Steven O'Hara

Document Type







Fabrication, construction, tectonics, jigging, operations of professional practice, industries, economies


Architectural Technology | Architecture


This thesis is an investigation into how the means of fabrication and construction influence architectural design. This study intends to question existing relationships between design and making, by proposing that the designer approach the field of tectonics through the lens of the process of jigging. This paper will outline theoretical and practical foundations of such a study by (1) analyzing how the architect engages with construction by looking at the divisions and operations of professional practice of architecture. The analysis will continue by (2) defining the process of jigging, looking into where jigging sits in the practices of fabrication, and (3) by categorizing how jigs work in constructional assemblies, and the values that

emerge from the processes. Finally, this paper will propose (4) how this awareness can benefit architectural design, and (5) what has presently been done to demonstrate this thesis. These explications will comprise an introductory investigation into the field of variable tectonics, contending that architecture can exploit the rich variables of making as an agent in design by shifting the hierarchy of the role of jigging in construction and fabrication processes. The importance of this thesis bears primarily on the interests of the architect, and his or her strategies in approaching the industries and economies of building. It is this project’s intention to provide a means of communication, or a more discursive relationship between the designers and makers—the ‘thinkers’ and the ‘doers’.

Additional Information

Super Jury Award.


Syracuse School of Architecture 2015

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.