2017 Quarra Matter Fellowship - Call for Submissions

Resulting projects from the 2015 & 2016 fellowships.

Resulting projects from the 2015 & 2016 fellowships.

Quarra Stone and Matter Design announce the third annual Quarra Matter Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship is a research position as part of an ongoing industry/academy collaborative research project between Quarra Stone and Matter Design on advancing digital agendas in the material stone.

Two research fellows will work daily at Quarra Stone’s location in Madison Wisconsin for the duration of a 10-week research project in the summer of 2017. During the course of this fellowship, the researchers will work directly with the Quarra Stone team to develop and implement advanced fabrication processes. This research will culminate in a series of large-scale constructed artifacts carved and assembled of stone. Fellows will work with and alongside the professional stone fabricators at Quarra Stone and are expected to report and communicate the research with their respective research coordinators—Brandon Clifford at MIT and Wes McGee at UM. This collaboration includes Caitlin Mueller in developing computational strategies with regard to the discipline of structure.

Past fellowships include a cairn (see this video) by the 2015 fellows Dustin Brugmann and Luisel Zayas, and a method for carving and casting metal details into a white marble shell structure by the 2016 fellows Inés Ariza and Shan Sutherland that will be published in this years Fabricate Conference.

The intention of this research is to build processes that improve accuracy and reduce the gap between drawing and making. Quarra Stone has vast resources dedicated to complex carving of stone, and Matter Design has an interest in engaging this resource and shoring it with computational intelligence. Both parties share an interest in this symbiotic relationship and the fellows will serve to implement, document, and aid in the publication of this research. Throughout the process, fellows will be exposed to master stone-cutters and learn about the process of cutting stone while simultaneously translating that knowledge into digital craft, thus sharing this knowledge with Quarra Stone. While the research is serious, the people at Quarra Stone are incredible hosts, and plenty of fun is had.

Eligibility:

This fellowship is eligible to current students and recent graduates of MIT and the University of Michigan, as well as previous Quarra Stone interns. Applicants at any level of their education will be considered. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact us.

Honorarium Details:

Each fellow will receive a stipend of $10,000. Throughout the 10 week period, 80% of the stipend will be distributed via payroll with the final 20% delivered upon submission of the research documentation. This stipend does not include travel or lodging.

Process to Apply:

Candidates must submit application material VIA E-MAIL AS ONE PDF ATTACHMENT.

Application Deadline: 5:00pm EST on February 05, 2017.

MIT Application Submission: bcliffor@mit.edu (Brandon Clifford, MIT/Matter Design)

UM Application Submission: wesmcgee@umich.edu (Wes McGee, UM/Matter Design)

Application Material: In ONE pdf please include the following

  • 100 word biography explaining which program the applicant is enrolled in and at what stage, as well as any notes about prior fabrication, computation, and research experience.
  • 250 word statement of interest
  • Curriculum vitae or Resume
  • 3 images (only) expressing the applicants ability to work with computation and fabrication
  • 3 Reference Contacts (not letters)

Applications will be reviewed by the second week of February with follow-up interviews soon after.

Brandon Clifford & Wes McGee | Matter Design

Jim Durham | Quarra Stone

Gothicness: On the Strangeness of Rib Details

In his treatise ‘The Nature of Gothic’, the English writer and theoretician John Ruskin identified six defining characteristics of the Gothic; however, Ruskin encountered a problem. Most buildings contain some, but very few contain all of his characteristics. Thus, Ruskin decided to evade rigid classification by suggesting that buildings may exhibit “Gothicness” to a “greater or less degree.” With the suffix ‘ness’, Ruskin’s Gothic becomes a movement embedded in a social agenda. It serves as protagonist against classicism; thereby eradicating a milieu of styles in favor of degrees between these two opposing movements. For Ruskin, Gothic is dedicated to the love of change and workmanship, while classicism is dedicated to the direct reproduction of idealized form; or as he posits, “an architecture invented, as it seems, to make plagiarists of its architects and slaves of its workmen.” For Ruskin, Gothic and Classicism are not passé styles, but oppositional agents that manifest in movements throughout history.

Brandon Clifford sees little difference between Ruskin’s social agenda of Gothicness and our contemporary social experiment—the digital revolution. Despite Ruskin’s attempts to claim there is no one version of Gothic, there is one element that is ubiquitous across all Gothic buildings: the rib. The rib is a critical element because it is the vehicle by which all six of Ruskin’s characteristics manifest into degrees of Gothicness. What is most intriguing about the rib is that it is simultaneously a practical tool as well as a rhetorical device. There are three peculiar moments of transition from functional to rhetorical ribs that hold resonance today ~ Pierness, Springness, and Vaultness. The exhibition illuminates the strangeness of Gothic rib details, examining the possibilities, potentials, and peculiar moments that parallel contemporary digital practice.

