Lecture Recap :: Karl Daubmann

By Curtis Robinson, BArch Candidate
A few weeks ago, Karl Daubmann, gave a BAC lecture titled, "When How Becomes What." Daubmann shared that he grew up in a small fabrication environment - something that is clear throughout the work he practices. A connection between design and the TV character Columbo was made to show that in design, there will be stumbles, silly questions asked, and odd looks given - but that's how you have think about design.

Daubmann went through many projects with various design groups he has been a part of through out the years. He began with a project that started out with a client wanting a major redesign and addition to an 1845 farmhouse. The client however decided to move to California, so the firm PLY Architecture purchased the home to turn it into a residence and office. The zoning of the area requires that the addition and original home be connected, however due to the age it was not possible to create a cross through. The solution: make the two volumes "kiss." The walls touch each other - therefore they are connected.

Other showcased work included a series of sushi restaurants for two brothers. These restaurants had to be completed on a small budget. These interior based projects were made to stand out by using molded plywood, only possible by machines. In one project, scraps from left over wood were turned into beautiful lights for the restaurant.

A perfect example of how manufactured pieces can be used in an organic setting, is the Mies van der Rohe plaza designed by PLY and PEG office of Landscape and Architecture. Here, the pieces were made to collect water in certain areas so the concrete had to be cast in unique forms. The completed space appears to be very natural and organic.
DAUB-lab is a research architecture lab started by Daubmann. One of the interesting projects shared was an installation for downtown Michigan. The project entitled, Dlectricity, was made to be a public-comfort piece. The installation was constructed with 300 beach balls and lights. As you move and interact with the piece, it moves back and interacts with you.

The last type of work Daubmann shared was his work with BLU Homes. The idea behind the design of these homes is that over the years cell phones have changed dramatically, cars have changed as well - however homes are still made the same, and even look the same. Why is this? BLU Homes manufactures their homes with a steel frame that is built in the factory. Unlike other types of manufactured buildings, these homes are brought from the factory to the site and made water tight within 2 days. Karl Daubmann has also been selected as this years Hideo Sasaki Distinguished Visiting Critic at the BAC and you can view selected work of his in the BAC's McCormick Gallery, on the first floor of 320 Newbury St.