Human Being Design is a full-service design practice at the intersection between individual and environ. We engage in both self-initiated and commissioned projects, including: residences, installations, everyday items, and memorial artifacts.
ABODE Santa Fe Residential Retreat
CABIN Rural Northeastern US Residence
SEMI-SUB-URBAN Compact Mixed-Use Residential Development (with RNAW Architects)
STATION Mixed-Use Commercial-Residential Development (with Woolley Morris Architects)
GREEN Temporary Educational Garden (with Trenton Grows Inc.)
LIGHTS Figural Lightshade Collection
TEA-CRETE Tea-Concrete Material Experimentation
RINGS Postgenomic Wedding Bands
NEO-CAIRNS Postgenomic Stelae
VESSELS Multi-Human Urns
Human Being Design offers end-of-life planning and design services including: funerary rites, burial/interment constructs, and monuments, memorials, and artifacts of human being. We design for all phases of life, and after.
Our design ethos follows a metamaterialist framework, in which material entities are inextricable from corollary structures, systems, and forces, and in a state of continuous reciprocal dialogue. A metamaterialist model collapses binary oppositions into interdependent, inseparable, and unified vectors: human and environment, being and design, subject and object, mind and body, bit and atom, information and medium, meaning and form –– each must be understood in congenital relation to the other. This departs from modernity’s project of anthropocentric alienation, which elevated the human from the nonhuman and into the realm of the ideal –– away from the real –– and has contributed to so many of our current crises: of climate, of ecology, of health, of wellbeing, of empathy…
Through this framework of metamaterialist anti-dualism, our projects explore modes of contemporary cohabitation, identity expression, and material embodiment.
(A) Our architectural practice centers on modest, thoughtful housing and communal spaces for both the masses and the marginalized, with an emphasis on material and spatial sensitivity, clean construction, and above all, meaningful habitability for the occupant –– our foremost constituent.
(B) Our design research is focused on novel means of anthropomorphic form-making, fabrication, and materiality, using fundamentally human tools, methods, and sources to explore and subvert the Enlightenment-era bifurcation between human and environment.
(A+B) Both avenues of inquiry share the tenet that every human is deserving of both a private space and a public expression.
Human Being Design understands the disciplines of design2 and architecture3 as vehicles for exploring the human1 condition.
(1) The human is the species of animal who has developed the language to call itself human, the technē to design and shape its condition, in a continually circular process of dialectical interchange: the human creates the design, and the design creates the human. (See Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley’s are we human? notes on an archaeology of design)
(2) We define design as the conscious –– oftentimes planned –– intervention between organisms –– oftentimes human –– and their environment.
(3) We define architecture as an apparatus of mediation between an organism’s membranous body and their environment.
Through a metamaterialist lens, the line between organism and environment blurs, and the disciplinary boundary of architecture widens. The organism consumes and excretes, inhales and exhales, grows and decays, builds and destroys. The organism is composed of the environ, and the environ is composed of the organism. We are fascinated by these illusive dualities, and the liminal space between face and mask, body and skin, person and position. We are drawn to paradox, contradiction, dichotomy. For Human Being Design, both being and design –– agent and agency –– are inexorably intertwined. The human being (the traditional subject) and human design (the external processes and resultant object(s)) are inseparable.
For more on metamaterialism, see: Timur Si-Qin, “Aesthetics of Contingency: Materialism, Evolution, Art” in Stream 04 The Paradoxes of the Living (November 2017). https://www.pca-stream.com/en/articles/timur-si-qin-aesthetics-of-contingency-materialism-evolution-art-108.