SITU Studio was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York while its four partners were studying architecture at the Cooper Union. Transitioning directly from school to opening an office, the classmates-turned-business-partners developed a model of practice that leveraged their collective interests in design, research and fabrication to create a studio uniquely equipped to explore a wide range of spatial issues.
The organization of SITU Studio’s workspace, split evenly between a fabrication shop and a design studio, reflects a commitment to interrogating design ideas through physical and material experimentation at a wide range of scales. The integration of the workshop space into the design practice itself introduces a high degree of flexibility in workflow – it is not uncommon for design studies to proceed in the form of full scale material experimentation in the earliest phases of a project’s development. This approach seeks to place the virtual and physical components of the practice into a productive and non-linear relationship that creates space for the act of making to become a generative part of the design process.
These ongoing engagements with the logics of assembly and manufacture have been inflected by the Studio’s underlying social investment in the themes of participation and distributed agency in architecture. A deep engagement with the program and context of each project underpins an approach to design problems that favors the development of rule sets, processes and protocols over any particular stylistic or formal agenda. Central to all of SITU Studio’s work is an effort to develop processes that leverage fabrication efficiencies, material re-use, flexible assemblies and community involvement to create spaces that engage in living relationships with the urban context of which they are a part.
SITU Studio is also strongly committed to interdisciplinary collaborations. Work done with a wide range of practitioners in other fields including lawyers, activists, geologists, paleontologists and artists have resulted in unanticipated but exciting applications of architectural tools and methodologies to projects that extend into territory far beyond the architectural community. The Studio engages in this work not only to explore novel and nuanced spatial problems driven by an entirely different set of objectives, but more importantly to seek new territory for the designer’s role in politics, science, society, and the environment.