GFRY Studio Overview
The GFRY is a collaborative, trans-disciplinary design and fabrication studio that actively cooperates with industry to explore how new technologies, social forms and materials can be integrated to produce innovative objects, media, environments, and experiences for the challenges of an increasingly complex world. The studio produces work for targeted public opportunities such as art, design and technology expositions, design competitions, and topical research publications. GFRY offers students a highly visible venue for the exhibition of work and the chance to be involved in the development of public work from concept through fabrication, installation, promotion, and review. GFRY Studio projects are supported by a grant from the Motorola Foundation in memory of their Chief Marketing Officer Geoffrey Frost.

GFRY Studio 2013 “A Room with a View”
We live in a world of transactions – where everything interacts and affects every other thing. In the GFRY Studio detecting, measuring, logging, visualizing and managing these transactions is the context for design and art. Specifically the projects coming out of the studio quantify the flow of conditions, events, and even objects, and propose these as the necessary infrastructure for an evolving city. The GFRY studio “A View with a Room” uses informatics to explore how participatory, embedded and ubiquitous sensing / computing, as well as access to public data, help reveal & improve the complexity and dynamism of urban existence in Chicago.

Instructors for this GFRY Studio

Douglas Pancoast
A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design (B.Arch., 1991) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA Arch., 1995), Douglas Pancoast has roots firmly planted in the fertile soil of the American midwest. He has worked for firms including Richard Meier and Partners, 1100 Architect, BlackBox Studio at SOM, and agency.com. His work has been shown in the Chicago-based exhibitions Art in the Urban Garden, Mystique: Space, Technology, and Craft and Speculative Chicago; and in Scale at the Architectural League of New York and the National Building Museum, Washington, DC. His projects have been featured in Architectural Record, Architecture, A.P.+, and The Architectural Review, and in the book Young Architects: Scale. Pancoast has lectured widely on his own work and on the topic of trans-disciplinary education, and has served as a guest critic at such institutions as Columbia University , Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Parsons School of Design.

Pancoast taught at the Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan and The NewSchool of Architecture + Design before joining the department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Identifying the need to intensify and expand the set of curricular vehicles used for design education at the SAIC, Pancoast helped to establish various partner supported research and design studio frameworks for faculty, students and staff.

Bo Rodda






As a designer, visual artist, technologist, and educator, Bo Rodda has uniquely cultivated a trans-disciplinary background by integrating traditional arts, the sciences, digital interactive and visual design, industrial design, in addition to extensive research into high performance and sustainable design. His work has been shown widely including his exhibition of his “Active Light Cloud,” an interactive intelligent lighting system in Milan’s Salon del Mobile and at the Art Institute of Chicago. This project received acclaim by FastCompany.comInhabitat.com, as well as Core77.com. His recent work at Argonne National Laboratory culminated in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project allowing for real time energy management, visualization, and outreach through a network of real time “Energy Dashboards.” As an instructor, he was taught several notable trans-disciplinary research studios with collaborative partners including Argonne National Laboratory, the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics, the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium. He is currently instructing the GFRY Design Studio investigating pervasive/ ubiquitous computing in the urban environment.

Instructor, AIADO (2012), Art and Technology Studies (2012). Notable Experience: Building Technologies and Energy Efficiency Specialist, Argonne National Laboratory (2010-2012). Education: BFA, 2002, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; MFA, 2010, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.




Project Partners

Rajesh Sankaran

Robb Drinkwater
Charlie Catlett
Adam Mack
Derek Eder
Mark Subbarao
Randy Landsberg
Monica Ryan
Argonne National Lab
Kavely institute of Cosmological physics
Adler Planetarium
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Urban CCD

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