Highly Value Engineered

Exhibition / Objects


Berlin / Los Angeles

The collection of objects in Highly Value Engineered (HVE) occupies the space between architecture, sculpture, and decoration. This objects emerged from an obsession over a failed lobby remodel plagued by value engineering (VE), or colloquially put, “cost-cutting”. The exhibition construes cheapness to include mass-produced construction readymades and speculates on the viability of architecture within an arena of frugality and minimal means. Relieved of their functional singularities, these estranged readymades undergo dissident procedures that override their use-value. Staged as objects of aesthetic contemplation, the exhibition attempts a revealing of the elusive beauty of these readymades and other immaterial peculiarities they may possess.



Residential Addition 


Los Angeles

The project is a remodel of an existing private residence designed in the Cape Cod style. A previously proposed design for the remodel specified the use of a Shou Sugi Ban charred finish over the exterior, an enlargement of the 1st and 2nd-floor areas, and the addition of a large basement (an oddity in Los Angeles). This proposal could be summed up as an on-trend styling of the building’s exterior1 and a life-styling of its interior: via the addition of floor area that prioritizes resale value over the value of lived experience. With the addition of a loggia-like structure that moderately enlarges the main living area, the current design pairs down the scale of the previous proposal while preserving the charm of the original structure.

The arbitrariness of imported (Japanese) cladding over a vernacular New England volume becomes the point of departure for a project that seeks not to reconcile the relationship between parts, but instead, tolerates the discordance between acontextual materiality and style. Seemingly random in materiality, color, and form, the loggia becomes a fleeting complement to the existing house. Its color refers not to the house, but its vegetation. This vegetation is then projected as a rippled interior landscape over corrugated surfaces that separate the loggia from the study.

1    Fortini, Amanda. “The Latest Design Trend: Black and Burned Wood.” Sept. 19, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/t-magazine/shou-sugi-ban.html.

House A



Los Angeles

House A is a guesthouse. It has extra large fenestrations designed with glazed pocketing doors that expand the interiors spaces unto the outside. The lower level is comprised of a living area, bar and sauna. The upper level is comprised of two bedrooms which open onto a balcony.

Executed While at Rchstudios

Well Hung



Los Angeles

“The pews were not moved. But the cross was covered over and a catwalk set up in the center aisle. It took eight days for the heater fans to drive the cold out of the church. The girls waited in the sacristy and on the organ loft for their cue. And Luca Gadjus, the model who lives just around the corner, opened a fashion show that was an iconoclastic act and at the same time a profession of faith.”  This is how fashion journalist Alfons Kaiser began his article “Jesus must love Michalsky,” on the Fall/Winter 2009 fashion show featuring creations by Michael Michalsky, held in a Protestant church on January 30, 2009.1

Michalsky adopts the space of worship in affirming the liminality between the viewing of fashion and liturgic ritual. Within the installation, such liminality is only hinted. In place of appropriating a space of worship to achieve a total (sacral) ambiance, the project configures the clothing rack to stage occurrences that slip in and out of divine reverence. The project posits the rack as an inverted pedestal. This pedestal elevates an uncanny array of adorned mannequins to the effect of displacing the gaze of the viewing subject. This displacement fittingly expels the fashion object from a space of commodification to one of reflection, disturbing the stable view around how fashion is received.

1   Kuhl, Alicia (2014b): Framing Saints and Sinners. Methods of Producing Space in Fashion            Shows: Michalsky’s F/W 2009. In: Elka Gaugele (Ed.): Aesthetic Politics in Fashion. Berlin:            Sternberg Press, S. 112-129.

Runway image:
Christian Dior, Fall 2000 Couture. dé Nast Archiv