Lines, Pipelines, and the Contested Space of Fossil Fuel Transport in the Pacific Northwest


Student work from the University of Oregon Department of Architecture design studio “Lines, Pipelines, and the Contested Space of Fossil Fuel Transport in the Pacific Northwest” is featured in an article by Eric de Place at the Siteline Institute. The students’ work is also published and available to view as a PDF or to purchase as a book HERE. Student work: Susanna Davy, 2016. The top drawing shows the route of coal that is extracted in the North American interior and shipped by train to Pacific ports for export to Asia. The bottom drawing includes a tube that aspirates coal dust from the Pacific East to the Pacific West. Points of resistance marked on the map are carried down to indicate pinch points on the tube.


Translations from Model to Building

Kipuka Makai in its nearly-built form is looking a lot like the process models. For comparison: 1) 3D printed model from the digital model, 2) an early sketch model, and 3) a construction site snapshot. Kipuka Makai is a pavilion on the island of Maui that is designed to amplify the ecological and geological richness of the upland site while tempering the climate and rocky terrain for visitors. Pavilion design: FLOAT Architectural Research and Design (Erin Moore); Structural and fabrication design: Mark Donofrio.

makai models400

With Avantika Bawa at Pacific Sky


Artist Avantika Bawa uses conventions of architectural drawing (in lines and planes that define masses and voids) to transform gallery space. I called on my own collaborative work in material chemistry to respond to her work in writing–Three types of architectural space explained–as part of this installation at the Pacific Sky Exhibitions.

Equilibrium Pavilion, Tokyo

3 ME model

“Architecture Assistant Professor Erin Moore was one of 8 architects invited to design a mobile pavilion in a two-day design competition at the Kengo Kuma Lab at the University of Tokyo. Moore and her team (students Iosif Dakaronias-Marina from the Architectural Association and Jenny Kan and Shin Yeonsang from the University of Tokyo) were awarded the design prize “Material Equilibrium” for their pavilion that used a spiral of thatch to capture and shed water and carbon for mobile dwellin and long-term material cycling.”

MP 004 MP 003

Sisters Mobile Artist Studios

With funding from the Roundhouse Foundation, Erin Moore and architecture students from the University of Oregon are collaborating to generate design ideas for a prototype mobile, live/work art studio for Sisters.  The idea is to make creative space available in town on currently under used commercial or  industrial locations as an investment in arts-based economic development. #Sisters Mobile Artist Studios

CEK cabin

A tiny second floor for a tiny tidewater log cabin in Southeast Alaska. It’s not really about being indoors here but if you do want to sit by the window, you will surely see whales. Biggest challenge–planning for cleaning salt and gook from the outside of the upper window. Best quote from owner’s house guest–“this room is like the Discovery Channel!” (referring to those whales and other creatures viewed from upper room).



This project is a small off-grid retreat on a rural site in Bordeaux, France. A steel exoskeleton supports a polycarbonate roof over a 120 sq. ft. wood framed interior box. Window locations are located to emphasize foreground and background views and the butterfly roof funnels rain water to a cistern that provides habitat for the namesake native tree frog.

What does it mean to account for the entire lifecycle of a building? In my design practice, this means assigning an intentional lifespan to different parts of the building. In a studio I have just designed for a client’s family property in Bordeaux, France, the foundation of the building will be there longer than the nearby Roman road markers. Rendered as topography, the foundation is designed to be beautiful and useful regardless of whether the rest of the building still stands. A steel frame that is bolted together on site will support the enclosure and the studio will be enclosed with cedar slat panels that fit into the frame with nearly no fasteners. In time, these more ephemeral parts of the building will come apart into neat piles of cedar and steel, ready for their next lives.

In the meantime, I intend for the lightweight structure to appear to shift a bit on its moorings in response to time and the elements. In the way that it shapes the relationship between the owner and his country property, I am intend for the studio to draw attention to the short term of his stewardship and to the long term of the place. The way that I think about my design practice—FLOAT architectural research and design—is also meant to reflect this astatic permanence as in the way that a well-moored boat swings wide on its anchor line. Design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design.


  • A small writing studio (just 100sf) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon that the owner calls her “Watershed.” The owner is a philosophy professor and a well-known nature writer. She commissioned the studio as a retreat for herself and for visiting writer friends. Her first request was for a roof that would let her hear rain falling.
  • The designer is the owner’s daughter. Erin Moore currently teaches design studios at the University of Arizona School of Architecture. She uses her own small firm, FLOAT, and her residency at MOCA Tucson to conduct small-scale projects that engage architecture with ecology.
  • The writing studio site is a small piece of land along the Marys River about 20 minutes from the owner’s home in town. The studio sits just uphill from riparian wetlands that are part of a project to restore hydrological and ecological function to the whole Marys River watershed.
  • The writing studio is designed to reveal the ecological complexity of the site to visitors and in this way it is successful: Small tunnels under the studio bring rare reptiles and amphibians into view through the floor-level window. The water collection basin that doubles as the front step draws in birds and deer. At midday, the silhouettes of these animals project from the water onto the interior ceiling. Windows on the west and north sides frame different bird habitats—the tops of fence row trees and the patch of sky at a hilltop updraft. The roof diaphragm amplifies rain sounds and the collection basin is a measure of past rainfall.
  • Two major intentions underlie careful design detailing: 1) that the studio be able to be constructed without road access, without electricity on site, and without major excavation and 2) that the building be removable and recyclable at the end of its useful life. The way the studio is designed in three separate construction stages made it possible to shop fabricate most of it and then to walk the parts to the site for assembly. The first stage of construction was the site-poured foundation piers that are cast to spread the weight of the building on the ground and to drain water away from the steel frame. The second stage, the steel frame, was shop fabricated and dropped in a single piece onto the piers by a front loader. Stainless steel bolts connect dado-grooved cedar 2x6s to the frame and the final tongue-in-groove cedar and glass enclosure layer floats in those grooves and on rubber engine seats. There are no irreversible connections. The wood enclosure can be updated or recycled piece-by-piece as necessary. The steel frame can be removed the same way it arrived and can be reused or recycled.