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EDWIN O’BRIEN 2014 M. Arch Applicant

Fold Home

Wind Study

Wind Screen

Street Etiquette

Opera House

Chair Design

Fold Home Site: Donald Judd’s SoHo Residence Concept

The space and program of my personal apartment are folded into Donald Judd’s SoHo residence. The folded intervention absorbs spatial qualities of the Judd residence only to unfold again into The St. Nicholas Miracle Garden in Harlem, New York thus creating a new, composite public/private living space.


A prosthetic is created using the typical outfit of Donald Judd. The prosthetic, paired with an original song, serves as a generative tool, informing the folding and unfolding of space through origami patterns. Studio: Intro to Architecture (GSAPP) Critic: Thomas Demonchaux Summer, 2013


Section / elevation of parasite host: Donald Judd’s 101 Spring Street residence in SoHo, New York (graphite on mylar with photo collage, 24x36”)

Diagram detail

Prosthetic field test mapping object / person proximities at Judd exhibit at the Dia center in Beacon, New York (graphite on mylar with photo collage, 24”x36”)

Section and program analysis (graphite on mylar, 18”x24”)

I composed a song following the themes and variations of an imagined daily circulation through the living space. The theme was movement. The variations included moments of task, leisure and public encounter. Top diagram is a spatial notation of the song. Bottom diagram shows the folding patterns generated from the song anaylsis (graphite on mylar, 36�x24�).

Wind Study Site: Lincoln Center, New York Concept

Observed wind patterns are translated into a wind tunnel. Conclusions from the study model are applied to an intervention that channels, diverts, and pools the wind to create a variety of conditions in the plaza of Lincoln Center


The study model follows observed wind patterns from the site. The wind tunnel is subjected to a catalog of interruptive fields to inform the desired effects of the intervention. Studio: New York / Paris (GSAPP) Critic: Jane Kim Fall, 2013

Wind map of Lincoln Center (graphite on mylar, 24�x18�)

Key interference

Wind study model (cherry wood posts with indicator flags mounted on string grid over foam core, 1/4� scale)

Wind intervention model (chip board, 1/4� scale)

Wind Screen Site: Flatiron Building, New York Concept

The windows of the Flatiron art gallery are removed. A screen is inserted into the gallery that will interact with the wind and create new pedestrian pathways.


The screen frames new pathways through the open gallery. Flexible lines connect the frame at key points to interact with the wind. High densities of pedestrians are offered more open, windy channels of movement while solo travelers find more intimate pathways and wind protection towards the park. Studio: New York / Paris (GSAPP) Critic: Eduardo Rega Calvo Fall, 2013

Wind screen model (basswood, 1/4� scale)

Wind and movement diagram (graphite on mylar, 18�x24�)

Wind process (graphite on trace paper)

Street Etiquette Prosthetic Site: Orchard Street, New York Concept

Amongst intersecting pedestrians, who should move for who? What are the conditions? This prosthetic interrupts key moments of street etiquette in search of sources of conflict at the scale of the body.



Sleeves of an oxford shirt are connected to the chest restricting the elbows outward. A second shirt inhibits the vision of the wearer to disable urges for conflict avoidance.


Studio: New York / Paris (GSAPP) Critic: Babak Bryan Fall, 2013

Section / elevation of oxford shirt transformation (graphite on mylar, 24�x36�)

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Elbow conflict



Intentional avoidance

Personal space diagram (graphite on mylar, 24”x36”)

Opera House Site: Garnier Opera House, Paris Concept

A fashion atelier grows around the existing circulation of the grand staircase in the Garnier Opera House. The staircase is removed to offer new passages through the opera house and atelier to re-imagine what a circulation could be.


The existing circulation is modeled as a network of connected channels. A frame connects a circulatory convergence at the grand staircase to the surrounding balconies and hidden nooks. A form grows around the volumes with respect to programmatic needs and key views of the opera house procession. Circulation network is removed to reveal final space. Studio: New York / Paris (GSAPP) Critic: Babak Bryan Fall, 2013

Circulation diagram with highlighted area of intervention (graphite on mylar 24�x36�)

Axonometric section key

Circulation diagram in Atelier

Atelier model inserted into sectioned site model (chip board, basswood and piano wire, 1/4� scale)


Cross section: entrance to atelier office (graphite on mylar, 12”x12”)


Cross section: entrance to atelier cafe / diverted from main staircase (graphite on mylar, 12”x12”)


Cross section: atelier studio above channel to private entrance (graphite on mylar, 12”x12”)


Cross section: private channels below atelier (graphite on mylar, 12”x12”)





Longitudinal section: atelier inserted into the opera house. Opera house drawing credit: Thierry Hatot. (graphite on mylar with collage, 36�x24�)

Furniture Design / Production 2008 - 2013 Independent Work Concept

Design and build a line of chairs from reclaimed materials.


The design process began with crate furniture and Gerrit Rietveld reproductions. In 2011 the Shelf Chair was my first original design. I created the company OBD (O’Brien Design) to market and sell the chairs on commission.

Chair frame in liquid cooled drill press

OBD Every Man Must Sit

Company logo

Curve process detail (steel)

Frame plan

Frame process

Frame process

Pata Chair, original design, 2012 (steel frame with patina coating, black walnut)

Reproduction of Gerrit Rietveld’s 1930’s Crate Chair (red oak)

Shelf Chair, original design, 2011 (walnut)

Curriculum Vitae

Edwin O'Brien M. Arch Application Portfolio  
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