Drive Change: Snowday Design Reveal Party

On Thursday afternoon we finished installing exterior panels on Drive Change’s first food truck Snowday. This marks the end of the design and fabrication phase for Snowday and the beginning of a new journey on the streets of New York City in the coming year.

Below is a 1-minute timelapse of the final hours of installation.

SITU STUDIO Timelapse Snowday Install from Situ Studio on Vimeo.

In celebration of the finished truck Drive Change hosted a design reveal party at Situ Fabrication in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Hundreds of people showed up to see the finished truck and sample a tasting menu inspired by Snowday’s signature ingredient – New York State maple syrup.


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Inhabitat stopped by to cover the event and describes the design as an “transformation of an old Con-Ed truck with an abstract snowflake design that echoes Snowday’s fun, arctic theme. Recycled materials such as reclaimed cedar and reclaimed Redwood from an old cooling tower were used to create the multi-colored, 3-layer snowflake pattern that wraps the vehicle…” Read the full post here


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Drive Change Truck Reveal Party

Drive Change is scheduled for a soft launch this winter while in the process of securing final permits and passing inspection. In the spring of 2014 Snowday plans on completing the first eight-month transitional program cycle that helps justice-involved youth adapt to life outside of prison.

Keep up with Snowday on social media via #justtrucks and @Snowdaytruck



Heartwalk moves to Atlantic City

Last week Heartwalk reached its final destination overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the oldest boardwalk in the country (opened in 1870) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Heartwalk has traveled from its original home in Times Square as the winner of the annual Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition, to Pearl Street Triangle near the waterfront in DUMBO, to Brooklyn to The Rockways in Queens before finding a permanent home in Atlantic City.


Heartwalk is installed near New York Ave. on the 4 mile long boardwalk.

After sundown Atlantic City gave Heartwalk a warm welcome at a Dedication Ceremony with glowsticks and candy for visitors of all ages, and a local band playing love songs.


Heartwalk draws inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds the City’s citizens together during trying times. It is built entirely from wooden planks salvaged from New York and New Jersey boardwalks that were severely damaged by Hurricane and creates a space for visitors to gather and reflect on their experiences and possibly even discuss how to be better prepared for the future.

Heartwalk is the first of the Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition winners to travel to several public spaces and be installed permanently. We are really grateful for everyone who has made Heartwalk and this journey possible.

You can browse and keep up with Heartwalk’s journey online on, a crowd-sourced Instagram gallery where all photos with the hashtag #Heartwalk and #HeartwalkAC are posted.




Situ Research: Division and Website Launch

Last week we launched Situ Research, a site dedicated to interdisciplinary design work that addresses urgent contemporary spatial issues. Over the past few years we have collaborated with human rights organizations, scientists, city planners and lawyers on vide range of projects, all collected on our new website

Situ Research associates McKenna Cole and Charles-Antoine Perrault share a few words about their investigations on two current research projects.


Deforestation patterns, militarization, and urban development in the Ixil territory are strongly correlated. This map illustrates how Guatemalan government’s “Model Village Program” participated in the destruction of Ixil people’s natural environment.

Charles is working on the investigation of a genocide case in Guatemala – A project undertaken in collaboration with Forensic Architecture and Paulo Tavares.  From March 1982 to August 1983, General Efraín Ríos Montt ruled the country with an iron fist during one of the bloodiest periods of its long civil war. Montt is now facing accusations of crime against humanity and genocide against Mayan groups before the National Court of Guatemala. Charles is producing a set of time-based maps and visualizations representing Rios Montt government’s intent to destroy a particular ethnic group. “Leveraging a broad range of evidentiary material (military logs, exhumation data, historical pictures, satellite images…), we reveal intersections between military operations, indiscriminate violence against civilian populations, systematic destruction and relocation of indigenous communities, and transformations in the urban and natural environment.” This work is intended to enter as evidence in Ríos Montt’s trial and will be integrated in a publicly accessible online geospatial platform.

Explore more Situ Research projects on Human Rights issues here


Image of PLUTO Dataset joined with building footprints translated into a 3d model of the Jackson Heights section of Queens.

