We are pleased to announce two of our Payette Designers were selected for the AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit! The annual event showcases architectural work, design and art from the rising generation of architecture and design professionals. The exhibit is open to any architecture student, recent graduate or architect licensed fewer than 10 years. This year’s 33 “Citizen Design” projects tackle equity, access, ecology and sustainability with contemporary design solutions.
Payette Designer Ngaire Stuart Gongora’s winning submittal explores the benefits of using rig structures as artificial reefs and the complexity and beauty within a coral reef, while Jie Zhang developed a futuristic workplace design called ‘FoAM’ for the growing freelancer economy. Learn more about Ngaire and Jie’s winning submissions below.
By Ngaire Stuart Gongora, Assoc. AIA
The initial inspiration for this architectural proposal was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Vern and the possibility to seamlessly integrate with the marine environment we so strongly depend on, but severely under value. This limited appreciation stems from the general public’s inability to accurately experience this world and understand how the ecosystems within it function.
Coral reefs are rapidly dying and have been in decline for several years now, and once they are gone all supported levels of their ecosystem will soon follow—especially communities that depend on fishing. However, there is an effort to help these ecosystems through the use of artificial reefs.
Artificial reefs are man-made objects placed in the marine environment to promote coral reef growth. These structures can range from tires to barges to oil rig platforms. The Rigs-to-Reef program is one of the few groups trying to establish guidelines to re-use rigs as artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. This design proposal takes a leap from their already established efforts to bring to light how beneficial the oil platforms are for coral reef growth, but also to showcase to divers and non-divers alike the true way coral reef ecosystems function.
By Jie Zhang, Assoc. AIA
FoAM presents a futuristic workplace design that celebrates the rapidly growing freelancer economy, which makes up 35 percent of the US workforce in 2016 and is predicted to grow to 50 percent by 2020. No longer having to arrive at fixed, routine workplaces, agile workers of tomorrow—professionals, entrepreneurs and freelancers – thrive as backpackers in a new productive landscape, where the boundary between work and life is increasingly blurred. Currently, digital nomads flow between homes, coffee shops and co-working spaces, leveraging technology to connect with clients and collaborators near and far.
In the near future, a growing number of autonomous workers will demand not only more space, but also mobile, personalized and responsive environments to work better and achieve greater well-being. The increasingly digitalized lifestyle will also create a pressing desire to reconnect with the physical world and with each other. FoAM emerges out of such needs. Inspired by inflatable architecture from the 1960s, FoAM proposes a portable office as a personal armature made of multiple active layers. The inflatables, collapsible but otherwise thermally and acoustically insulating, re-imagine the workplace at the scale of the body.
Congratulations to Ngaire and Jie, and all the other winners selected for the AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit!