Molo to Open UB Architecture and Planning 2009-10 Lecture Series on Sept. 9

Outstanding Vancouver-based design firm is known for poetically beautiful buildings and products

Release Date: August 26, 2009 This content is archived.


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Members of Molo, the Vancouver design firm responsible for projects such as Japan's Aomori Nebuta House, will lecture at UB on Sept. 9.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning will open its fall lecture series Sept. 9 with an illustrated talk by Stephanie Forsythe and Todd McAllen of Molo Design, the critically acclaimed Vancouver-based collaborative design and production studio that designs both buildings and products.

The talk is free and open to the public, and will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the school's lecture hall, 301 Crosby Hall on the South (Main Street) Campus.

The award-winning Molo designers were selected by UB students for their annual Architecture Students Lecture.

Molo is well-known for its architectural work as well as for innovative research into the use of materials and designs for a wide range of products that have been developed for clients around the world.

They include handmade "float" fritted glassware and expandable lamps composed of flexible but durable honeycomb craft paper that can be lifted or pushed into a variety of positions. Molo has also designed a series of multi-functional structures made of paper that can be used as furniture, lighting or to enclose spaces.

Those unique and versatile products -- urchin lights, soft seating with LED lighting, felt "rocks," "softwalls," love-letter lights -- have been cited internationally for their beauty and pragmatic invention. Employed to enhance the interior design of homes, schools, offices and commercial spaces, they have received numerous prestigious awards and have been acquired by international museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Molo is known as well for its larger projects. Among them is Aomori Nebuta House, a museum and living culture center housing one of Japan's largest festivals, for which the city of Aomori is famous. Visually unique, the building houses large exhibition areas, work spaces for the Nebuta artists, music rehearsal spaces and a theater. Planned to celebrate one of Japan's largest festivals the building has been designed to offer dynamic displays throughout the year.

"I am delighted that our students have invited one of the most significant emerging design practices to open our 2009-10 lecture series," commented Dean Brian Carter. "The work of Molo is both original and new -- it highlights the many different ways that creative design can improve the quality of everybody's lives."

Molo's design work extends beyond buildings and products. Earlier this year they designed and helped to construct the Northern Sky Circle in Alaska. This design for a public landscape was developed in collaboration with a sound artist and focused around an enclosure that was built outdoors in minus-30 degrees Celsius temperatures. The ephemeral outdoor room, which consisted of tall walls of snow and ice formed into two concentric circles, was a place for contemplation, gathering and experiencing the expanse of the winter sky.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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