Lecture Recap :: Hilary Sample


Hilary Sample | credit mos-office.net
By: Curtis Robinson, BArch Candidate 

The fourth lecture of the Fall 2012 Student Lecture Series brought Hilary Sample, architect and Principal of the New York City based design office MOS. The firm creates architecture, but also enjoys creating other ideas and using concepts to create art and objects of all kinds. Sample presented the lecture titled, "Foreign Objects", in which she presented three different types of work MOS has worked on in very different parts of the world. 

Boat house floating on Lake Huron | credit mos-office.net
The first project Sample presented was a master plan of a residence on a remote island in Canada. The project is composed of buildings scattered throughout the small island while the main home combined with boathouse floats within Lake Huron. The overall idea of the design was to bring nature up close to the users of the house. The large window openings frame views of not just the water, but the life within the island the homes sit on. The materials of the home are very simple, and allow for the homes to be closed up during the winter months and open during the on season months. 


Krabbersholm art school under construction | credit mos-office.net
Another project Sample discussed was an art school for students that are between high school and college in a small, historical town in Denmark. MOS was asked to connect 4 separate buildings that house studio space for students. The firm did not want to just simply connect the buildings and create studios that would be closed off from the exterior light they currently had. MOS also wanted to shape exterior spaces that would allow for students to gather. With these thoughts in mind, the firm added four additional buildings that formed connections to studio spaces, responded to the other existing buildings on site, and created new exterior gathering spaces. 

Model of orphanage design in Nepal | credit mos-office.net
The last project presented is still in design development, and is an orphanage in Nepal. The firm has to deal with many challenges they have not dealt with in past projects, mostly due to its location. One challenge being there is no set location because due to ever changing government in Nepal, the site keeps being moved around. The design also has to be strong enough to stand up to an earthquake that on the Richter Scale would measure around a 7. MOS also wants to keep the culture of the area in its design. 

The last work Sample presented was a video that MOS put together that allows them further investigate their own process. Sometimes their other projects are not for the client, but for the designers themselves to help them continue designing for the project they are working on. 

One question that was asked after Sample finished her lecture was, "What projects would do you want to be working on in the future?" to which Sample said she would enjoy doing more residential and public work. Most of the projects that are in progress are for non-profit companies, or artists.

Sample continued to say that it is hard to expand into new types of projects in the US because most designers are picked because of experience and if you do not have a certain type of project in your portfolio then the client may not want to take a risk on your design.