Thom Moran, Ellie Abrons, Adam Fure, and Meredith Miller established their Ann Arbor, Michigan–based firm in 2015. RECORD asked them five questions about their work in preparation for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Scroll through the slideshow above to see some of their key projects.

Architectural Record: Tell us about your practice. What differentiates you from other firms?

T+E+A+M’s work centers on architecture’s materiality as an agent of cultural, environmental, and urban production. We care about building and about how things are made, but we care equally about how those things circulate as images. We experiment with materials and assembly methods, but we are also always working on digital image-making as an important layer of design authorship.  

How do you get into the creative headspace?

Just talking to each other is a start. One person might share the seed of an idea, and someone else will imagine other dimensions to it. This is what initial design meetings might look like, with the four of us talking and sketching together. Then we’ll typically each work on some component of what was discussed and bring that back for a round of crits and more discussion.

Who are your design heroes?

Emilio Ambasz, Gae Aulenti, James Wines and Alison Sky, and Robert Smithson.

What do you hope to contribute to the Chicago Biennial?

Our project, Ghostbox, deals with architecture’s history through its materiality. This project continues our exploration of “re-assembly” as an approach to architectural recovery that is distinct from renovation, adaptive reuse, preservation, or restoration. In re-assembly, building components are taken apart, moved around, piled up, and mixed with new construction to create alternative uses. The design introduces images as a material system to re-contextualize and afford new associations to the original building elements.

Most importantly, when it comes to pizza, deep dish or thin crust?

The thinner the better.


The Chicago Architecture Biennial runs from September 19, 2017, to January 7, 2018. Read more of our coverage of the event here.