Three SOM projects were finalists in Fast Company's 2016 Innovation by Design (IBD) Awards, an annual celebration of the most innovative projects around the world. With over 1700 entries across various categories, from apps to products and spaces, this year's IBD Awards recognized “what's best about design today: big ideas, meticulously thought-out details, and a clear viewpoint about how we live now—and how it could be better.”
The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) 1.0 demonstration project made the final selection in the Experimental category, and received an honorable mention in the Spaces, Places, and Cities category. AMIE 1.0 is a research and design collaboration between SOM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed by SOM to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, which was developed by the DOE.
The jury also chose The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground as a finalist in the Spaces, Places, and Cities category. The Kathleen Grimm School is the first net-zero-energy school in New York City, and one of the first of its kind worldwide. Designed to harvest as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses annually, this bold education facility raises the bar for sustainable design in New York City and sets an example for the design of future schools.
In the same category, The Strand, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T), which resurrects an abandoned 100-year old movie theater in a neglected part of San Francisco’s inner-urban fabric, was also named a finalist. The program incorporates educational facilities for A.C.T., a new 300-seat theater, a 120-seat black box theater and rehearsal space, stage support, public lobby, and cafe. The lobby opens to the street, engaging and enlivening both the building and the surrounding neighborhood while the theater itself represents a key component in the revival of the area.