A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

SYSTEMarchitects NY: Digital Pre-Fabrication

Jeremy Edmiston of SYSTEMarchitects speaks to Yelena Smetannikov about digital pre-fabrication for more sustainable architecture.

SYSTEMarchitects NY: Digital Pre-Fabrication


March 2nd, 2011

The work of New York-based SYSTEMarchitects focuses not only on new ways of looking at everyday living concepts, but also on innovative ways of on-site construction.

The practice’s portfolio ranges from a funky take on a homeless shelter (below) to Burst* House (above), a family residence built on the East Coast of Australia.


AaShelter – Jeremy Edmiston, Robert Baker, Charles Kwan, Hui Jin

Burst*’s structural elements were digitally pre-cut off site.

Winning the Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture in 2006, it illustrated how technology is allowing architects to reconsider the building process to minimise the carbon footprint both on and off site.

“All architecture requires innovation, specific to the project. The exact conditions of any project can be quite unpredictable,” says Jeremy Edmiston, principal of SYSTEMarchitects.

Edmiston believes there are immense advantages in digital pre-fabrication, as it allows for accurate cutting of construction material, reducing on-site waste dramatically, as well as allowing for quality control.

“It allows for ideas to be built which were once thought almost impossible in terms of time, cost and geometry,” Edmiston explains.

The aim of SYSTEMarchitects, Edmiston says, is to create relevant designs that respond to current issues – such as sustainability, which fosters an active community of architects.

“Many users are asking us to consider the relationship between what we do and nature in a way that pays attention to the ongoing quality of the planet. Exciting, no?” asks Edmiston.

He believes that the first objective of architecture has always been for the work to connect with the culture and the users of today.

“Architects have always addressed the natural environment, its potentials and its limits. Bernini’s church in Rome is still being used to this day, 400 years or so later. How much more sustainable can a building be?”


Hero image: Burst* House: BURST*003 SYSTEMarchitects with Douglas Gauthier. Photo by floto+warner


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed