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Meet architects, researchers and manufacturers SITU: Your next employer? | New

Following last week’s visit to the DAHLIN residential specialists, we are moving our Meet your next employer series in Brooklyn, NY this week, where we meet the self-proclaimed “unconventional architecture practice” SITU.

Founded in 2005 by four friends studying architecture at Cooper Union, SITU has since grown into a 38-person studio practicing a multidisciplinary style that includes design, research and fabrication.

The company already knows our editorial, having recently collaborated with the Design Trust for Public Space on an initiative that aims to transform underused spaces into vibrant and accessible places for arts and culture. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company also collaborated with Gensler, WXY and others on a 100-page guide to safe social distancing in schools.

From their base at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the company is currently hiring on Archinect Jobs. For candidates interested in applying for a position, or anyone interested in learning more about life at the firm, we spoke with the SITU team for a behind-the-scenes look at their studio.

SITU 2022 summer open house. Credit: SITU

How did SITU start?

SITU was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York. Since its inception, SITU has had a transdisciplinary approach working across fabrication, architecture and research.

At first, all of this was under the common title of SITU. It quickly became apparent that the brand operated on two levels: first as an overall SITU ecosystem and simultaneously as separate divisions with their own distinct identities as SITU Fabrication, SITU Studio and SITU Research. What started as a 5-person practice today employs around 40. Despite the growth of the organization, SITU remains fully committed to innovative work in manufacturing, architecture and research.

Currently, SITU employs staff with a wide range of backgrounds, including architecture, film, IT, art, welding, conservation, furniture making, and many more.

SITU manufacturing. Credit: SITU

Where does the name “SITU” come from? What does it say about your practice?

Literally translated, SITU means “in place”. A core value of SITU’s work is to identify the core issue of a project. Another way of thinking is that we are constantly trying to discern the signal amidst the noise. This idea of ​​identifying the essence of a project to determine what is “in place” fits our name well.

SITU Studio designed the interiors and developed a hackable work infrastructure for this innovative NYC tech office. 1 credit

How big is your team ?

38 people

Is your office an open or subdivided space?

We work between two Brooklyn Navy Yard facilities. Our studio space is an open space with reconfigurable partitions and concentration areas, as well as individual workstations. Our manufacturing facility is a 10,000 square foot workshop where projects are prototyped and built.

Monthly review of all staff in the SITU office. Credit: SITU

Describe the area of ​​town in which your office is located.

We are located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an industrial space on the Brooklyn waterfront, bordering Fort Greene. The Navy Yard is home to many creative offices and workshops, as well as manufacturing-focused businesses.

What is your favorite thing about working in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn feels relaxed, which matches the energy of our team. We are in a part of town far removed from horns and skyscrapers. Instead, our diverse green spaces (Fort Greene Park is less than a 10-minute walk away!) and waterfront access give us a variety of transportation options; many of our employees take the ferry or bicycle to work. Sharing a space with a plethora of artists and designers, we feel like we are well placed at the crossroads of a lot of talent and passion for design.

Movable furniture and wayfinding components for the Brooklyn Museum entrance designed and manufactured by SITU in collaboration with MTWTF. 1 credit

If you were hosting a movie night for the team, what movie would you show?

Taken away as if by magic

What does your office look like? Do you listen to music or the radio at work? Can you hear the street life outside? Or is it a quiet workplace?

Our studio is quiet. Our store is noisy. It covers the whole range!

SITU office. Credit: SITU

What is the most popular lunch spot in or around the office?

Most people bring their own lunch, and many SITU employees really enjoy cooking. Photos of experimental dishes and recipes (+ great restaurant recipes) are available on our dedicated Slack channel “Chaos Meals”. For takeout, Russ and Daughters, Tiger Box, Wegmans and Holy Pita are fairly popular options.

What is the most popular design tool in the office (whether digital or manual)?

It certainly depends on the team. All divisions tend to work by 3D digital modelling. We primarily use Rhino, and the research team is increasingly using game engines like UNITY and UnReal. We make 1:1 prototypes and tests whenever possible.

Numerical model created by SITU Research used to analyze a protest that occurred in the neighborhood of Siloé in Cali, Colombia. Credit: SITU Research

How do your three divisions of design, research and manufacturing intersect?

There is a lot of potential for cross-divisional knowledge sharing, both in terms of topics and tools. Sometimes there is a crossover of personnel and skills – for example, a manufacturer may spend time working with the research team, depending on the needs of our project. There are also occasional crossovers in the projects; a project can originate from a research initiative, be designed by Studio, then modeled and built by Fabrication.

Projects involving all three divisions are rare, but there are often overlaps. The diversity of our work and facilities definitely allows us to be a resource on projects that require more coordinated scopes. It also creates fascinating monthly journals where we share what’s happening across SITU.

Demonstration of the Codec interface, an open-source digital tool developed by SITU Research. Credit: SITU

Tell us about a completed project that you are proud of:

We are excited about the progress of Turnout NYC, a project we designed in collaboration with the Design Trust for Public Space and with generous funding from the Mellon Foundation. Turnout NYC required intense coordination between our design and manufacturing teams, Turnout site partners, local operators, an artist advisory board, and artists and performers, with the goal of bringing high-end artistic programming quality and dynamic public life on the sites of the five boroughs this summer.

The traveling plaza furniture kit we designed and built for Turnout will soon be active at its final site in the Bronx – after a summer of performing and community events across the city. We can’t wait to reflect on the impact of Turnout as its inaugural season draws to a close.

Yoga at Turnout NYC in Queens. Credit: NeON photographer, Andre Whitehead

What position(s) are you currently recruiting for?

A marketing and business development manager and a manufacturing marketing and business development manager

In three words, how would you describe your team’s design philosophy?

Inventive, passionate, open

SITU manufacturing. Credit: SITU

Meet your next employer is one of many ongoing weekly series showcasing the opportunities available on our industry-leading job site. Our Job Highlights series examines the intriguing and timely job opportunities currently available on Archinect Jobs, while our weekly digests organize job opportunities by location, career level and job description.