September 11-15, 2024

Build Community: Build Creatively: Build Fest


BuildFest marks the third year of the Bethel Woods Art & Architecture Festival and begins a multi-year project to merge digital and analog fabrication pedagogies with creative notions of function and play, focusing on flexibility and adaptation.


Opening reception and party will be Saturday night, September 14, with lectures by Katie MacDonald, After Architecture, and Greg Corso, Sports Collaborative, and a performance by the psychedelic dance rock Sub Pop recording artist Guerilla Toss.


The pubic opening of installations will be at 11:00am Sunday, September 15.   


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Block (and Chain) will feature an innovative interlocking modular setup with universal connection points designed to create an interactive and multipurpose event space. This dynamic setup includes various modules: a static or stationary module that anchors the design and allows other pieces to connect at different intervals; a focused module that introduces diverse views and experiences at each turn.

This interactive installation will engage viewers both internally and externally. From a distance, the umbrella-like structure will spin due to either natural wind or human intervention. The introduction of structural elements and color will create a kaleidoscopic effect as reflected light circulates around the rotating dome, enticing viewers to investigate and participate.

Curtain Call investigates the use of semi-automated construction methods to test the formal, spatial, and structural capacity of light wood framing. Semi-automated construction is a hybrid method that emphasizes human-robot collaboration. Rather than robotically automating the process entirely, this method allows human participants at all skill levels to easily engage in the construction process.

MycoShell is an installation that exhibits the potential of biological self-growing and adaptive building materials toward a collaborative future of the digital and the analog. MycoShell is constructed of structural mycelium-bound composite panels that have been grown from a local fungal strain of the Ganoderma family on regional agricultural byproducts of corn and hemp.

The pavilion makes use of three off-the-shelf elements commonplace in everyday American domestic construction: (1) pressure-treated, pine stair stringers, (2) precast concrete deck footings, and (3) stainless-steel, star-drive deck screws. The repetition of uniform, pre-fabricated elements allows for an economical budget and ease/speed of assembly in the field.

Spring/Summer 24 intertwines the vibrant essence of Woodstock fashion with cutting-edge architectural practices. It serves as an homage to the freedom, rebellion, and connection to nature emblematic of Woodstock’s iconic style while pioneering the utilization of textiles as a primary architectural element.

Crafted from the collaboration between humans and robots, this eco-conscious stage offers versatility, accommodating music performances and community events alike. The project utilizes state-of-the-art research in human-robot collaborative construction (HRCC), leveraging sustainable practices to design and fabricate a versatile structure from reclaimed dimensional lumber.

2023 Art & Architecture Festival

Seven works of site-specific architecture were brought to life on the original, recently-uncovered Groovy Way Trail.  Installations aligned with concepts of entryjourney, and procession, calling on visitors to forge their own path.

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2022 Art & Architecture Festival

Teams were asked to engage with architecture’s ability to affect social and environmental change as functional/aesthetic interventions and as agents toward public engagement. 

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