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Transitions Round Table – July 9th

What: The annual YAF Transitions Round Table

When: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 5:30 – 7:00pm

Where: 211 N Pennsylvania (Regions Tower), URS Offices on the 21st floor

5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Networking, Dinner, Drinks (free)
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Dinner and drinks continue with Round Table Discussion, guests of honor: David Franklin (Domain Architecture), Diana M.H. Brenner FAIA (Brenner Design), and Craig McCormick (Blackline Studio)

This annual event is a chance to meet architects in our community who are a few steps ahead of us in their career progression. We discuss the steps and transitions they’ve gone through to get them where they’re at today. They have a wealth of tips and suggestions on how to best continue with our careers in the architectural profession. It’s often a fun and inspiring event. Along with great conversation, we also provide dinner and drinks. It’s one of our best attended events and could be a great one to attend to see what the YAF is all about.

If you’d like to receive the official invite, send us an email at yafindy@gmail.com and we will get you signed up. You’re also welcome to just show up.

A few more specifics on the location…

Address is 211 N. Pennsylvania. (Regions Bank Building), Indianapolis, IN. The 21st floor (3rd elevator bay from the garage entrance). Use the main door and we are going to be in the main conference room. (URS offices)

Parking is available in the building garage (not free), and access is limited to the Garage entrance at this time of day. However you could find a free or metered spot on one of the nearby streets and walk in from there.

Regions Tower


“Reflexivity” by Martin Summers – Recap

As always, we’re very appreciative of anyone who takes the time to share their experiences of working within the architectural profession. When that person has spent 10 years working at one of the most world recognized architectural firms, Morphosis, we appreciate it even more so. The evening’s discussion was an enlightening and inspiring look into a whole different world of architecture, one where facades are inspired by dark matter, and fire stairs are 3d printed to explain their complexity. If you missed out, here are a few notes from the presentation…

  • Facade designer at Morphosis. Went to school at University of Kentucky, went to UCLA with his wife for their graduate degrees. Had Thom Mayne as a professor. Ended up working there for ten years.
  • The Giant Interactive Group Corporate Headquarters in China was the first project they did that the client came to them, everything else had been competitions.
  • The building facade is to the building as clothing is to a human.
  • They were 26 people doing a billion dollars worth of work.
  • Design process is very iterative. Printed 3D models all the time. Caltrans was a 2 year project, with a million square feet. During schematic they were meeting with the client every other day. At every meeting they had a new model that reflected the conversations had at the previous meeting.
  • Interesting example of working with 3D models. They printed a city context model, one for their client and one for themselves. Every few days they would print two copies of their latest schematic designs. They would mail one set of the models to their client and then have a conference call during which they would both have physical models to look at even though they weren’t physically together.
  • Alan Price at Cal-Tech led the design team to think of things in a different way, very high-level stuff.
  • Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech was all about getting scientists to run into one another. Informal conference spaces. Put bathrooms on one side and coffee-room on the other, forced opposing groups to cross paths/territories to reach areas. Lots of back and forth forced by program.
  • There is no nature anymore, it has all been touched. 
  • Morphosis won the Perot Museum competition, but the economy tanked. They scrapped their original design and showed the client a box of structure, to prove they could meet the halved budget.
  • Morphosis is able to stay competitive because they are so hyper-aware of every detail of their project. If an issue is discovered/created in the field they are rapidly able to adjust the documentation to account for it. This is aided by their heavy use of computer programs.
  • The iterative process leads you to discover where the limits are. You find what isn’t right for the project, you know it so well. It’s like an organism.
  • Marty has now left Morphosis and is teaching at the University of Kentucky. He has also started his own firm, PLUS SUM.

These notes barely do the presentation justice, but it was a great event and I’m sure we can expect to see more from Martin Summers in the future.

Cahill Center


Written by Ben McGhee

AIA Indy – “Reflexivity” – Martin Summers – June 13

What: “Reflexivity” a lecture by Martin Summers (founder of PLUS SUM, previously of Morphosis)

When: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

Where: 201 N Illinois St #1410, Indianapolis (the AIA Indiana office)

5 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Networking, Hors D’oeuvres, Cash Bar
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Presentation – “Reflexivity” – Martin Summers, Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Kentucky College of Design, Director and Founder of Plus SUM studio – Earn 1 AIA/CES Learning Unit

Speaker Information – Martin Summers is the principal and founder of Plus-Sum Design and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky College of Design; where he leads advanced studios focused on urban design and teaches electives in High Performance Building Envelopes and Design/Theory. He has 16 years experience in a variety of project types and scales, from small interior renovations to large-scale master planning.

Previously Mr. Summers spent 10 years at Morphosis Architects in Santa Monica, where he served as project designer on projects across all scales and rose to lead the office’s façade design and construction. In his last project with the office, he drove the design of the atrium and exterior facades for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas Texas. Prior to the Perot Museum, Martin led the exterior façade team working on the design and execution drawings for the Phare Tower in Paris, France. He also served as the project designer on the Cahill Center for Astrophysics at Caltech in Pasadena, California and as project designer for the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles; an entire city block across from City Hall where the urban design issues drove the solution. Other award winning projects include NYC 2012 Olympic Village design and master planning; Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank, Udine Italy; the Wayne L. Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon; and the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center among others.

Prior to working at Morphosis, Mr. Summers participated in a diverse range of projects from residential and worship spaces to sound stages for clients such as Warner Bros., Sony, and DreamWorks SKG. He received his Masters of Architecture degree from UCLA, and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky College of Architecture, now the College of Design.

Perot Museum

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