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Preview – Recent and past projects

March 4, 2013

A selection of images from recent projects and old projects with a short brief for each one.



Work in Progress

July 12, 2011

Hi all, I am Justin Ackerman, thank you for visiting my page!  It is currently a work in progress so please subscribe and come back soon to see updates!  This is just a quick overview of a few of my projects from the last 3 years.  Attached is a copy of my resume:

Justin Clark Ackerman 

SHIFT Boston barge design competition

June 3, 2011

Transformative Re-Use:
Repurposing materials directly from the waste stream not only demonstrates sustainable practice but acts as a catalyst for a public dialog about human interactions with our built environment. In this barge design the entire composition derives from 3 simple reuse modules: the cinder block, the 2×4, and the wooden pallet. An organization system was created for each type of module in order to develop the form and texture of the barge. The systems are designed to transform the modules from their original purpose to a collective that transcends the static modules into an undulating architecture designed to tantalize the senses. 
Programmatic Experience:
Each module system differs according to the material property, scale, and the module’s ability to interact with other modules. The hierarchy of spaces developed organically as each module’s inclination to transform dictates the spatial hierarchy and experience.
The phenomenological wall creates the main axis through the site using a stacked and rotating system of cinder blocks to create a combination of opaque and transparent screens. As the user traverses down the main corridor the wall shifts in view, light quality and opacity as it visually connects, screens and highlights the water, sky and city. The main center wall acts as structure for the pergola and divides the movement events in the pergola from the repose events adjacent to the marsh habitat.
The living pergola is a spiraling fan of wood 2x4s creating a semi-enclosed passageway dances in light from the captivating shadows, is drenched in aromas from the draping aromatics, and sooths the hot summer day with the cool reprieve of shaded misters. The dramatic form echoes the ripples of the surrounding bay as they change in their density to reveal and shelter the open sky.
The pallet topography creates a viewing platform and seating zone for public to enjoy the marsh habitat or city and water views. The stacked pervious texture allows for water collection, storage, and filtration to occur out of sight underneath the raised center pallets.
The marsh habitat is a symbolic reintroduction of the native marshland that existed before the harbor was built. The marsh allows participants to enjoy a warm sunny day on the threshold of our current built environment and a simulation of the natural shoreline that once was; a timeline of transformations and a moment to reflect.

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Masters thesis – PROtotype

June 2, 2011


 The contemporary urban landscape is one that is made up of a patchwork of different moments in time, cultures, natural phenomena, etc.  All of these moments combine to create space with individual identities that can be successful, but many times can fall short of what it is capable of.  Over time ultimate goals for development get lost and short term, low budget solutions are implemented, zoning is changed, development procedures and technologies alter these goals, space is altered depending on changes in use and populations, etc.  Because of this loss or lack of a comprehensive solution many sites are lost in this urban fabric.  The question is:

How can this urban landscape be a more productive system that both processes community excess and provides for community needs? 

 Productivity could be defined as a level of satisfaction gained from a given amount of cost and time expended (the higher the productivity level the larger the amount of satisfaction is gained by the least amount of cost and time expended).  The goal of this project is to create productive environments that have reciprocal relationships to their enveloping communities.  What started as an investigation into how to help the homeless (creating a productive environment through the participation of the surrounding communities) has turned into a system of programs that is not only socially productive, but economically, programmatically and materially

  • Social Productivity:  is accomplished by opening up previously unused space and creating amenities in these spaces for the public to use.  Social productivity is also accomplished by creating collective situations within the site, that organizes people to work toward a common goal which is critical for societies to prosper economically and have that prosperity be sustainable.
  • Economic Productivity:  sites provide temporary employment opportunities to in need individuals, compensation to volunteers, assistance to providers and would combine to eventually lead to a becoming a profitable network.
  • Programmatic Productivity:  on an urban level the program acts like a constant feedback loop exchanging products, knowledge, and opportunities between sites as well as transforming input from external sources into a salable output.  On a site specific level, the programs are designed to be consistently inhabited by allowing for flexibility in use.  Also, the program would be used as a sort of direct marketing device that would express the goals of the system through interesting installations and branding opportunities.
  • Material Productivity:  through the idea of upcycling, (the conversion of waste products and materials into new materials) waste would be given a higher value either by being implemented aesthetically (resuing the material in a way that is purely phenomenological) or functionally (reusing the material in a way that is purely for structural benefit)

   The specifics of how each site is to be organized and developed relies on the immediate environment they are located within.  The sites function is determined through researching adjacencies, community patterns and programmatic opportunities to develop a moment that can adapt and develop over the lifespan of the space.

Four prototypical sites were chosen throughout the city and developed based on the criteria above.  Four development strategies (urban kit of parts) were then applied to each site to create an overall cohesive approach throughout the system as a whole.  The main Northbeach site was developed more completely then the others because of its development as a ‘flagship’ for the entirety of the program (it was developed in this manner due to its opportunities for exposure and its access to multiple communities).  It contains an information gallery and a small scale representation of how the system, as a whole, functions – showing inputs and outputs, exchange of materials, and levels of production.  As a whole, prototype is a sustainable solution to creating a healthier urban environment. 

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Mapping Exercise – Local Produce vs. Local Artists

October 6, 2010

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Design Build – Images throughout the day

August 19, 2010

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Adaptable Rehabilitation Center

August 18, 2010

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