Jason Sachs is an architect and designer who has worked on projects at every scale from the Chicago Spire and the largest women’s university campus in the world, to furniture design, and jewelry. He has worked in massively multidisciplinary & multi-national teams and also as solo design/builder.

He has been experimenting with digital fabrication in project installations, since 2001.  He is currently investigating user customizable variable design systems for furniture and component architectures. His passion lies in developing cross programmed and multi-functional spaces and objects that perform beyond users expectations. He is a graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago Master of Architecture program and has an undergraduate degree in Geography from Boston University.  He currently splits his time between teaching and practice based in France.  He has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIADO). He currently teaches at école nationale supérieure d’architecture de Grenoble and previously at ensa Paris La Villette and Versailles.


Embracing Variability

In this era of new technologies, mass customization gives a personal quality to designed objects that mass production usually could not. When good design gave objects personality they were cherished, in contrast objects of mass production have often been perceived as cold and sterile.

We are entering an era that could be referred to as “Post Object.”  The idea of a static designed device, tool or fixture being conceived as a single form for a single condition is being undermined.   Now a cloud of possibilities – variations in scale, materials, performances, and production — will be designed into every concept object. This variable object must encompass the range of sizes, materials and production methods which could be used to realize it.  This hybrid of information and material means that this object has the potential to become many forms; it is no longer static thing which sits and fulfills a single purpose in the world.  This post object is a constant state of becoming, defined by and embodying a shifting potential, directly informed by its user, and constantly evolving into new forms.

The arrival of the “Post Object” represents such a fundamental distortion in the processes and priorities in the design-cycle of any concept object that we must re-consider the design process.    This shift, the adoption of a process which creates a range of possibilities, will break down the barrier between the movable and immovable, the static and the dynamic, industrial design and architecture.  There could be no compelling reason to “stick” build a building when an assembled component, with superior performance can be precision fabricated and placed at the site.  The availability of these methods implies a convergence of the design process regardless of the scale of the final intended design.

Computing has not only proved it can liberate architecture from fixed types and catalogs, it has also moved design away from the production of single objects to the wider scope of a possible range of objects.  With computing, one must design the organization of something as much as the thing itself.  In a way, it is very close to breeding.  Computing has made every object into a system, and it understands each system as a set of variables, not unlike species or families, and research equates to finding and testing the limits of such sets.

Lars Spuybroek,  The Architecture of Variation


FigureForward’s Range of Services:

Our range of services develops logically from the application of our critical tool set and processes to addressing design questions at all scales from objects & furniture to building structure / skin & urban conditions.   Therefore we propose projects:

– Variable Designed objects:
“Web-Configurator” user personalized and destined for digital fabrication.
– Systems Furniture:
Adaptable before fabrication.  Space defining interior systems incorporating programmatic functions. ( Furnitecture )
– Buildings Conceived:
With “non-standard” architectural componentized variable systems, for structure & facade.
– Adaptive Urbanism; 
Variable architecture tectonic systems which make alternative forms of spatial arrangements, much larger than building scale urban conditions, possible.

Of course, we will take on conventional building projects as well; leveraging these ideas where appropriate.   Fully developed, full scope, BIM based architectural project collaboration with whole team, model sharing.

Why all these scales go together:  Tools and Process.

-Algorithmic Tools
-Dynamic Analysis
-Iterative Design Process
-Direct Fabrication Workflow


FigureForward can do all these things, that is, we can bring together this unique mix of advanced computational tools and complex high intensity architecture project method, because of the rare combination of vast professional architecture experience, in full scope projects at every scale.  And, knowledge and talent with algorithmic tools and methods.








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