• For her Design Biennial Boston project,

    For her Design Biennial Boston project, "Techtonics of Transparency: The Tower," MIT lecturer Cristina Parreño constructed a tower from glass. “Glass been traditionally been used as an infill material, one that is rarely understood for its structural properties,” the Biennial site states.

    Photo: Jane Messinger

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  • Cristina Parreño's tower stands 17 feet high and is constructed from 350 custom fabricated blocks made from layers of glass and assembled in a screen-like pattern of alternating blocks and openings. This installation is part of Parreño's ongoing series examining the innate capacity of glass to withstand extraordinary compressive forces.

    Cristina Parreño's tower stands 17 feet high and is constructed from 350 custom fabricated blocks made from layers of glass and assembled in a screen-like pattern of alternating blocks and openings. This installation is part of Parreño's ongoing series examining the innate capacity of glass to withstand extraordinary compressive forces.

    Photo: Jane Messinger

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  • Referencing both a periscope and a lighthouse, Cristina Parreño’s tower invokes the Boston Greenway’s infrastructural and maritime history. The various projects in the exhibition, write the Design Biennial Boston’s curators, “share a deep fascination with production processes — from material exploration to techniques of fabrication — as well as a parallel engagement with the public in public space.”

    Referencing both a periscope and a lighthouse, Cristina Parreño’s tower invokes the Boston Greenway’s infrastructural and maritime history. The various projects in the exhibition, write the Design Biennial Boston’s curators, “share a deep fascination with production processes — from material exploration to techniques of fabrication — as well as a parallel engagement with the public in public space.”

    Photo: Jane Messinger

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  • Assistant Professor Joel Lamere’s firm, GLD, submitted to the Design Biennial Boston an installation entitled

    Assistant Professor Joel Lamere’s firm, GLD, submitted to the Design Biennial Boston an installation entitled "Grove" made from resin-infused fiberglass tape over tailored, inflatable molds. From the outside, the installation resembles a cluster of trees, but up close, the shapes reveal opening and voids that invite the visitor to peek inside.

    Photo: Judy Daniels

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  • “Installations are opportunities to push experimental processes forward that might translate into new building innovations,” writes Joel Lamere on the website of his firm, GLD. Here, GLD used the opportunity to invent a new method for shaping forms that results in an incredibly light but rigid structure as thin as 2 mm in most places.

    “Installations are opportunities to push experimental processes forward that might translate into new building innovations,” writes Joel Lamere on the website of his firm, GLD. Here, GLD used the opportunity to invent a new method for shaping forms that results in an incredibly light but rigid structure as thin as 2 mm in most places.

    Photo: Judy Daniels

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  • “By peeking inside, visitors not only see the voids that were formed around inflated molds, but might also catch glimpses of others doing the same,” the Design Biennial Boston website states of

    “By peeking inside, visitors not only see the voids that were formed around inflated molds, but might also catch glimpses of others doing the same,” the Design Biennial Boston website states of "Grove." “Such chance encounters are common to urban life, but here they are exaggerated, reframed, and celebrated as a moment of both estrangement and connection.”

    Photo: Jane Messinger

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  • Evoking the wharfs that mark harbors all along the New England coast,

    Evoking the wharfs that mark harbors all along the New England coast, "Marginal" — the Design Biennial Boston project from Landing Studio, co-founded by MIT alumna Marie Law Adams — repurposes oak pilings from a shipyard in Boston harbor.

    Photo: Judy Daniels

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  • "Marginal" is a field created out of eight recycled oak pilings from a shipyard in Boston Harbor that have been sliced into more than one thousand cross sections by chainsaw. “'Marginal' measures change in the site’s natural slope toward the harbor and brings subtle awareness to our movement across it,” the Design Biennial Boston site states.

    Photo: Judy Daniels

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Three faculty, alumni projects among winners of 2015 Boston Design Biennial

"Techtonics of Transparency: The Tower," by MIT lecturer Cristina Parreño

Public installations are on view through September at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.


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Tom Gearty
Email: tgearty@MIT.EDU
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Design firms headed by two faculty and one alumna of the School of Architecture and Planning were selected as winners of the 2015 Design Biennial Boston, which seeks to give emerging design practices from the Boston community an opportunity to test their ideas in a public venue.

Assistant Professor Joel Lamere, lecturer Cristina Parreño Alonso, and Marie Law Adams MArch ’06 submitted three of the four winning projects selected by the Biennial’s jurors for an exhibition and public installation on view through September 25 in downtown Boston.

“Boston has such a vibrant talent pool of designers, and these four installations remind us of how creative those designers can be when given opportunities,“ Boston Mayor Marty Walsh states in a release on the Biennial’s website. "I want Boston to be a municipal arts leader, and putting this type of exciting and thoughtful work into the public realm is what gets us closer to that goal.”

The MIT-related projects are:

  • “Grove,” a series of chambers formed by inflated molds from Lamere’s design firm, GLD Architecture;
  • “Tectonics of Transparency,” a 17-foot-tall tower fabricated from layers of glass from Cristina Parreño Architecture; and
  • “Marginal,” a field of columns made from recycled oak pilings from Boston Harbor, by Adams’ design firm, Landing Studio.

An exhibition at BSA Space in Boston presents the ideas behind the projects, as well as previous design work from each of the winners. The four installations are located outdoors along Atlantic Avenue on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

This year is the fourth cycle for the Design Biennial. The program's 2012 winners included two other faculty from the School of Architecture and Planning: Assistant Professor Ana Miljacki and lecturer Brandon Clifford.

View the slideshow above to see images of the MIT-related projects and to learn more about the designers.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Architecture, Design, Arts, Faculty, Alumni/ae, School of Architecture and Planning, Cambridge, Boston and region

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