We approach projects through a mix research and ideas. The fact that experimentation is an integral part of our work is something we see as good rather than interesting. We rigorously test ideas, bending them until they break and fail. The moment of failure is a major part of experimentation to us and is as valuable as the moment of discovery.
Through testing we are not necessarily looking for different or newer ways, but better ways to do things. Our work does not just test the boundaries of what is possible with technology but also blurs the boundaries between the mediums used for each project. By mixing mediums we are able to create a fertile environment for creating unique projects. With all of our work we strive to amplify a simple idea in a way that achieves extreme effects. Sometimes it is done in a simple way and sometimes it requires extensive technological innovation. The way the project is made only concerns us as a means for production of these effects. Our efforts are placed more in achieving the desired experience and the quality of that outcome rather than the novelty of the techniques used. For us, a good idea does not discriminate between any medium or any type of project, it just works.
Below you will find a good mix of some of our featured work or you can Download our portfolio
Many of our projects require a certain amount of research and development and in many cases custom software development. In the past we have always made these resources available. Unfortunately we have struggled to keep this up to date as the range of projects and type of research has grown.
We are still committed to this and are currently thinking of the best way to show our research and our mistakes as we experiment. We plan on having this part of the website up soon and hope that this research can be used by others and also show how we approach the development of projects. If anything, we hope the resources will be interesting and a look behind the scenes will be fun to see.
Please check back soon
SOFTlab is a design studio based in New York City. The studio was created by Michael Szivos shortly after receiving a graduate degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. The studio has since been involved in the design and production of projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture, to interactive design, to immersive digital video installations. As the studio adjusted to a wide range of projects, we began to focus less on the medium and style and more on ideas.
As a studio, SOFTlab, embraces projects through a mix of research and ideas. On one hand the studio is invested in projects that require significant research and experimentation. These projects provide a testing ground for us to help germinate a studio environment that is ripe with creativity. We take advantage of what we learn from these projects through the design of our more client based work. The constraints of all projects are treated as opportunities that are tested through a collaborative studio environment with the hopes of solving typical problems in new ways, with new tools. Through the studio's unique blend of backgrounds as designers, artists, architects and educators we are able to approach every project from a fresh perspective to create rich spatial, graphic, interactive and visual experiences. By mixing research, creativity and technology with a strong desire to make working fun, SOFTlab attempts to create new and unique experiences.
In 2012 SOFTlab was awarded the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects & Designers and previously in 2010 the studio was selected for the New Practices New York award by the AIA Chapter of New York along with 7 other young studios. The studio has also produced a wide range of design projects and collaborated with various artists, designers, publications and institutions including MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum, The New York Times, eVolo Magazine, Surface Magazine, Columbia University and Pratt Institute. The studio has also exhibited work in galleries throughout New York City. We continue to work on many projects in New York while taking on new projects and clients in Europe and Asia.
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The video for Robert Delong’s Global Concepts was released exclusively on MTV today! We worked on the set design with Directors Sam Stephens and Charles Whitcher of Humble. There are over 250 fluorescent lights are all controlled with arduino so they react to the music in real time. Was crazy, but a lot of fun watching the whole production come together. We’ll have production photos and stills up soon.
The opening for ReGeneration at the New York Hall of Science was last night. We produced the exhibition design along with the Living for 9 artists. We have been working on the installation for the past couple of months and it was well worth the effort. The exhibition is the first of its kind at NYSCI to combine art and science. The show is open from October 27, 2012 to January 13, 2013. Definitely worth checking out next time you are in Queens!
We just received photos of the showroom we designed for Designer Werktag from our friends at Glas Trösch. The showroom will be open for the next 6 months as Designer Werkschau. Was great working with their onsite team and everyone involved.
We had a lot of fun at Creators Project | New York 2011. Wish all of our projects were surrounded by parties, concerts, great people and artists! It was an amazing weekend and we were honored to be included with artists and designers that inspired us when we first started the studio! Many thanks to everyone at Vice and Intel who not only invited us to be a part of the event, but were so accommodating throughout the whole project.
Design Team: Michael Szivos, Elliot White, Carrie Mcknelly, Alex Singer-Bieder, Sean Madigan, Liz Kelsey
Installation Team: Rolando Lineros, Simon Kristak, Andrew Chen, Andrew Manart, Najwa Doughman, Emily Mak
Bring To Light is happening tomorrow night! Over 50 artists will project, display, turn on and shine their various projects tomorrow night in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We worked with our good friend Natasha Jen and the folks over at Nuit Blanche NY to produce the website for the event. If you are around tomorrow it will definitely be worth checking out!
We have been working hard this past month a large outdoor installation for The San Gennaro North Gate and it finally came up this Saturday! If you are in the city you can check it out on Mulberry St. between Houston and Prince St. The piece was produced by our friends at Two Bridges (Thanks Joe!) and graciously supported by St.Patrick’s Old Cathedral. We collaborated with our good friends Ambre and Adrew from The They Co. who currated, organized, and permitted, and all around made the piece possible.
The geometry was engineered with our good friend Matt Clark at ARUP and all of the building connections were designed by Nathaniel Stanton of CRAFT Engineering. The piece would not have been possible without them. Big Thanks to everyone who volunteered and supported this huge effort.
The piece will be up until September 25th, 2011 so if you are downtown we hope you get a chance to check out the festival, play a little bocce ball, and let us know what you think about the installation!
Design Team: Michael Szivos, Carrie McKnelly, Sean Madigan
Installation: Elliot White, Brandt Graves, Sarah Hunter, Liz Kelsey, Brandon Bartle, Sonal Patel, Sally To, Simon Kristak, Henry Choi, Julia Schleppe, Katherine Salamat, Anthony Buccellato
Design Team: Michael Szivos, Carrie McKnelly, Inessah Selditz, and Elliot White
Installation: Carrie Chang, Andrew Chen, Caitlin Duffy, Rich Ericson, Jeff Geisinger, Brandt Graves, Ayaka Hales, David Hecht, Genevieve Hoffman, Mike Kelberman, Simon Kristak, Matt Lake, Avery Max, Owen Nichols, Chris Niederer, Geetha Pedapati, Julia Schleppe, John Schlueter, Austin Smith, Chi Tam, Felisia Tandiono, Alan Tansey, and Joan Tom
We just launched a website for our good friend and photographer, Alan Tansey. He is always making our work look amazing, so it was our pleasure to help him showcase his work. Make sure you check out the explore section!