If given the choice between staring blankly into space or reading architects’ office statements on their website, we choose the first. They all say the same thing: we’re sustainable, responsible with budgets, experienced, award-winning, etc. . . . The game seems to be how to say nothing in particular and comfort any worries of someone contemplating hiring you. After a few clicks, it’s hard not to think that all this quote-unquote professionalism is very cold at its core. We can’t tell you exactly when MOS started. We like to say it was 2003, but we didn’t have an office space then and our name was !@#?, which we quickly found was too difficult to use because 1. you couldn’t pronounce it and 2. you couldn’t get a web address. So, eventually, we drifted towards MOS—an acronym of our names and reflection of a shared desire to be horizontal and fuzzy, as opposed to tall and shiny. We began around an oversized table, a surface for collecting and working through a range of design experiments—a make-believe of architectural fantasies, problems, and thoughts. As we’ve grown, we remain around a large table, working together on each project through playful experimentation and serious research. This website indexes that work: housing; schools; houses; cultural institutions; retail; exhibition design; installations; furniture; objects; books; writing; software experiments; and videos.
Krabbesholm Højskole (Denmark) is awarded an AIA NY Excellence Award
MOS Architects receive an AIA New York Award of Merit for Element House
We draw, talk, email, doodle, diagram, render, print, print, draw, model, receive, distribute, call, approve, confirm, reject, plead, deny, laugh, export, import, present, listen, order, zoom, script, post, pan, copy, paste, scale, collate, staple, eat, list, drink, walk, draw, chat, meet, photograph, crop, calculate, draw, adjust, tweak, sip, solve, stack, note, organize, scan, edit, review, print, question, comment, make, sketch . . . and occasionally, we collect things from this process and store them in a flat file.
Orange, New Jersey, a once-thriving commuter suburb located 30 minutes outside of New York City, currently suffers from high rates of foreclosure and unemployment. Working with the economist Ed Glaeser, an in-depth statistical analysis was undertaken, considering property ownership, municipal budgeting and infrastructure, public health, and alternative models of ownership that could promote new flexibilities in housing and work spaces. Currently, streets are 22 percent of our proposed site’s total land area, costing the city $642,958 in annual maintenance.
Our proposal reimagines the street as the site of a new collective housing model that incorporates a localized energy infrastructure. With the rail station at its center, the proposal removes the individual automobile within a walkable half-mile radius, filling the streets with four-story townhouse structures that radically mix commercial, office, and residential spaces while still providing access for emergency vehicles and pedestrian circulation.
This proposal envisions large-scale urban development through small-scale live/work units, a pedestrian focus, and a local model of governance while engaging previous housing histories—both the large-scale concrete New Brutalist developments of the ’60s as well as Jane Jacobs and New Urbanist models of a walkable city.
Project Team: Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, Katy Barkan, Jason Bond, David Delgado, Leigha Dennis, Ian Donnelly, Justin Fowler, Griffin Frazen, Steve Gertner, Fabiana Godoy, Marti Gottsch, Jeremy Keagy, Kate Lisi, Meredith Mcdaniel, Magdalena Naydekova, Zach Seibold, Mathew Staudt, George Valdes
Filmmaker and Photographer: Christopher Woebken
Housing Specialist: Eric Belsky, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University
Public Health Specialist: Kelly Brownell, Rudd Center of Public Health, Yale University
Economist: Ed Glaeser, Department of Economics, Harvard University
Climate Engineer: Emilie Hagen, Atelier Ten
Landscape Architect: Chris Reed, Stoss
Already Happened Tomorrow
MoMA, Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream