LiTE: Lightweight Temporary Environments

A recent StarTribune article lamented the loss of performance spaces for Twin Cities artists (“A space race for artists” StarTribune, January 20, 2019) This suggests that many arts organizations could use what LiTE advocates: that not all organizations need permanent space and not all buildings need to be permanent. In fact, we suggest that lightweight, temporary structures can serve useful functions to artists, creative industries, public organizations or commercial enterprises, as well as, or better than brick and mortar buildings.

Thomas Fisher, Ali Heshmati, Bruce Wright, Kerrik Wessel

A LiTE approach

LiTE sees this recent announcement as proof that our fundamental concept of Lightweight Temporary Environments, is on the cusp of a transformative way of thinking about architecture, design and construction, and that we feel this would be the ideal approach for meeting society’s goals of commercial, social, economic and urban development.

WE ADVOCATE

LiTE’s projects are highly flexible structures that are able to adapt to a multitude of functions, users and venues.

LiTE’s projects attain a low-carbon footprint through intelligent use of lightweight, durable and (when appropriate) flexible materials [certified LEED or Cradle-to-Cradle sourced materials.]

LiTE’s projects attain maximum visual and effective impact via economical means.

LiTE’s projects price out at far lower cost than permanent buildings (or even temporary buildings using traditional materials and construction methods)through the use of carefully curated materials, fabrication methods and design strategies.

What We Offer

From programming to construction administration, LiTE offers expertise that is architecturally unique. As architects with more than 26 years of professional, academic and editorial experience we are intimately familiar with the design and construction process as well as the contemporary pulse of urban and commercial environments. Our main question is often whether or not our client needs a building in the first place. Not building is always an option and sometimes the greenest approach. Built into our projects are the notions of duration and life-expectancy; it is a question of extreme economic and environmental consequence too often overlooked in today’s built world.

Small

From information stands to small vendors these can be designed to signify their purpose to visitors & residents alike. They can be mobile or semi-static, in place as long as needed.

Medium

Temporary offices or small buildings available to tech startups or restaurateurs with a new taste sensation; they are incubators on lift jacks. When the idea catches on, they move to a larger space, equally LiTE.

Large

Outdoor performance venues that can move around the area. Could be seasonal or event-based; video projections, music, lecture or Chautauqua stage.

Services

1. Programming: We review ideas, needs, desires and goals of our clients to access their building needs and the appropriate vision.

2. Conceptualization: We create visual representations, concept sketches or digital renderings as a means of promoting discussion.

3. Conceptual Design: We produce a number of alternative solutions after articulating a general concept for a design approach.

4. Design Development: We develop the best alternative, in agreement with the client, considering materials and formal concepts.

5. Construction Document: We develop construction details and drawings in addition to specifications, working closely with fabricators and suppliers.

6. Bid Negotiation: We help our clients secure a building contract for the final project.

7. Construction Administration: We act on behalf of the client to observe that construction is in accordance with intended design & local codes.

8. Post-Occupancy Evaluation: We evaluate our collective choices and design intents against the reality and ongoing life of the structure.

We are committed to creating a more affordable, sustainable, and beautiful built environment than the one we have now. Expect nothing less with LiTE.

LiTE Key Personnel

Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA, Director Minnesota Design Center University of Minnesota

Ali Heshmati, Principal LEADinc Laboratory for Environments, Architecture and Design Sivilarkitekter, MNAL, AIA

Bruce N. Wright, AIA, Principal, Just Wright Projects Senior instructor, Dunwoody College of Technology Architecture and Construction Management

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