Gothicness is on exhibit at the MIT Wolk Gallery from April 20 - August 19, 2016.

Graphic Design by Johanna Lobdell.

 

2016 QuarraMatter Fellows Announced

Matter Design and Quarra Stone have announced this week that Inés Ariza of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Shan Sutherland of the University of Michigan have been selected as the 2016 QuarraMatter Fellows. 

For more information and the press release, click here.

2016 Quarra Matter Fellowship - Call for Submissions

Quarra Stone and Matter Design announce the second annual Quarra Matter Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship is a research position as part of an ongoing industry/academy collaborative research project between Quarra Stone and Matter Design on advancing digital agendas in the material stone.

Two research fellows will work daily at Quarra Stone’s location in Madison Wisconsin for the duration of a 10 week research project in the summer of 2016. During the course of this fellowship, the researchers will work directly with the Quarra Stone team to develop and implement advanced fabrication processes. This research will culminate in a series of large-scale constructed artifacts carved and assembled of stone. Fellows will work with and alongside the professional stone fabricators at Quarra Stone and are expected to report and communicate the research with their respective research coordinators—Brandon Clifford at MIT and Wes McGee at UM. For an example of the research conducted by the 2015 QuarraMatter Fellows, Dustin Brugmann and Luisel Zayas, see this video.

The intention of this research is to build processes that improve accuracy and reduce the gap between drawing and making. Quarra Stone has vast resources dedicated to complex carving of stone, and Matter Design has an interest in engaging this resource and shoring it with computational intelligence. Both parties share an interest in this symbiotic relationship and the fellows will serve to implement, document, and aid in the publication of this research. Throughout the process, fellows will be exposed to master stone-cutters and learn about the process of cutting stone while simultaneously translating that knowledge into digital craft, thus sharing this knowledge with Quarra Stone. While the research is serious, the people at Quarra Stone are incredible hosts, and plenty of fun is had.

Eligibility:

This fellowship is eligible to current students and recent graduates of MIT and the University of Michigan at any level of their education. While a preference will be given to graduate students in the architecture programs, other applicants will be considered.

Honorarium Details:

Each fellow will receive a stipend of $10,000. Throughout the 10 week period, 80% of the stipend will be distributed via payroll with the final 20% delivered upon submission of the research documentation. This stipend does not include travel or lodging.

Process to Apply:

Candidates must submit application material VIA E-MAIL AS ONE PDF ATTACHMENT.

Application Deadline: 5:00pm EST on February 05, 2016.

MIT Application Submission: bcliffor@mit.edu (Brandon Clifford, MIT/Matter Design)

UM Application Submission: wesmcgee@umich.edu (Wes McGee, UM/Matter Design)

Application Material: In ONE pdf please include the following

  • 100 word biography explaining which program the applicant is enrolled in and at what stage, as well as any notes about prior fabrication, computation, and research experience.
  • 250 word statement of interest
  • Curriculum vitae or Resume
  • 3 images (only) expressing the applicants ability to work with computation and fabrication
  • 3 Reference Contacts (not letters)

Applications will be reviewed by the second week of February with follow-up interviews soon after.

Brandon Clifford & Wes McGee | Matter Design

Jim Durham | Quarra Stone

Introducing Cumulus Pin Box Sets

Cyber Monday Deal! Cumulus Pins Box Sets on sale for $15.00. Click here to order yours.

These unisex pins are designed to strike curiosity with a bold and/or subtle statement. The two sizes are proportioned to work well as lapel pins, tie tacks, broaches, as well as any other creative solution you find.

The Package Sets - Choose between the two designs (#503 or #504) offered in sets. Each set includes both a large and demi version of the same design. Wear them as a couple, individually, or mix things up.

2015 QuarraMatter Fellows Announced

Matter Design and Quarra Stone have announced this week that Dustin Brugmann of the University of Michigan and Luisel Zayas San Miguel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been selected as the inaugural 2015 QuarraMatter Fellows.

For more information and the press release, click here.

McKnelly Megalith Righted

The 'McKnelly Megalith' righted today onto it's belly. On Tuesday, May 12th in Killian Court at MIT, the Megalith will walk and stand upright for the first time. The 'McKnelly Megalith' is produced by the MIT Megalithic Robotics studio.

Endalaus Wedding Bands

2015 Quarra Matter Fellowship - Call for Submissions

Quarra Stone and Matter Design announce the first annual Quarra Matter Fellowship. This fellowship is a research position as part of an ongoing industry/academy collaborative research project between Quarra Stone and Matter Design on advancing digital agendas in the material stone. 