McKenna is engaged in the development of the research for Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities a fourteen-month long workshop series culminating in exhibition at MoMA in November 2014. Situ is collaborating on this project with Cohabitation Strategies. Mckenna explains: “We’re reaching out to other practitioners, organizations and non-profits in the process of trying to formulate a clear understanding of the unevenness in New York City as it is physically manifested in disparate housing conditions, access to infrastructure, and policies at large. We’re analyzing and manipulating publicly available datasets to help us understand housing conditions on both a city-wide and neighborhood scale. Mapping and modeling are being used simultaneously in order to visualize the spatial implications of the data being used.”

Learn more about our participation in the first workshop at MoMA PS1 and keep an eye on the blog for updates as we visit Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in mid-December.

Explore past blog posts on Situ Research projects here

Design Lab: Sandbox Install

We’ve been journeying to Queens to begin installing Sandbox, the first of five new workshop spaces in Design Lab at the New York Hall of Science. The plywood cabinet desk with built-in storage is fabricated at our shop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and installed on site, while the museum remains open to visitors.





Watch this video for a roundup of the design, fabrication and installation process of Sandbox:

To learn more about Design Lab and the four new workshop spaces, visit this page.

Structural engineering by Laufs Engineering Design (LED).

“Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities” Workshop at MoMA PS1

This past week Situ Studio and Situ Research participated in the launch of the MoMA exhibition “Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.” This past Friday and Saturday marked the first in a series of workshops that will culminate in a publication and an exhibition at MoMA in November 2014. The six teams chosen to participate met for the first time at MoMA PS1 where teams began to collaborate and think through the questions prompted by the exhibition brief. Situ Studio has been pared to work with Cohabitation Strategies on New York City for this exhibtion. The other teams will be working in Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro.

Gondola transportation system in the favela community “Morro do Alemao” in Rio de Janeiro
Photo Pedro Rivera, RUA Arquitetos

The workshop on Friday began with presentations by a panel of advisors on the topic of the subjects of uneven growth and tactical urbanism including Sasia Sassen, Nader Tehrani, Michael Sorkin, Teddy Cruz, Alfredo Brillembourg, and Mimi Zeiger.  The rest of the day teams worked on compiling presentations of past work as individual firms as well as initial impressions of the prompt and the city in which the work will be done.


Situ partner, Brad Samuels, presents a map created from 311 complaints to the Department of Buildings reporting  illegal conversions as part of the research on informal housing in New York City.

While the workshop on Friday was closed to the public, the presentations on Saturday were opened up to the public.  Beginning with an introduction by curator Pedro Gadanho, each team presented their past-work and preliminary research.  A panel of respondents including Neil Brenner, Ed Keller, Quilian Riano, and others, reflected on the early proposals.

A second workshop is set for Shenzhen in mid-December. To learn more about this project please visit this MoMA’s website here

Drive Change: Snowday Progress

Drive Change’s first food truck is well underway. Inspired by its signature dish, New York state maple syrup poured over fresh snow, this former Con-Ed truck has been named Snowday. These past weeks the truck has been at Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solutions (MKS), where it’s been stripped of its original interior, and a new industrial kitchen  has been installed. Next stop is Situ Fabrication in the Navy Yard, where the exterior design made from repurposed wood panels covering the outside of the truck will be fabricated and installed, as a last step before Snowday is ready to hit the city streets in early winter this year.

mapple taffy-sugar on snow

Visit Snowday’s website here and explore a menu with locally sourced food and signature ingredient; New York State maple syrup.

Side with ladder

Ernie inside truck

Ernie and Foreman discuss installation details. Shanghai MKS is a family-operated business initially established in 1979 to provide Chinese cooking equipment and furnishing, and remains a go-to for food truck kitchen construction today.


Latest rendering of the design above, and a lighting mockup testing below showing how the letters from logo design will read at night. The exterior wood with  Snowday’s logo embedded in the pattern design will be installed as panels onto the hooks on the sides of the truck.

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To learn more about the social mission behind Drive Change click here, and stay up to date with progress follow #justtruck.


