Currently Reading

At Beyer Blinder Belle everyone’s seeing RED

Great Solutions

At Beyer Blinder Belle everyone’s seeing RED

The firm’s R&D initiative inspires its designers to develop ideas that could positively disrupt the practice.

By Robert Cassidy, Executive Editor | August 23, 2016

Lissette Méndez-Boyer (left) and Natalya Shimanovskaya work on their FABRICation project at Beyer Blinder Belle’s New York office.

At Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, RED stands for Research (into innovative materials, processes, and methodologies), Exchange (of ideas via dialogue, inquiry, and creativity), and Develop (ideas and applications that align with BBB’s practice and culture).

The firmwide initiative has hosted guest speakers, created exhibit areas in its two offices (New York and Washington, D.C.), and launched an internal digital dialogue tool organized by channel (materials, processes, etc.) for sharing ideas and resources.

What really hit a hot button with staff was this spring’s Research Award competition. Teams from New York and D.C. submitted 10 proposals, each designed to support innovative ideas that could positively disrupt BBB’s practice. A blind jury of BBB and outside design professionals picked two winners to receive three-month research grants.

Natalya Shimanovskaya, LEED AP BD+C, and Associate Lissette Méndez-Boyer, both of the New York office, won for “FABRICation—Flexible Adaptable Block, a Responsive and Intelligent Construction.” They will explore fabric through knitting and crocheting, while conducting a parallel study of design through parametric application. The end result will be expressed in a physical installation.

A team of three D.C.-office BBBers—Associates Scott Archer, LEED AP ND, Associate; Caroline VanAcker, Assoc. AIA; and Elizabeth Ellington, AICP, LEED AP, Associate—and Architectural/Urban Designer Michael O’Neill of the New York office hit it big with “DDD”: Data Driven (Urban) Design. They’ll be looking into the firm’s extensive database of New York City and Washington, D.C., waterfronts and engaging GIS mapping tools to generate data-rich urban design models.

The RED teams will present their findings to the entire 195-person firm this fall.


Read about more innovations from BD+C's 2016 Great Solutions Report


Related Stories

Great Solutions | Sep 23, 2021

Seattle looks to become America’s most walkable city with a new citywide wayfinding system

Seamless Seattle will support the Seattle Department of Transportation’s commitment to increase the percentage of trips made by walking to 35% by 2035.

Great Solutions | Jul 9, 2021

MojoDesk creates a new solution for managing open office distractions

The MojoDome allows for a private work space while also maintaining a collaborative environment.

Great Solutions | Mar 18, 2021

Follow the leader: New following technology better equips robots for the jobsite

New proof-of-concept from Piaggio Fast Forward and Trimble enables robots and machines to follow humans.

Great Solutions | Feb 11, 2021

Simplifying the return to the office

A new web-based tool from Sasaki takes the guesswork out of heading back to the workplace.

Great Solutions | Oct 6, 2020

Could water-filled windows help buildings save energy?

New research shows how water-filled glass could help heat and cool buildings.

Great Solutions | Aug 10, 2020

From lobby to penthouse, elevators can be a 100% touch-free experience

The Toe-To-Go elevator system allows riders to operate the elevator entirely with their feet.

Great Solutions | Jul 13, 2020

Essential protection for businesses

Custom protective barriers help keep essential business employees safe.

Great Solutions | Apr 13, 2020

Family workstations highlight the new Fairfield Area Library

The workstations are the perfect remedy for squirming, restless children and toddlers.

Great Solutions | Feb 5, 2020

Power moves: The Shed

Precise positioning of mechanicals above its lighting keeps New York’s kinetic event space, The Shed, running.

Great Solutions | Dec 18, 2019

Robot uprising

Thyssenkrupp’s robotics interface platform helps robots use elevators like humans.

More In Category

Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: