Sulan Kolatan and Bill MacDonald met at Columbia University in New York City, where they both earned graduate degrees in architecture. They founded their interdisciplinary design practice, Kolatan/MacDonald Studio (now Kol/Mac), in 1988, and have taught at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation since 1990.
Much of their design process stems from a flexible computer-assisted method called "co-citation mapping," in which the visual and spatial characteristics of a given image or object are converted into numerical data. The resulting values are input into computer modeling programs and used to generate form, effectively creating a conceptual relationship between the new object and its source.
More recently, Kol/Mac has experimented with monocoques, three-dimensional forms in which surface and structure are fully integrated. A project titled Resi-Rise, for instance, combines aesthetic and structural considerations into a single system which, in turn, results in a skyscraper's exterior shell.
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