The Martin Architecture and Design Workshop (MADWORKSHOP), a foundation meant to encourage “beautiful, artfully designed” technological craftsmanship, launched last month in Santa Monica. Its founder, David C. Martin, a principal at Los Angeles–based firm AC Martin, hopes to sponsor the next generation of inventors and designers, with the assumption that they have the potential for critical and commercial success
“Our approach to making things is much like the approach taken to design a building, only on a more manageable scale,” said Martin.
Selected individuals will be mentored through the process of prototyping, drafting and fabrication. The Foundation will then assess public relations and marketing opportunities and assist in launching the idea. The group is particularly interested in projects that have the potential to influence design on a grand scale. They will also sponsor ideas that can be written, illustrated, or diagramed, and have the potential to be published or exhibited.
The foundation’s path began in 2005 when Martin began teaching a design studio at the USC School of Architecture. The class resonated with students, helping them rediscover craftsmanship. Over the next eight years it evolved, and Martin and his wife Mary challenged students to think bigger, eventually designing a site-specific pedestrian bridge.
MADWORKSHOP has thus far green-lighted five projects in various stages of development. They include:
1. The Collapsible Chair: Origami Lighweight Foldable Chair by Designer Yuan Yao
2. The Smart Table Lamp by Designer Shihyung “Bobby” Kim
3. 3D-Printed Wearable Architectural Fashion by Designer Behnaz Farah
4. The Robotics Research Grant – USC School of Architecture Studio Class
5. The Mexico Book: An Architect-s Road Trip by Author David C. Martin, FAIA