Catching Up with the NODUS Team
When we last checked in with Gustavo Bonet and the NODUS crew, they were using digital fabrication to realize project visions that ranged from architecture to furniture to art installations. In that time, NODUS’ reputation as a “fixer” has grown, allowing the team to move into a new space in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood that simultaneously serves as a gallery, collaboration area, and workspace. The space is designed to embody NODUS itself, reflecting the changing idea of what a workspace can be. For NODUS, this move doesn’t mean a change in the type of work they do, it just means more flexibility and fewer obstacles, and increased notoriety in the digital fabrication and design communities.
The New Space
The SoHo space will house the NODUS team, host alternative events, and display finished works. In addition, it will allow the team to explore new avenues in design, architecture and art. One of the scheduled events, for example, will feature a pastry chef who will explore the idea of the modern kitchen. With projects like these, Bonet’s team is focused on pushing boundaries. “We’re thinking outside of the box, and we’re at the cutting edge as far as workspaces go, transcending the realm of furniture or industrial design. It will feature things that will enrich your day. We’re catering to things that stand out.”
A Unique Take on the Design Process
On a day-to-day basis, even the role that their ShopBot plays in the process is unique. It’s seen less as a mass-production tool and more of another potential solution to meet the needs of the project at hand:
“We’re architects using the tools in a very hybrid way,” says Gustavo. “We’ve learned the basic commands and can approach projects from a problem-solving architectural standpoint. With proximity to the tools, adjustments can be made on the fly. We’re bridging the gap between art & architecture.”
One of the best examples of such a project is the lobby reception desk installation at the bOcean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Charged with designing a carved wood installation that would mimic seaweed swaying in the ocean, the NODUS team also looked to complement the art deco and features dotting the resort, as well as the storied mermaid show featured at the lobby bar, from where the upstairs pool is visible.. Their solution was an 8’ x 24’ surface comprised of 21 individual pieces, each cut on the ShopBot and assembled on-site like a large puzzle.
The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center
For the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center between the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Nodus worked with architects at JPDA to develop a surface relief for the facade and interior echoing the rhythmic quality of a dance gesture rippling out, impacting its surroundings.
For the interior reception area, Nodus milled solid fiberboard panels tightly coordinated with the surrounding millwork for seamless integration. On the exterior facade, custom-cast, glass fiber-reinforced concrete panels provide graphic identity for the dance center, and continuity between exterior and interior.
For interior panels, Nodus prepared fabrication models, and surface milled fiberboard directly. For exterior panels, concrete forms were developed through an analogous process, then cast by hand.
Hines Fischer Furniture Prototypes
For the ICFF Studio 2015 Competition, Nodus worked with industrial designer Hines Fischer to fabricate prototypes for his Minun series. Nodus performed two-sided milling of all wood components and joinery included in the piece.
Designing the Future
As to how NODUS sees future projects taking shape, it’s all about staying innovative.
“There’s no limit,” says Bonet. “It’s the idea of a workspace that’s changed, and it’s truly a collaborative environment/gallery/showroom. We’ve become the keystone of the industry, and what is rewarding is we’re seeing more and more people starting to respect and appreciate our role in the process.”
The NODUS team may be beginning the next chapter of their story with the SoHo gallery, but the main theme is always going to be collaboration and problem-solving. You can check out their latest projects on the nodusNYC website & Instagram, and stay tuned to ShopBot Tools for the latest updates!