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Testa & Weiser project records
Part of:
People:
  • Testa & Weiser (archive creator)
  • Testa & Weiser (architectural firm)
  • Peter Testa (architect)
  • Devyn Weiser (architect)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Emergent Design Group (educational institution)
Title:

Testa & Weiser project records

Date:

2001-2014

Form:
archives
Level of archival description:
Fonds
Extent and medium:
  • 18,132 digital files (417 GB)
    56 drawings
    8 models
Scope and content:
The Testa & Weiser project records, 2001-2014, document the firm’s involvement in several projects as well as the development and use of the software script Weaver. The archive includes digital files, drawings, and 3D printed physical models.
The bulk of the records in the archive are digital files, the majority of which relate to the unbuilt research projects Carbon Tower (2001) and Strand Tower (2006). The archive contains comprehensive documentation for these projects, including digital files relating to conceptual design, design development, production of physical models, collaboration with external partners, and exhibition at museums and galleries. While many of the records in the archive are original, a significant number were created years after the projects were officially concluded. These newer records are mostly renders, presentation materials, and final drawings that, according to the firm, reflect the original design intent more accurately than existing software originally allowed. The archive also contains a limited number of models and paper drawings from these projects.
Other Testa & Weiser projects using composite materials, namely, King Road Apparel Shop (1999) and Filament Tower (2006), are represented in the archive in a much more limited way.
The archive also contains several versions of Weaver, a software script designed by the Emergent Design Group at MIT under the direction of Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser and subsequently used in the design processes for Carbon Tower and Strand Tower, as well as software documentation and outputs of early experiments using Weaver for design purposes.
Reference number:

AP174

Arrangement:
The material in this archive was organized in 2014 by firm principal Devyn Weiser in anticipation of being donated to CCA.

CCA archivists then arranged the material into two series:

Series 1: Projects
Series 2: Weaver software

For the digital component of the archive, high-level folders in the directory structure have been described as discrete groups and arranged into the appropriate series and project files. Within these folders, material has not been rearranged. Paper drawings and printouts have likewise been kept in their original groupings.
Administrative history:

The Los Angeles-based architecture and design studio Testa & Weiser Inc. was established by principals and co-founders Peter Testa and Devyn Wesier in 2002. The firm is known for its use of algorithmic design tools, composite materials, and advanced material processes, as well as for collaborations with Álvaro Siza and Gehry Partners.

Projects by Testa & Weiser include Carbon Tower (2001), Strand Tower (2006), X-NRG water and energy infrastructure for NASA (2010), and the FactorE PSA Peugeot Citroën EV Factory (2012). The firm’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries and museums, including the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; National Art Center, Tokyo; Embankment Galleries, London; and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.

Prior to founding Testa & Weiser, Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser co-founded the Emergent Design Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they taught from 1997-2002. As of 2015, both Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser are currently faculty members at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, California.

Sources:

Testa & Weiser records, Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Testa & Weiser website, http://www.testaweiser.com/ (last accessed 2 November 2015).

Conditions governing access:
  • Open for use by qualified researchers. Access by appointment only.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).
Custodial history:
  • The material in this archive was transferred to CCA directly from the firm in 2014-2015. Prior to transfer, the physical and digital records were kept at the firm’s office in Los Angeles. Digital files were copied from the firm's servers and transferred on an external hard drive. These records were acquired by CCA as part of the Archaeology of the Digital project. Selected items were displayed in the show Archaeology of the Digital: Complexity and Convention, May-October 2016.
Archivist's note:
  • The Testa & Weiser project records were processed by Tim Walsh, Archivist, Digital Archivist, between August and November of 2015.
Credit line:
When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation:

Testa & Weiser project records,
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.

When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.
Language of material:
  • Materials are in English.
Related units of description:
  • Additional material related to the Archaeology of the Digital exhibition and publication series may be located in the CCA Institutional Archives. Other publicly available CCA resources related to Testa & Weiser include Peter Testa’s 2013 Toolkit lecture (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl6gIV6PbFQ) and the CCA e-publication Archaeology of the Digital 12: Testa & Weiser, Carbon Tower, ed. Greg Lynn (2016), ISBN 978-1-927071-25-0.
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