Swimming upstream: Repositioning authorship and expanding the agency of the architect

Blair Satterfield, Marc Swackhamer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Designers can no longer afford to operate outside the flow of production. This chapter highlights examples of interior architectural practice models and projects built with custom tools that challenge conventional fabrication methods. Through increased participation in the construction process, materials research, tool design, and atypical collaborative teams, the designers discussed herein have increased formal variation to produce work that is more sensitive to program and performance, while decreasing cost. An example project, Swimming Upstream, speculates on how designers can recapture control of construction processes that have left them increasingly marginalized as participants in the conception of interiors, buildings, cities, and infrastructures. It offers tactics like the production of custom adaptable tools and processes (applied to a variety of material practices) to transform and aggregate excessively standardized building materials at varying scales from architectural interiors to infrastructure. It considers moving the point of production from the factory (consolidated and centralized) to the jobsite (distributed and situated), and returning control of production to the architect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Interior Architecture Theory Reader
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781317435006
ISBN (Print)9781138911079
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Gregory Marinic; individual chapters, the contributors.


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