Announcing 2nd Annual BBB RED Research Award Winners

June 12, 2017

RED’s annual Research Award is the cornerstone initiative of BBB’s RED (Research, Exchange, Develop) initiative. In its second year, we received six provocative proposals – ranging from conceptual ideas and social issues to material, fabrication, and technology – from individuals and teams in both the New York and Washington DC offices. A jury comprised of a cross section of BBB and Kyna Leski, author of The Storm of Creativity, selected the two winners, who will receive stipends to advance their research.

Both winning teams will explore new ways of using existing BBB technologies, but through distinctly different concepts:

Scripting Processes For Automation + Efficiency, submitted by Cooper Schilder, will create dialogues among the different studios to determine how various design and planning software programs are used together, and establish a library of scripts, protocol implementation and geometry standards for automation and file integration.

Conceptual sketches of various possible integrations

Make Sidewalks Great Again, conceived by Anna Oursler and Pari Agarwal, will investigate new materials and construction methodologies for urban sidewalks that better serve stormwater and infrastructure issues while also enhancing aesthetics and durability. Designs will be developed using drawings and full scale mockups for testing and display.

Each team will develop their project over six weeks in the summer, with firm-wide presentations at the end of July. An exhibition of the final projects will take place in the fall. The intention is for these initiatives to offer ways of thinking that can be developed beyond the award period.

The Research Award program has generated much enthusiasm among staff, including grassroots communication and sharing during the process of forming teams as well as great interest in peers’ research topics. The goal of the award program – and the larger RED initiative – is to facilitate dialogue, challenge assumptions, push the limits of design, construction, and technological boundaries, and expand the firm’s approaches to architecture and planning.

In its second year, RED has already impacted the life of BBB’s practice above and beyond sponsoring independent research. For example, RED has organized trips to local fabricators and designers to engage in dialogues about process and materials; launched a series of firm-wide tech talks led by in-house experts on specific software programs; and hosted seminars with thought leaders such as Cynthia Davidson and Peter Eisenman.

Stay tuned for more RED updates and outcomes of the RED Research Award this Fall. (Click here to see last year’s winners.) RED supports and advances BBB’s people and projects through:

researching and investigating knowledge of new and innovative materials, processes, and methodologies;

• encouraging a culture and community of open dialogue, inquiry, creativity, and critical exchange;

• fostering development and propagation of ideas and applications that align with BBB’s practice and culture.