Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in a territory between architecture, art and industrial design led by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues. Their work is informed by the exploration of craft. Essential to each project is the "design" of the production process itself, with the aim of creating environments that enhance sensation, generate spectacle and invite physical engagement.
The Studio has exhibited at major institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; PS1; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Venice Biennale; the Hong Kong | Shenzhen Biennale; and the Beijing Biennale. They have received numerous honors including three American Institute of Architects Design Awards, United States Artists Target Fellowships and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2007, the Studio was the winner of the Museum of Modern Art PS1 Young Architects Program Competition and their work is part of the permanent collections of both MoMA and LACMA. In 2011, they were one of the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices and, in 2014, they were finalists for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize in Emerging Architecture. Benjamin and Gaston have taught in the graduate architecture programs at SCI-Arc, UCLA, and USC. Their work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Architectural Record, Artforum, Icon, Log, Architectural Digest, Mark and Sculpture.
MOST KNOWN FOR:
Being one half of Ball-Nogues Studio.
CURRENT PROJECT or SHOW:
We are working on several art commissions for sites around the country - Central Washington University, the Damen Metro stop in Chicago, San Diego Airport, Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Seattle Sound Transit in Bellevue Washington, an Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. We are also doing an architectural pavilion in West Hollywood and a competition for a commemorative monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE? BREW METHOD?
Almond milk or soy, no sugar. I once tested high for cholesterol, so no whole milk or cream.
NAME SOMETHING YOU LOVE.
I love my mom. She always encouraged me to pursue things that made me happy.
WHAT IS KEY TO YOUR PROCESS?
There is no key of which I am aware. We tend to tinker around with fabrication processes then thoroughly explore what it could yield in terms of content. In my collaboration with Gaston Nogues, we derive a lot of ideas from historical craft and industrial methods. My background is in architecture so I like to adapt these to be applicable to building. Regardless of the process (we tend to geek out on process) we try to maintain a critical distance from the work. This helps us recognize if we are heading toward a cliché and helps us steer a project in more unexpected directions. I need a lot of rules; and the production process is just a set of rules to work within, so, it is usually the first thing we discuss during the development of a project. After we’ve worked out a method of production we make iteration after iteration of prototypes until we find something that’s seems right but we are always judging them along the way, we are always ready to throw something out.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
An architectural project for an experienced client with a social agenda who encourages us to take risks in terms of form and materials.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I can’t decide between a penthouse in one of those skinny, billionaire high-rises in New York and Hong Kong, or a permaculture commune overlooking the ocean in Mendocino County.
ON YOUR DEATHBED, LAST MEAL IN LA?
I might go for a wet burrito and melon agua fresca at El Huarachito in Lincoln Heights. I’ll suppose that while on my deathbed I’d want to cut through the BS of fine dining, simple, well-prepared food would probably take on grand significance.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK?
You can visit it person, we have projects around the world. There are several in Los Angeles you can check out: