Kivi Sotamaa_Research Studio


Course: 403C.4 Research Studio SOFT TOWER

Kivi Sotamaa, Adjunct Associate Professor
Soft Tower is a research studio focused on high-rise buildings. High-rise is a device for spatial optimization, creat¬ing peaks of density. It is perhaps the most powerful device for sustainable building due to the optimization of the urban infrastructure. Most tall buildings however have a bad image caused by serial reproduction and technocratic atmosphere. 
Is it possible to develop better, more exciting, ecological, and humane high-rise typologies? Is there potential for friendly, soft skyscraper? How could change and responsiveness be incor¬porated in high-rises? How could we create more exciting sequences of expe¬riences in vertical buildings? Can towers become material constellations where form, program, pattern, color, and orna¬ment sre all co-coordinated to produce new, more ecological, sensations when people flow through them? 
There are eight projects in the studio, each focusing on a different point of departure for their development of the Soft Tower: scale, flow, transformation, effect, structure, movement, atmosphere and figuration. We believe that these ecologically motivated and digitally powered designs can take on existing clichés and create a new Soft Tower, beautiful enough to seduce us into exploring new, and more sustainable ways of being and feeling in the world. 
“Vertical is to live, horizontal is to die”. —Buckminster Fuller
Students: Alejandro Alvarado, Tara Bauer, Brian Cadiz, Timothy Callan, Cody Campbell, Gabriel Huerta, Joseph Mathias, and David Molinaro.