CARL LOSTRITTO

Providence, RI

NSA AT THE CORNER OF MAIN AND ELM If the NSA were to refine its brand, it would first recognize that the free-standing reflective glass box of its Fort Meade headquarters is as symbolic as it is performative. One benefit of this language is scalability. In opening branches on Main streets across the United States, the NSA (now called "YourNSA") can occupy comparatively smaller existing buildings by injecting reflective glass mass into the space. The mass extrudes outward just beyond the limits of local building codes to ensure figural registration. The entire building becomes poche — the space of the pocket, potentially occupiable but perceived from the outside as solid. YourNSA focuses on human-centered information. They turn human suspicion, concern, and bias into data. Two architectural problems then arise. First, how to contend with the contradiction of being optimally visible, but secret. (People are more likely to report of their fellow citizens if they can do so privately.) Secondly, as much as the NSA wants to bring people "in" to a space of voluntary interrogation, they don't want anyone to actually penetrate their facility. The result is a spatial experience that is equally and simultaneously in and invisible; interior and exterior. Team: Carl Lostritto (designer), Jihoon Oh (Project Assistant)

NSA AT THE CORNER OF MAIN AND ELM

If the NSA were to refine its brand, it would first recognize that the free-standing reflective glass box of its Fort Meade headquarters is as symbolic as it is performative. One benefit of this language is scalability. In opening branches on Main streets across the United States, the NSA (now called "YourNSA") can occupy comparatively smaller existing buildings by injecting reflective glass mass into the space. The mass extrudes outward just beyond the limits of local building codes to ensure figural registration. The entire building becomes poche — the space of the pocket, potentially occupiable but perceived from the outside as solid. YourNSA focuses on human-centered information. They turn human suspicion, concern, and bias into data. Two architectural problems then arise. First, how to contend with the contradiction of being optimally visible, but secret. (People are more likely to report of their fellow citizens if they can do so privately.) Secondly, as much as the NSA wants to bring people "in" to a space of voluntary interrogation, they don't want anyone to actually penetrate their facility. The result is a spatial experience that is equally and simultaneously in and invisible; interior and exterior.

Team: Carl Lostritto (designer), Jihoon Oh (Project Assistant)

Carl Lostritto is Assistant Professor of Architecture at RISD. He regularly exhibits drawings and conceptual works of architecture. Carl Lostritto’s architectural agenda involves methodological experiments in the realms of computation and representation in the pursuit of new ways of conceiving fundamental architectural problems. His modus operandi in practice and pedagogy usually involves writing software that controls machines and extends the role of the human author in the design process. He has written hundreds of programs and scripts that control vintage pen plotters. He also indexes, catalogs and writes about the resulting drawings. Some questions he has raised include: What does an artificial intelligence engine that plays Connect Four look like? What are the aesthetic implications of a geometric algorithm that gives mass to line? What if abstracted geological forces and particle physics were misused to make a storm cloud form in the world of a drawing? What is the simplest algorithm that produces the most complex spatial condition? How many types of ambiguity are there? Why do architects draw? And, what would Sol LeWitt do? A recent partnered exhibit, “Landlines” was shown at the MIT Keller Gallery. Before joining the RISD faculty, Lostritto taught architecture and design at The Boston Architectural College, The Catholic University of America, The University of Maryland, and MIT. He studied in a post-professional research program at MIT within the Design and Computation Group. His professional architecture degree was earned at the University of Maryland. His favorite architectural problem is the corner. 

www.lostritto.com