continued to dissolve and compact ever changing and moving, a dynamic landscape.

While engineering has imagined infrastructure able to anticipate the changing nature of the contained waste, little opportunity has emerged to image new landscapes of possible futures as eccentric, unproportional and dynamic as the waste below them. Coupling relevant issues of designing through dynamic landscapes and engaging the remediation process, unexpected narratives and scenarios emerge. Designing through projection rather than the present. 

Water re:
As the land slopes and shifts low points wander through the field of monitoring caps. Using the weight of water and the shedding topography of the landscape, the proposal concentrates water to pools which over time create a weight large enough to amplify focused pressure to the compacting garbage. In the end the landscape finishes as a large crater filled with water. The residual berms which retained the waste erode into the lake mixing to a fully remediated marshland.


The transforming terrain also leads to adjusting top soil. As the base decomposes, the water swales and the ground erodes. Building interventions atop such a charismatic territory is reduced down to the simple issue that rigid bodies do not like moving foundations. Instead the work imagines a series of follies; initially nestled within the ground bridging, connecting and grounded. As the earth adjusts to the happenings underneath it wears away from the structure slowly exposing more while reducing its footprint.


Spotted through the landscape are a series of regulation caps. These caps monitor the methane levels being released from the decomposing waste. Currently a $30,000 budget is allocated to the mowing of a landfill. Why? because these caps need to be visible at a distance for safety and maintenance purposes. A small area surrounding each monitoring cap is all that is required to be manicured, this can be done with the mowing capabilities of a small heard of sheep. Tethered to each cap, the sheep graze the lawn providing the necessary radius of short grasses while greatly reducing budgetary constraints and maintenance efforts.

The means of extending our projections to the extreme allows a reach to the ends of reason and find emergent and revealing scenarios which would not have been discovered in the passive attention of resolving issues one by one. To resolve the post-landfill is to propose a projective landscape.

with William Liow

wood edges at the saw mill


2011 - 10up Competition - Atlanta, GA

10UP 2011

As a practice of the temporality Edge Condition challenges the material, assembly, process and effect of public space. The act of the installation presents architecture at a different physical and temporal scale. A short existence of the experience replaces the density of architecture as a permanent object with the ephemeral sensitivity of a condition in time. The installation has become a means of participation by public and practice to work through ideas in iteration. Installations by nature has a plasticity, one which can transition and adapt. At the scale of occupation while nimble and tactile, it also allows the examination of questions in architecture through the process of making the conceptual.

Interrogating material as a device for design, wood edges were discovered as a standardized element which could aggregate to a series of constructions. While variable in length and width the wood edges are consistently one inch thick from the milling process. As the lumber mill planes and trims wood boards for inventory, the wood edges as off cuts become a residual material in the process. Edge Condition finds a way to extract the balance from the process to utilize its capacity in the practice of an installation. The conclusion of the installation also means the conclusion of the wood edges life, but rather than being disposed they are re-inserted to the milling process to be churned to wood chips as a new condition and anticipated capacity for the material. By operating on the edge of definitive material, neither board nor wood chip, the wood edge becomes the temporal object between two phases.

In the same light the pavilion offers the capacity to be an edge condition of construction. The methodical mode of stacking and maneuvering the edges is in itself on the edge of a mode of assembly. The flat stacking method gives way to opportunities for expansion and contraction of the volume between the material. The variable of stacking techniques allow for light to move into the pavilion only through the spaces between the edges transforming the edge condition into an ephemeral effect. The friction fit stack enables a rapid assembly/dis-assembly mode as a condition of the installation.

While in its first life, Edge Condition existed for a 8 day period, the expectation is that the texturized assemblage would transform over time as its exposure continued. In the short term of the installation the wood edges found themselves faded where exposed to sunlight and protected where two edges overlapped. In initial tests of the slatted surface through the seasons, finite particles move uninterrupted through the space while larger accumulations of snow and leaves began to seal and block the atmosphere of light and wind into the interior condition. Searching for the unexpected and anticipating surprising new conditions is the earnestness of installations, it provides what it is and to interrogate its result rather than its expectation is the value of continuing to work on the edge.


Sponsors: wood edges donated by Hardwoods of Michigan in Clinton, Michigan. Young Architects Forum of Atlanta, Octane Coffee Bar, AIA Atlanta, Modern Atlanta

Ann Arbor crew: Christopher Holzwart, Mary O’Malley, Sarah Petri, Kyle Shobe, Peter von Buelow, 
Robert Yuen

Atlanta crew: 
Emily Bacher, Keith Brockman, Jason Diehl, Adam Glenn, Nathan Koskovich, Carolina Montilla


inhabitat dezeen archdaily designboom taubman college

The modular design of a three component aggregate paper structure to create the form work of a dress. Created out of tyvek the dress contains a strength that paper cannot provide while showcasing the possibilities of a flat pattern to formal fashion.

in collaboration with Andrew Aulerich

Glow Workshop installation in Flint, MI.

Glow Workshop was a class taught by Catie Newell at the Taubman College at the University of Michigan. Winter 2011.

Lisa Sauve

Jessica Timmer

Jamie Wilson

Music: Cherry - Ratatat


2011 - 10up Competition - 1st Place - to be built June 2011

Utilizing a by-product material as a means of invoking the temporary pavilion with a temporary material wood edges cut from hardwood boards give a standardized object to build upon creating a field in which to inhabit. By operating on the edge of definitive material, neither board nor wood chip, the wood edge becomes the temporal object between two phases.

In the same light the pavilion offers the capacity to be an edge condition of construction. The methodical mode of stacking and maneuvering the edges is in itself on the edge of a mode of construction. The flat stacking method gives way to opportunities for expansion and contraction of the volume between the material. The variable of stacking techniques allow for light to move into the pavilion only through the spaces between the edges transforming the edge condition into an ephemeral effect.

The standardized one inch thick wood edge and weight of the hardwood compress the stack into a inhabitable nest stabilized by its dimension and assembly. While dis-assembly is the reverse operation, the disposal of the material is a process of returning the wood edges to the hardwood mill as to re enter the recycling process that would otherwise take place.

Dimension 23 

Dimensions is the annual, student-produced journal of architecture at the University of Michigan. It seeks to contribute to the critical discourse of architectural education by documenting the most compelling work produced by its students, faculty, fellows, and visiting lecturers.


Thesis: Kevin J. Deng, Emmet T. Harrison, Sen Liu, Patrick Lynch, A. Scottie McDaniel, Juan Mercado, Ivelise Ruiz Upward, Bethany Wilson. Architecture Fellows: G. Britt Eversole, Nataly Gettegno, Jason Kelly Johnson. Lecturers: Marlon Blackwell, Eric Kahn and Russel Thomsen (IDEA Office), and Ben Nicholson. Wallenberg Studio: Marie Matta, Marc Maxey, Ben Ruswick, Alex Timmer. A conversation with associate professor Geoffrey Thün. With a foreward by Melissa Harris and a postscript by Christian Unverzagt.


Thom Affeldt, Bradley Cooper, Kai Liu, Sarah Petri, Amy Rydleski, Matt Slingerland, Adam M. Smith, Natalie Wiersma, James McAlistair Wilson, Robert C. Yuen