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Material Craft

Specialty fabrication allows for the customization, efficiency of production, and expanded creative possibilities for any project. When the designer is also the fabricator it allows for a smooth delivery of a project from concept to installation. Through our collaborations with various fabricators, in-house technology, and the leveraging of our extensive design skills, we can, and have produced customized building components that precisely fit the needs and desires of the client. Be it a milled Corian feature wall or building lobby’s focal art installation, we provide streamlined delivery of specialty conditions that meet our client’s building schedule. CNC milling, 3D Printing, laser and waterjet cutting are among the methods used to deliver these custom solutions.

Moto was challenged to create an open courtyard space for a four-story row home. This required the reconfiguration of the standard row house typology, into a spatial configuration that allowed light into an internal courtyard of private outdoor space. By carving out an external space in the middle of the house, more natural light was able to easily penetrate through the home. Additionally, the configuration of the adjacent spaces was organized to allow for privacy. The initiative to include an internal courtyard came after the townhouse was in construction and forced Moto to respond to a continuously changing project. The adjusted design and engineering included a reinforcement of the initial structure to receive a 25-foot tall by 11-foot wide insulated curved glass storefront.
The manufacturing of both curved glass and custom stainless-steel frame was choreographed among three different material engineers, two manufacturers, and three contractors. All design and detailing were transferred through digital transaction to circumvent time consuming traditional methods of documentation. The limitations of the materials and their fabrication were informed by the capabilities of the manufacturers, such as the curved glass being designed to the physical limits of the glass manufacturers curing oven.


Located between the historic Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods, Walnut Estates explored the juncture of material, program, context, and environment. In studying the historic context of the neighborhoods, Moto responded by creating a brick screen wall in deference to the predominant material of the city. The screen provided privacy for the residents, protected from direct southern light, and negotiated the multiples scales of the existing structures along the street.
The technical challenges of creating a 45-foot tall, single-wythe brick screen was an exciting challenge for the studio. Through intense coordination with the structural engineer, a method of construction was realized. Using standard open cell bricks, a vertical reinforcement system was designed to provide the vertical reinforcement required to limit deflection. The pattern of the brick had to be coordinated in a manner that offered both the desired pattern and structural reinforcement to realize the desired result. This allowed for the vertical reinforcement to naturally fit within the open cells.
By its nature, a 45-foot tall, single wythe brick wall created structural challenges that had to be reviewed through empirical means. A mockup was therefore created to confirm extents of the screens deflection and to provide confidence of constructability. The final installation took approximately a month, with Moto reviewing the progress on a daily basis.


The Larsen MacColl fit out leveraged our client’s brand graphics into an investigation of material research, custom fabrication, and construction logistics. Asked to design a fit out and elevator lobby entrance for an investment capital firm, we leveraged the client’s existing corporate logo by abstracting it into a pattern that was CNC milled into a malleable and relatively inexpensive material, Corian.
Initial studies were digitally designed and fabricated through 3D printing. These investigations spawned full-scale mockups that explored the material mailability of Corian and its finish. Once fabrication viability was confirmed, a careful layout of panels were created so no visible seems in the pattern were evident.
The final wall is complemented by a wood counter and an aluminum perforated ceiling. Each 4’ x 8’ panel is saw-toothed into the next with the geometry of the pattern. The resulting custom seamless patterned wall creates a striking entrance into the client’s office by taking advantage of digital design, documentation, and fabrication.


Flying Fish is an example of the design and construction process coming together to celebrate the iconography of a brand. Formulated through the crucible of a limited budget and short construction schedule, the design problem necessitated a timely and economic solution.
To keep costs in line with the limited budget, existing material sourcing was used for the 20-foot long exterior Flying Fish logo sculpture and the interior wall and scrim for the Tasting Room. Using the wood slats of an old onsite water tank, the material was salvaged to keep its aging patina, and finished to be appropriate for interior and exterior use.
The interior wall and scrim ceiling were approached with the simplicity of using the natural geometric form of the slats, allowing for simple stacking. The opaque wood wall received a negative cutout of the Flying Fish logo done on a CNC mill. A lighting box was attached to the back of the wood wall to allow for backlighting. Floating pieces of the logo were connected to the backup to allow for the full expression of the logo. Less high tech but no less carefully considered, was the ceiling scrim. Placed with an increased spacing between slats, the pattern was reviewed on the floor, adjusted as desired, and lifted into place, offering a visual transition from the entrance of the tasting room to the solid of the logo wall.
The exterior façade was a challenge of scale, material, and message. With a 300-foot long by 25-foot tall blank concrete block wall, Moto envisioned using the Iconography of Flying Fish’s logo at a scale that matched the monumental façade and the visibility of vehicular traffic of the street. Through an exercise in graphic design the image was translated into building. A motif of barley was proposed that visually supported the Flying Fish logo with a backdrop of a yellow sun.

Materially the wall required a refined look while still meeting the limited budget. Moto used a corrugated metal panel, in which the panels were perforated into a radial pattern, to allow backlighting. The pattern was precut with a water jet, and through careful digital communication, Moto and the fabricators were able to coordinate the physical and visual result.
The motif of barley was airbrushed onto the surface of the metal panel by an artist who had experience with large scale graphics. In an exercise of one to one scale, Moto provided full-size templates that were used by the artist.
The realization of the composition of the multiple components could not be done without careful and precise negotiation between graphic articulation and construction. The above drawing shows the evidence of a careful discussion between multiple components and builders and the required technical representation to fulfill the potential of the design. The composition of the desired built product is embedded in the detail and richness of its representation. These types of drawings both give an insight into what the desired architectural result might look like but also the inner hidden workings of the final product. Ultimately making the drawings artifacts of their own.


Digital Craft

We are makers. We are technophiles. Combine the two and you get almost two decades of providing multi-disciplinary creative work to individuals, organizations, and brands alike. While some of this work is the result of discrete efforts within existing projects, the vast majority are a response to clients seeking a specialized set of skills to tell their story, or sell their space or product.

Not every project requires complex storytelling, but for those that do, we deliver stunning visual imagery. With over two decades of production experience in advertising level imagery, we are equipped to convey your project with evocative and engaging storytelling. Stills, videos, and animations are a few of the ways we can hook your audience. If the goal is to provide proof of concept, our digital simulations can deliver the goods. If the goal is fundraising or pre-sales, we create powerful marketing collateral packages.
Sometimes projects require a bit more of an immersive approach. This is where our range of technical and artistic capabilities takes center stage. From fully immersive online and VR experiences, to interactive art installations, our ability to streamline other disciplines into our workflow results in our ability to deliver on multiple levels for any given project.