Design Lab: Sandbox Fabrication

These weeks we are fabricating the first of Design Lab’s five workshop spaces at bldg. 132 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. All components for Sandbox are milled on site, paneled, and installed in stages at New York Hall of Science in Queens. One of the feature elements in this largely open space is a plywood cabinet desk with built-in storage. Sandbox is a workshop area dedicated to large-scale building and experimentation. See the latest rendering and overview of Sandbox here




To learn more about Design Lab click here #designlab #designismaking

Beaux Arts Ball Roundup

This year the 69th Regiment Armory housed more than a thousand guests and a handful of large puppets for a night of festivities and performance at The Architectural League’s annual Beaux Arts Ball.

We spent 48 hours transforming the Armory’s Drill Hall into a landscape of ethereal floating lightweight structures hovering above the floor, spent a night of dancing underneath underneath a live feed projection mapping, sound installations and lighting design, and finally spent a Sunday uninstalling.

We just finished a video that documents the process from rigging to final party. Watch below


Photo Keith Sirchio
Entrance to the cavernous Drill Hall at the 69th Regiment Armory.


Photo Fran Parente


Photo Keith Sirchio
Processional Arts Workshop designed 14 ft tall mylar puppets who along with performers roamed throughout the dance floor.


Photo Design Wire
The theme for this year’s Ball was -ism, and Situ colleague James welded his as cubism-inspired costume


Photo Keith Sirchio


Photo Keith Sirchio


Photo Patrick Mandeville

See more photos from this year’s Beaux Arts Ball and learn more about our environment design here

Environment Design: The Architectural League of New York’s Beaux Arts Ball

On September 28th, The Architectural League will hosts its annual Beaux Arts Ball in the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue and 25th Street. The Beaux Arts Ball takes inspiration from and responds to the building where it is held, and the remarkable interior and enduring legacy of the 1913 art exhibition the Armory once housed is no exception.

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69th Regiment Armory space as it appears today

We are designing and building an environment that will transform the space for a single evening alongside a responsive lighting design by Renfro Design Group, a performance installation of large-scale puppets by Processional Arts Workshop, a music and sound installation by Nathan Halpern (with Mary Lattimore and Chris Ruggiero) and a DJ set by Detroit-native Jon Santos.

To occupy this immense 28,0000 square foot space we have designed an array of tensegrity structures that will rise above and dip below and existing cable grid datum 20 feet overhead.

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Photo by Patrick Mandeville.

Study-model made out of string and paper. Notice how the toy soldiers are the perfect scale ratio.

This faceted, diaphanous landscape will become transformed to a dynamic site where a horde of colossal puppets (designed, build and activated by Processional Arts Workshop) will roam throughout the night. To see a video of the puppets swaying through the streets of SoHo click here

The massive, yet – lightweight, structures that frame various programs of the Ball are designed with structural efficiency and made of simple modular components typically used in the construction industry: the fire-retardant polyethylene sheets made from recycled resins typically used as a vapor barrier in concrete curing, while the compression members are comprised of off-the-shelf, unaltered, aluminum electrical conduit.


Full-scale mock up of structural design about Situ Fabrication in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Given the temporary nature of the environment, Situ is mindful of the source and life of the material it is employing; after the event, polyethylene fabric and nylon rope will be re-purposed for theater productions while the aluminum conduit will be returned to its supplier.

Beaux Arts Ball 2013 – Design Preview from Situ Studio on Vimeo.

The project will be immersive, combining spatial interventions, live video feed, projections and performance into a single ephemeral environment that will disappear almost as soon as it materializes.

Drive Change Photo Diary: Design Phase and Interior Remodeling

We’re moving along in our process of getting Drive Change‘s first food truck on the road this winter. First stop on its route is Shanghai MKS – a family-owned and operated business and the go-to place for interior construction for food trucks in New York City. While they work on remodeling the interior of this old Con-Ed truck, we’ll finish up the design at the studio and prepare for installation of the exterior panels at building 132 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Here’s a series of photos from our kick-off design meeting and a few before-photos of the truck in its original state.

Stay tuned as the truck arrives at bldg. 132 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in early November and we begin fabrication.






We’ll continue to document the journey of Drive Change’s first food truck from sketch to final truck #justtruck

Photos The IS Collective 

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