The First OSWall Prototype 

HouMinn installed the first OSWall prototype over Labor Day weekend. The half scale mock-up will be on display in the UHGBC show at the University of Houston School of Architecture Sept 10-18, 2009. The images above show the assembly of the frame (Kevin Lin, Jon Siani, and Jessy Yang are doing some heavy lifting) and of vacuum formed blank "apps" (Jeff Montague is fitting the vacuum formed pieces to the frame). Thanks also to Dave Hultman, Mike Hara, Marcus Martinez, and Chad Loucks for their help in the design, fabrication, and assembly of the prototype. 


OSWall Featured in UHGBC Video

The University of Houston Green Building Components initiative (UHGBC) focuses on the design, development, and market production of sustainable green building components. Dean Joe Mashburn established the initiative to nurture the research and development of projects with the potential to positively affect the built environment. The projects all have specific focus on sustainability and improved performance. The aim is to develop a range of products and systems that will have a broad impact across the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

Watch Blair diss FLW and talk about barn swallows in this two part video produced by Tweak: UHGBC Part 1, Part 2


Welcome Hometta Houston - July 16 - Aug 2

Welcome Hometta Houston kicked off with a bang Thursday, July 16th with a great opening party at the New World Museum. The event was very well attended. Special thanks go to Ann Chou, Quyen Ma, and Tzu-yu Chen of Hometta for their consistant and tireless work on the show. Welcome Hometta will run through August 2nd. Our next stop is the Pinkcomma Gallery (Boston) this fall. Photography by Tzu-Yu Chen.



HouMinn's new wall prototype - Oswall - is featured in UMN news

Marc recently applied for and received a University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Grant to support the development and construction of HouMinn's latest wall prototype project, called "Oswall" (Open Souce Wall). We will be posting more information on Oswall in the coming months, so please check back. The following will be of particular interest to fellow designers, engineers, or creatively minded folks. We will be soliciting your help to assist us in developing ideas for wall "apps" (applications). We will post on our website the specifications for these apps, in downloadable formats, in hopes that you might submit a design idea or two. These apps could simply be static wall surfaces that keep the rain out (dumb apps) or they could be more sophistocated modules that dynamically adjust how much light, air, or water infiltrate the house (smart apps). We need both varieties. We will be selecting a number of the most compelling apps to fabricate for final production of the Oswall prototype (Full credit given to the designer of course). To learn more, watch the interview (it's only about 3 minutes long) to learn more about this exciting new project.  You will have to scroll down the page a little bit, then hit play on the Flash Movie link at University of Minnesota's website.


Swackhamer speaks at NAED Workshop 

Swackhamer was invited to speak at a National Academy of Environmental Design Workshop on Sustainable Materials on January 16 and 17, 2009. Video of the workshop presentations has just been posted online here. Swackhamer's 20 minute presentation of Drape and Cloak Wall, which can be viewed here, is informative not just of these two projects, but also, more generally of HouMinn's design process. Other presenter's included Billie Faircloth from Kieran Timberlake Architects, Sheila Kennedy from Kennedy Violich Architects, Blaine Brownell from Transtudio, and John Carmody from Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building Research. Tom Fisher, Dean of Minnesota's College of Design, moderated the workshop.

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