Two research fellows will work daily at Quarra Stone’s location in Madison Wisconsin for the duration of a 10 week research project in the summer of 2015 and each receive an stipend of $10,000 (stipend does not include travel or lodging). During the course of this fellowship, the researchers will work directly with the Quarra Stone team to develop and implement advanced fabrication processes. This research will culminate in a series of large-scale constructed artifacts carved and assembled of stone. Fellows will work with and alongside the professional stone fabricators at Quarra Stone and are expected to report and communicate the research with their respective research coordinators—Brandon Clifford at MIT and Wes McGee at UM. The intention of this research is to build processes that improve accuracy and reduce the gap between drawing and making. Quarra Stone has vast resources dedicated to complex carving of stone, and Matter Design has an interest in engaging this resource and shoring it with computational intelligence. Both parties share an interest in this symbiotic relationship and the fellows will serve to implement, document, and aid in the publication of this research.

Throughout the process, fellows will be exposed to master stone-cutters and learn about the process of cutting stone. Fellows are to work exclusively on the research project; however, fellows are expected to compile and share their knowledge about automation, computation, or method with Quarra Stone at large.

Eligibility:

This fellowship is eligible to current students and recent graduates of MIT and the University of Michigan at any level of their education. While a preference will be given to graduate students in the architecture programs, other applicants will be considered.

Process to Apply:

Candidates must submit application material VIA E-MAIL AS ONE PDF ATTACHMENT.

Application Deadline: 5:00pm EST on February 01, 2015.

MIT Application Submission: bcliffor@mit.edu (Brandon Clifford, MIT/Matter Design)

UM Application Submission: wesmcgee@umich.edu (Wes McGee, UM/Matter Design)

Application Material: In ONE pdf please include the following

  • 100 word biography explaining which program the applicant is enrolled in and at what stage, as well as any notes about prior fabrication, computation, and research experience.
  • 250 word statement of interest
  • Curriculum vitae or Resume
  • 3 images (only) expressing the applicants ability to work with computation and fabrication
  • 3 Reference Contacts (not letters)

Applications will be reviewed by the first week of February with follow-up interviews soon after.

Brandon Clifford & Wes McGee | Matter Design 

Jim Durham | Quarra Stone 

Round Room Opening Teaser

Join us this Friday, September 12 at 5 PM for the opening reception of Round Room by Matter Design (Brandon Clifford and Wes McGee) and Quarra Stone (James Durham) at MIT - Keller Gallery (7-408). 

Digital Inca

A prototype of a translation of the Inca Wedge method into Autoclave Aerated Concrete. First the unique units are carved with precision on the visible face, then swarf milled away in the back to ensure only the front edge and a central nub will align with the neighbors. What is of interest in this method is the conventional technique of laying mortar then setting a masonry unit into the mortar allowing the squeeze-out to precisely align units is replaced. In this technique, the precisely carved units are first held in place dry, then packed in from behind with mortar (in this case plaster). This method has advantages and disadvantages, though we are excited for the potentials. More to come soon!

Volumetric Robotics Book Available

Volumetric Robotics the book is now available to purchase! Volumetric Robotics: MIT Architectural Design Workshop is a catalog of the research produced in the 'Volumetric Robotics' workshop led by Brandon Clifford at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning. The catalog contains documentation and knowledge gained during throughout this investigative research process.

Volumetric Robotics Exhibition Opening

Volumetric Robotics Exhibition

Please join us for the opening of the exhibition titled Volumetric Robotics on March 19 at 6pm at the BSA Space in Boston. For more information on the opening, please visit the BSA Space website.

While some hold on to notions of alien intervention, Brandon Clifford, Belluschi Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and curator of the exhibition Volumetric Robotics, argues that ancient civilizations like the Inca were much more advanced in their knowledge of volumetric construction than we are today. It is a rare occasion when we construct with massive blocks of stone these days.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the design industry has favored economically friendly, often thin veneers for the cladding of structural volumes. Such an assumption about efficiency neglects the potential of various ancient and lost methods to produce superior external skins. This is why we are in awe of the Inca: We simply can’t explain how their work was possible.

The show includes a “cabinet of curiosities” containing artifacts and tools, footage of a robotic arm carving volumetrically, and prototypes of walls and columns fabricated by the same robot. Also included is new research from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning that explores ways to recapture methods of carving stone in the digital era.

Range now On Sale

CoverRange
CoverRange

Range is now on Sale! Visit our online store here to get your copy of Range today for only $19.95.

Range compiles the work of Matter Design by project from the years 2008-2013 in reverse chronological order. Each project contains a descriptive text, but some also compile previously published articles and are noted as such. The structure of this catalog is simple—reference image on the left with a project image on the right. This simple structure has allowed the possibility of focusing in on details, or illustrating multiple references. While each spread is simplistic and often didactic, the confluence of references for each project speak to the range, breadth, and complexity of the work.