Objects + Operations
A unique survey of the projects, products, and processes that define LOT-EK, the firm at the forefront of adapting prefabricated industrial units to create cutting-edge architecture.
LOT-EK is a New York-based architecture practice whose primary design materials are the building blocks of the industrial economy. LOT-EK’s approach to design begins with technology and products whose original purposes were not architectural. In looking at what is behind and underneath urban systems, they find durable and combinable forms for the design of the future: air-conditioners, airplanes, antennas, billboards, and tunnels; boats, booths, coils, cranes, ducts, lifts, lights, stacks, shacks, sheds, and trucks; packaging, parking, plumbing, scaffolding, shipping containers, and tanks.
In exploring the industrial vernacular—the unoriginal, ugly, and boring—they create design that is singular, dramatic, and luxurious. Theirs is a transformative architecture: instead of the vain inefficiency of generating expressive forms and adapting material systems to excessive requirements, LOT-EK finds ways to radically customize, combine, and co-opt existing forms, assemblies, and structures. As innovative practitioners of ’upcycling’ (adapting a product for a purpose beyond its original manufacture), they create designs that are evolutionary and economical for an era when reuse is more urgent than ever.
LOT-EK: OBJECTS + OPERATIONS surveys not just the increasingly complex and global projects by this firm—from Momofuku Milk Bar’s first retail store to open in New York City in 2016 to residential developments in Johannesburg, South Africa—but the techniques and tactics (operations) that the firm uniquely deploys. A buoyant celebration of how machine aesthetics can inform enriching and deeply humanistic architecture, LOT-EK: OBJECTS + OPERATIONS is a document of this firm’s commitment to designing for tomorrow using the industrial vocabulary of today.