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Baumer Lecture, Spring 2020, Zach Cohen

Zach Cohen / The Ohio State University

Big Stairs / Knowlton Hall
January 29, 2020 - 5:30pm

Zach Cohen will deliver the January 29 Baumer Lecture on the Knowlton Hall Big Stairs at 5:30 p.m. Cohen is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator. His work examines the new kind of materiality generated by digital—seemingly immaterial—technologies: the new contours of digitally fabricated objects and buildings, but also the ways in which digital technologies change the embodied being of architectural designers themselves. He explores this interest through what he calls “theoretical digital fabrication.” In theoretical digital fabrication, Cohen develops theoretical models of how digital fabrication machines work in order to speculate on digital aesthetics, robotic construction methodologies, and the role of instrumentality in architectural design. Theoretical digital fabrication takes various forms: from the design and prototyping of bespoke machines to essays on subjectivity in the post-digital age to performances with digital fabrication machines. Most recently, Cohen has developed a time-based method of 3D printing concrete and a system for the automated deposition of reinforced concrete columns.

In 2017, Cohen co-founded a Brooklyn-based architectural design practice called commoncraft, which has ongoing construction projects in and around New York City. Cohen has also worked as a designer in the offices of Steven Holl Architects, Marvel Architects, and nARCHITECTS.

Currently, Cohen is the Yessios Visiting Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School. Prior to his time at Knowlton, Cohen was a Research Lead at the MIT Self-Assembly Lab, where he directed research into the architectural possibilities of a physical phenomenon known as “granular jamming.”

Cohen holds a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was the recipient of the Arthur Rotch Special Prize and the Marvin E. Goody Award, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

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