Williams Field House Renovation

While I was interning at Bostwick Design Partnership, Oberlin College hired us to convert an existing open pavilion into an all-weather enclosed and conditioned field house. Starting with the existing structure of arched glulam beams and a barrel-vaulted roof, we infilled the exterior walls, added offices, and installed new HVAC systems, creating a new four-season practice facility for Oberlin's teams.

Detailed sections through the east wall [left] and south wall and door [right.]

I was responsible for revising this construction document set on a tight deadline in order to reflect a total overhaul of the exterior cladding as well as changes to the layouts of the interior spaces.

Partial floor plan from bid documents.

A view of the completed building.

Client: Oberlin College.
August 2008.
With Bostwick Design Partnership.



Tartan Group Staircase

In collaboration with Rustbelt Welding, I designed and fabricated this staircase in a loft apartment in Cleveland, OH. I completely reconfigured the stair and created a set of fabrication documents, allowing us to meet an installation deadline less than a week out.

Because the apartment was being lived in continuously, we needed to minimize on-site installation time. We built the stair in our shop in four major segments. These were then driven to the site, hoisted into place, bolted to the reinforced walls, and welded together over the course of one day.

Client: The Tartan Group, Cleveland, OH.
June 2011.



Greater Cleveland RTA

With DXY, I was asked to provide conceptual design for a mobile phone application that would allow riders to access real-time information about the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's bus and passenger rail service. This proposal was based around the recognition that the mobile phone platform offers an opportunity to present RTA as a viable option for people who might otherwise choose to drive, expanding the ridership base beyond people who use it out of necessity.

A mockup of the app's trip-planning feature.

The app's route directory feature.

Display of route schedules.

Client: GCRTA Citizens' Advisory Board.
October - December 2012.
With DXY Solutions, LLC.



Impromptu Brise-Soleil

40 hours before the start of this art, music, and film festival in Cleveland, we realized that direct sunlight was making this space uncomfortably hot. A quick, cheap, and effective solution was required. It needed to be able to be put up in a matter of hours and make no noticeable change to the space after being taken down. I saw an opportunity to diffuse the light while maintaining natural illumination and providing a signature visual element for both the interior and exterior spaces. A total of 2 hours were spent figuring out how it would go together and it took another 5 hours to install.

During the day, patterns of light and shadow formed and changed on the screen.

A view of the screen from the main event space.

Client: Weapons of Mass Creation Fest.
July 2010.



Buenos Aires Contemporary Art Museum

Site plan. The proposed building is intended to act as a large-scale visual landmark from the vehicular [west] side and an inviting space for pedestrians from the east side.

The project's geometry was determined by [clockwise from top left] copying the volume of the adjacent warehouses, lifting that mass onto a pedestal, and carving into that set in order to create views up and through the building, multi-story interior spaces, truck access, and a sheltered exterior space. These carves were populated with folding wood-paneled inserts to form stairs and patios, screen views and contain service spaces between the inserts and the primary volumes.

The central stair core pierces the building's volume, offering a view all the way through the structure. In this space, a faceted wood wrapper creates a primary stair, auditorium and associated stage.

Competition entry: AC:CA 04.
July 2012.
In collaboration with Michael Abrahamson.



C.A.T.S. Partitions

At this new building for a recovery clinic in Cleveland, OH, the client needed a custom set of partition walls. The schedule was compressed to a point where the partitions needed to be designed and built while the building was under construction. The partitions were therefore designated on the construction documents as "furniture by owner" and StudioTECHNE Architects built them ourselves. I was part of the design, fabrication, and installation team.

Excerpt from floor plan as issued for bid, highlighting the 18 T-shaped partitions.

Installation of the partitions in progress.

Client: Community Assessment & Treatment Services, Cleveland, OH.
July 2010.
With StudioTECHNE Architects.



Austin Kotting.

I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio. I create environments for people.

I hold Master's degrees in architecture and urban design from Kent State University. Since school, I've been applying this education to as many types of design as I can get my hands on.

Pan around and have a look at the work I do.

Want to hire me? Collaborate, perhaps? Email me at austin.kotting@gmail.com.

