124 West 30th Street #319
New York, NY 10001
+1 212 625 0005
Jeremy Edmiston’s practice at System Architects is about more than building extraordinary structures. It’s about creating systems that upend the way buildings are made—and who is able to make them.
System Architects’ work has gained international acclaim for its exquisite form, which has been featured at the Museum of Modern Art and earned nods from RAIA Wilkinson Award, AIA Design Award, and SARA NY, Special Award Winner.
But the technological innovation that underpins System designs may be even more extraordinary. System’s unique forms do not require rare materials and expert builders. Instead, System employs an ingenious program of powerful technology that allows the complex geometry of their structures to be built with cheap, commonly available, sustainable materials, with standard building practices, in the hands of ordinary laborers.
System’s program of thought is sophisticated, and the ground-breaking technology that underlies it is used to explore Edmiston’s lifelong fascination with the powerful but fragile interlocking organic systems in nature: wind, water, light, and the branching paths taken by tree roots, rivers, and the trails humans create as we the move through a forest or a city. It’s a program of thought that has led naturally to System’s deep commitment to new solutions for sustainability, at every step of the process. But while most programs of sophisticated architectural thought have historically been put to work in the service of the elite, System’s program is designed to bring that same sophistication to spaces designed by, and for, everyone.
System itself is not composed of elites: Edmiston’s practice is staffed largely by students from his teaching practice at CUNY, a public school with a richly diverse population. And System’s clients are not primarily elites: the BURST house honored by MOMA was originally built from plywood for a family on a shoestring budget, their Shelter room serves as a gathering space for homeless men and women, and their recent UnHistoric Townhouse is a modest single-family dwelling. But System doesn’t just offer these clients the bare minimum: clean design and smart structure. Each of their solutions, for every client, is a unique and beautiful piece of work.
System’s greatest accomplishment isn’t the creation of any one building, or the articulation of any single person’s vision. It’s creating an entirely new way to build, which has the potential to put the power to create extraordinary spaces into the hands of all people.