R&D Awards


Previous R+D Awards

2013 R+D Awards

2011 R+D Awards

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    2011 R+D Awards

    The fifth annual R+D Awards jury chose 12 winners that exemplify innovation in architectural systems technology.

  • Taktl is an ultrahigh-performance concrete formula that uses local materials for a range of applications.


    Manufacturer: Taktl

  • The Sanicubic Classic is a grinder system that reduces solids in the wastewater system.

    Sanicubic Classic

    Manufacturer: Saniflo


2010 R+D Awards

  • Fourth Annual R+D Awards

    This year's jury selected 11 winners—ranging from sustainable housing to steam-bending and rubber sinks—based on a combination of performance, aesthetics, and progressive thinking.

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    Award: Digital Steam-Bending

    A University of Michigan research group has revisited the 19th century technique of bending wood through steam with 21st century tools.

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    Award: R-House

    Designed by two New York architecture firms, the compact R-House offers a prototype for low-energy housing that’s also affordable and adaptable.


2009 R+D Awards

  • Light is also directed by the curved shape of the fixture's housing, one of the object's distinctive aesthetic features.

    LED Streetlight

    The Office for Visual Interaction designed a prototype LED streetlight for New York to cut down on energy use.

  • The design for the staircase is centered on folded stainless steel. Hung from a structural steel support on the top level of the townhouse, vertical folded pieces create a continuous screen that encloses the two above-grade flights of stairs. Tabs on the bent risers are fitted into slots on the vertical pieces, which created an easy setup for on-site construction and spot-welding.

    Dynamic Descent

    Dean/Wolf Architects designs a folded stainless steel staircase for a Manhattan townhouse.

  • A mock-up of the SFIS with bundled plastic bottles. Most plastic water bottles are discarded with the caps on; capped, empty bottles are airtight and can be placed within a concrete structure to create a void. Hydrostatic pressure from wet concrete will only nominally reduce the air volume inside the bottles.

    Sustainable Form-Inclusion System

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design a prototype system that uses plastic bottles, bags, and other compressed waste to lighten and fill spaces in concrete slabs.


2008 R+D Awards

  • Denver Filter

    What began as an exercise in designing a new recycling kiosk for downtown Denver became a larger meditation on the solid waste collection systems of modern cities, resulting in the design of a large-scale system for moving waste.

  • Carbon Fiber Grid Reinforced Precast Concrete

    The problem of corrosion in precast concrete is often attributed to the steel rebar reinforcement; steel being a corrodible material, it is especially vulnerable during the curing and drying process, when it is locked into an environment that is very wet.

  • Slide Library, Columbia University

    One of Columbia University's newest facilities has a very specialized purpose: the storage and conservation of projection slides, a staple of art history and archaeology instruction. In this project, architects Marble Fairbanks created an enclosure for th


2007 R+D Awards

  • 12 Blocks

    The Challenge: How can the standard concrete masonry unit be re-examined, renewed, and ultimately improved?

  • Soft House

    Kennedy & Violich Architecture took a radical first step in designing the Soft House, replacing many of the hard wall surfaces of a standard prefabricated house with movable curtains that contain embedded nanotechnology and thin-film photovoltaics.

  • Riddled Furniture

    The concept of porosity has been a favorite point of exploration in the buildings of Steven Holl Architects, so applying that concept at the scale of furniture seems like a natural progression for the firm.



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