Martin Summers

Lexington / United States

Martin Summers 0
Martin Summers
Mr. Summers founded PLUS-SUM Studio in September 2012, to pursue work that would allow for ways to expand his own vision of what is possible in a collaborative practice. He has 19 years experience in a variety of project types and scales, from small interior renovations to large-scale master planning. His first project within the new practice was recognized the following year (2013) by the National AIA and displayed in Washington, D.C. as part of the Emerging Professionals Exhibition. The competition entry for the Louisville Children's Museum "Grey Matter," was exhibited in the Korea Institute for Youth Facility and Environment (KIYFE) exhibit in Munjeong Samsung Raemian Gallery in Seoul, Korea. Most recently, three projects won International Design Awards (5 total awards) including the top award of "Architectural Design of the Year 14."

The work of the practice seeks discover opportunities that are latent within a given problem, in order to evolve possible solutions through an intensive, iterative, problem seeking design process. This process seamlessly moves from design practice to an academic context in order to test opportunities within each realm and progress both forward. This reflects Mr. Summers' commitment to education and to pursuing conditions that allow for an open and engaging dialogue around contemporary practice and processes.

Martin is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky, College of Design, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 1996. At his Alma Mater he leads advanced studios in urban / architectural design projects and teaches electives in High Performance Building Envelopes and Design / Theory. His research focuses on design pedagogy and processes that leverage digital tools and their potential to address complex issues across multiple scales. These processes use rapid, digital iteration and analysis to engage his studios in issues that affect contemporary practice and bring his experience and expertise to his students.

His current research "Point of Departure," is a multidisciplinary project that was awarded a University of Kentucky 2014 Sustainability Challenge Grant to pursue design and construction of sustainable bus shelters on the UK campus. Mr. Summers is leading the architectural team of students, in collaboration with Michael Wilson of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and students from Electrical Engineering. In his FA 12 and SP13 studios, the work focused on "Town and Gown" issues exploring opportunities and latent potentials within the local environment of Lexington, Kentucky. His FA11 and SP12 studios focused on 5 cities in Northern Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati Ohio where the can collectively align resources and opportunites within the broader, trans-border, metropolitan region. These studios were a continuation of his work on the River Cities project at UK CoD and also part of the SUPRASTUDIO / Culture Now project run by Thom Mayne and Karen Lohrmann at UCLA ( ). The focus of the larger Culture Now project studied mid-size American cities and how culture could be used as a instigator of urban questions and possible solutions. Martin’s River Cities Project / Henderson studios from FA10 and SP11 were featured in the Rotterdam Biennale, “Making City,” where he led the design and coordination of the physical exhibition of the College of Design’s work (see: INSIDEout ).

Prior Practice:
Before founding PLUS-SUM Studio, Martin worked for 10 years as a Senior Project Designer at Morphosis Architects. He served as project designer on projects across all scales and took on a leadership role in façade design and construction. In his last project with the office, he led the design of the atrium and exterior facades for the New Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas Texas (completed in January of 2013.) Prior to the Museum of Nature and Science, Martin led the exterior façade team working on the design and execution drawings for the Phare Tower in Paris, France. He also served as the lead project designer on the Cahill Center for Astrophysics at Caltech in Pasadena, California and as the lead project designer for the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles; an entire city block across from City Hall where urban design issues drove the solution. Other award winning projects include NYC 2012 Olympic Village design and master planning; Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank, Udine Italy; the Wayne L. Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon; the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Competition which attempted to re-stitch the existing campus into a coherent whole.

Mr. Summers received his Masters of Architecture II degree from UCLA, where he was a student of Thom Mayne, the 2005 Pritzker Prize Laureate and the founding principal of Morphosis. While at UCLA, he worked with Mr. Mayne on the publication of LA Now, Volumes 1 and 2 (in which his thesis project “UNIVERcity” appears) that explores the relationship between University Research and Public Policy, in an effort to affect change in large-scale urban development via symbiotic relationships and added value to the given problem.

Prior to attending graduate school, Martin participated in a diverse range of project from residential and worship spaces to sound stages for clients such as Warner Bros., Sony, and DreamWorks SKG while working at HLW Internationals Los Angeles office. He also worked at several award-winning offices in Lexington, Kentucky (Omni and EOP) before heading to Los Angeles
Martin Summers
Martin Summers
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