O'Donnell's CODA Named Emerging Firm in Architectural Review

Work by Caroline O'Donnell
CODA's work, Combust, was recently included in the group show Los Angeles or BUST at Jai & Jai gallery in Los Angeles. photo / John Lai (B.Arch. '17)
Work by Caroline O'Donnell
Detail of the inside of CODA's Combust, showing the red matchsticks and white cigar matches. photo / John Lai (B.Arch. '17)
CODA's work, Combust, was recently included in the group show Los Angeles or BUST at Jai & Jai gallery in Los Angeles. photo / John Lai (B.Arch. '17) Detail of the inside of CODA's Combust, showing the red matchsticks and white cigar matches. photo / John Lai (B.Arch. '17)
News
September 30, 2015

CODA, the firm of Caroline O'Donnell, the Edgar A. Tafel Assistant Professor and director of the M.Arch. program, was named by Architectural Review as one of 2015's Emerging Architecture firms in the U.S.

Each year, the London-based magazine selects a group of firms that represent "fresh and stimulating projects" and "global new talent." Winners from different regions of the world are published in an annual feature, with each firm presenting answers to questions including, "What is it like being an architect where you are?," "What inspires you these days?," "What project are you most proud of and why?," and "What would be your ideal project?" O'Donnell answered "pigeon-spikes" to a question about her favorite building materials, and describes why she became an architect through her childhood play habits: "I grew up on a street that was constantly under construction and played in excavations, foundations, and half-built houses. I saw the world as being always in flux through architecture."

Other firms included in the Architectural Review list are Johnston Marklee and wHY, Los Angeles; Brillhart Architecture, Miami; and De Leon & Primmer from Louisville, Kentucky.

Work from CODA was recently included in the group show Los Angeles or BUST, an exhibition that brought together 11 architects and firms to reconsider the relevance of a seemingly anachronous means of evaluation for a work of architecture: the façade. CODA's piece, Combust, was constructed of paper, red matchsticks, white cigar matches, resin, and a fire sensor. According to the project description, "The tense dialog between face and sensor is palpable when, as the viewer moves around the bust, the material is understood not only as wooden sticks but as phosphorus-tipped match-sticks, always threatening to combust and cause the sensor to scream." Combust was created by a team including Hong Ji Chen (B.Arch. '16), John Lai (B.Arch. '17), Min Keun Park (B.Arch. '17), and Hana Svatoš-Ražnjević (B.Arch. '15).

BUST was on view at Jai & Jai gallery in Los Angeles in August and September.

By Rebecca Bowes