LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, NY
Located in Astoria, NY, this new fabrication lab serves as a production, design and experimentation center for 3D printing and machinery. Astoria is currently an urban condition in transition. There exists an overlapping between older, often abandoned or retrofitted warehouse spaces but also a streamline of artist inhabitants that are influencing and shaping the area. Large scale sculptures are very popular in the immediate surroundings of the site that is located directly across Socrates Sculpture Park. This site is a quintessential location to further the exploration of contradictions and transitions as they exist today in social and political constructs between man and machine.
This lab features large and small work spaces for 3D printing and computational designing and prototyping, gallery spaces that serve as an extension of the park, archives of the developing technologies, and classrooms for the public. In an attempt to place these technologies in the forefront of the design, the larger mobile 3D printing robots travel along numerous track systems that intersect space.
With fabrication and manufacturing embedded in the area’s history, and advancements in the 3D printing domains, a 3D printing and testing facility has the potential to redesign a new typology of fabrication in architecture. These ‘robots’
combined with fabrication labs becoming as common a place for people as gyms or grocery stores, we are heading in a direction where soon everyone will be able to produce almost everything on their own.
This track system presents itself as a cage and punctures through to the exterior, allowing in light and visual adjacency, as
well creating inhabitable space within the labs, and at times becoming the structure itself and ridding the need for typical
columns in the center of the building altogether. The cage also reveals itself on the western facade, redefining storefront
while also presenting itself as a sculptural piece towards the park. This typology for fabrication has the potential to bring new approaches to exchange of knowledge and interaction between humans and machinery in design by the changing
nature of the fabrication environment and being submerged in the process of 3D printing quite physically.
Mark Rakatansky + Aaron White
Parsons the New School for Design