Download my resume & CV [PDF, 76KB]

Download my M.UD research [PDF, 651KB]

Cleveland International School

The Cleveland International School is conceived of as a means by which students are progressively socialized into the city at large. To this end, the building is designed around points of "input" and "output" with relation to the city. These interface points are programmatic areas where things are exchanged or distributed, cultural, material, intellectual, or otherwise.

Diagram showing the requested program and its attendant opportunities for engagement with the city.

The distribution of these interface points informs the arrangement of axes across the site, each corresponding to a piece of the program. This loosely radial scheme facilitates the student's transition from a general educational foundation [at the center of the school] to a targeted and customized learning program [closest to the perimeter of the site.]

The axes representing subject areas are projected onto the site following the placement of the opportunities for urban engagement, and upon that the concentric diagram of progression from a sheltered beginning environment to an active and urban perimeter for advanced study and engagement.

Example class schedule locations for three elementary school students.

Example class schedule locations for three high school students.

Facing the school from the intersection of East 18th and Payne, the atrium of the theater is one of the multiple faces that the school presents to the public.

Competition entry: The Cleveland Competition.
August 2011.



Why is this site the way it is?

I think it's cool. I want you, the viewer, to wander around, get lost, explore and stumble across something unexpected here. My favorite part of digital design is the opportunity to transform the experience from "viewing a document" to "inhabiting an environment." An explicitly location-based navigation like this one can reflect this, I hope.

There are pragmatic reasons too. This site exists to promote me and my work. I'm proud not only of the quality of the work I do, but of its breadth and variation. I didn't do any of these projects in a vacuum - they're all related. I designed this environment to convey that.

I come from architecture, where there's [arguably] a healthy relationship between theory and practice. I see the state of discourse in digital design as being dominated by the notion of best practices, at the expense of concept, theory, and polemic. This site is a personal and conceptual response to a particular situation. It's not a "best practice" or a template for anything.

I built this site over the course of two days using HTML, CSS and jQuery. The image switching is enabled via the Cycle plugin for jQuery.

Thanks go to Alex Matchneer, Jeff Schuler, and Shawn Mariani for their advice and encouragement in getting this off the ground.

Cleveland Public Library Rice Branch

During my internship at Bostwick Design Partnership, I was on the schematic design team for this library on the east side of Cleveland. I was responsible for coming up with design variations on a defined theme as well as producing models and drawings for internal study and client presentations.

After we finalized the general massing, I was on the team that refined the schematic design into what would eventually be built.

View of the completed building from the south, at the corner of Shaker Blvd. and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Client: Cleveland Public Library.
January - April 2008.
With Bostwick Design Partnership.



Flat Pack Furniture

In collaboration with Rustbelt Welding, a Cleveland-based fabrication and shop, I designed this series of flat-packable steel furniture. The profiles are cut out of 1/4" plate steel and fit together exclusively by friction. No fasteners or glue are used.

Total time from initial concept to debut exhibition was 72 hours. Sketches were worked out in two hours, measured production documents in another three hours, fabrication turnaround was 36 hours and assembly was quick and seamless on the first try.

The furniture set is designed to be manufactured remotely. Any local steel fabricator can plasma cut these profiles out of [2] 4'x8' sheets of steel, eliminating the need for shipping costs.

April 2012.
In collaboration with Rustbelt Welding.



Echo Chairs

The existing Echo line of furniture from Forest City Fabricators is comprised of laterally stacked plywood profiles. I designed and produced fabrication documents for the newest additions to the line, the Lounge and Rock chairs.

In addition to designing the exterior profiles of each chair, I placed hollows within each interior profile which saved 37% of the weight from each chair without sacrificing rigidity or strength.

August-September 2012.
In collaboration with Forest City Fabricators.



SPACES Partition

I was approached by SPACES, a not-for-profit art gallery in Cleveland, to create a temporary installation for their annual benefit. The task was to divide the photo booth from the rest of the event space and to mitigate disturbance from flash photography while maintaining some degree of openness and continuity in the space. The solution was to divide the domain of the wall into regions, each of which comprised of planes that converged on a particular point.

Concept diagram illustrating the wall's placement in the space, the convergence points and their associated regions.

The partition in progress. The completed section converges on a point defined by a piece of string taped to the stepladder.

The partition, looking from the main event space toward the photo booth and outside.

Client: SPACES, Cleveland, OH.
November 2010.