Innovative Design

Project: On the Water/Palisade Bay. Image courtesy of ARO.

Adam Yarinsky fuses design with experimentation

Posted by Liam Otten, The Record October 12, 2009

Adam Yarinsky, a principal and co-founder of ARO: Architecture Research Office in New York, will discuss his work for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts fall Public Lecture Series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.

Yarinsky is serving as a visiting professor in the Sam Fox School's College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. He launched ARO in 1993 with partner Stephen Cassell, and in the years since, the firm has earned a reputation as equal parts design office and research laboratory.

In the mid-1990s, ARO began experimenting with standard-sized plywood to create its flexible Modular Wall system, while the Paper Wall project in 2000 employed computer-aided manufacturing technologies — which are capable of cutting and scoring in ways that cannot be replicated by hand — to create a dimensional wall structure entirely out of paper.

ARO's built projects have ranged from the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square and the stunning Colorado House in Telluride to the restorations of the Donald Judd loft in New York City's SoHo neighborhood and the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

The firm's numerous awards include two National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA); multiple Merit Awards from the AIA New York Chapter; and a Design Distinction Award from ID Magazine. Twice, ARO has been a finalist for the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum's National Design Award for Architecture.

In 2003, Princeton Architectural Press published a monograph of their work. In 2007, Yarinksy was made a fellow of the AIA.

Last summer, ARO collaborated with Peter MacKeith, associate dean and associate professor of architecture, as part of the Low2No Sustainable Development Design Competition in Helsinki, Finland. The team was led by Peter Rose & Partners of Boston and also included architecture alumnus Gullivar Shepherd of Michael van Valkenburgh Associates, landscape architects.

The competition was organized by Sitra, an independent public fund promoting the welfare of Finnish society, and aimed to show that international targets for lowering CO2 emissions can be reached and even outperformed while also maintaining high levels of economic and architectural value.

The group's design — recently named one of five finalists as the competition moves from the ideas to implementation stage — would create a large yet energy-efficient building complex on a reclaimed harbor in the Jatkasaari quarter, located at the western edge of Helsinki's central business district.

For more information about Low2No, visit

Yarinsky's talk is free and open to the public. For more information call 935-9300 or visit the Sam Fox School calendar.