Riverboat proposal presented

March 30, 2016 by metalab

We had a great time preparing for the submission and participating in the exhibition and presentation of our "Riverboat" project for the competition in San Antonio.  The team from Metalab all attended and assisted with getting the design in the spotlight.  The only hitch was a last minute dead battery powering the LED in the model.  Channel 12 was there to cover the event.  What an experience!


March 30, 2016 by metalab


April 14, 2015 by metalab

PV-Pod is featured in a Architect Magazaine examining the progess made since winning the 2012 R+D Award. View the full article here.


January 24, 2015 by metalab


April 23, 2014 by metalab

Ringo is a finalist in Architizer’s A+ Awards

March 12, 2014 by metalab

Ringo was selected as a 2014 finalist for the Products + Lighting category in this year's Architizer A+ Awards. Be sure to vote before March 21! 

Global Outpost Farm (GO Farm)

March 01, 2014 by metalab


March 01, 2014 by metalab

SPACE for Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTER officially launched!

January 23, 2014 by metalab

Mobile Grid and Metalab were hired on by Coca-Cola with DEKA and NRG to design and fabricate EKOCENTER, a 20' shipping container repurposed as a market kiosk, water purification center, and source of electricity aimed at enhancing communities and empowering women entrepreneurs in socio-economically challenged countries around the world. The prototype was unveiled in South Africa with Muhtar Kent (CEO) and Condoleezza Rice. Videos can be found here: Gotas de VidaEKOCENTER PartnershipCoca-Cola and Multi-National Companies launch EKOCENTER


November 08, 2013 by Metalab Admin

Mercado Picado

November 05, 2013 by metalab

NY Times mentions Smilebooth

September 29, 2013 by metalab

New York Times Fashion and Style writer Christopher Barnard paints a picture of the reemergence of the photobooth experience. These digital photobooths, Smilebooth and its counterparts, are taking social events across the nation by storm. 

Esplanade unveiling

August 21, 2013 by metalab

It was a working dog and pony show yesterday on the Navigation Esplanade in the Greater East End of Houston.  Installation was going on while the cameras were rolling from ABC13, The Chronicle, Swamplot and Culture Map.  Work by artists Gary Sweeney (Faux Bois anchor and benches) and Anthony Schumate (letter-form benches, bike racks and bus stops) was placed along with Mercado Picado Kiosks, Ringo LED lights and solar generators.  Thank you to the Greater East End, our enlightened clients, and The Art Guys (Lead Artist).  To be completed in October.

Philips Hadco Ringo

August 02, 2013 by metalab

We recently made the trip to Littlestown, PA (near Gettysburg) to the Philips Hadco manufacturing plant check in on the production of the Ringo light fixtures.  The housings units are being sand cast out of aluminum and assembled in the facilty with LED electrical equipment integrated before being boxed up for shipment.  The Greater East End will be receiving the exclusive feature of the overhead "string lights" suspended from two pipe outriggers above the disc housing the main luminaire (lights shown are placeholders).  These units will be fitted with 16 node LED boards based on photometric data generated for the site making them extra efficienct for the solar powered system to sustain with 3-5 days of battery backup.  The lights can be fitted with up to 80 node LED boards for more lumens in future orders.  

Solar Generator installation

July 31, 2013 by metalab

Four panel solar generators are going into the Navigation Blvd. esplanade for the Greater East End in Houston.  Solar panels will be installed next along with the Ringo fixtures in August, approximately 10 lights per generator.  The bolt covers on the generators match the color of the string of fixtures that they will power.



September 15, 2012 by metalab

PV-POD: Architect Magazine’s 2012 R+D Award Winner

July 11, 2012 by Metalab Admin

Metalab along with our collaborators has been recognized with Architect Magazine’s Research and Design Award for 2012 for PV-Pod.

PV-POD @ Houston Permitting Center

June 05, 2012 by Metalab Admin

Some interesting news on the horizon...

Smilebooth Queso

May 04, 2012 by Metalab Admin


June 30, 2011 by Metalab Admin

PODA the PLAY A commission for the Houston Arts Alliance Portable Art on Demand project.  Given the presence of both the (grown-up) museum and the children present in the park context of Discovery Green we suggested the overarching narrative of PLAY, as a guiding concept for the development of the repurposed PODS container.  The PLAY narrative capitalizes on the context of the park setting and open space, but perhaps more fittingly, offers an energetic creative outlet for both creators and the participants.  PLAY also makes a subtle reference to the consumer culture of consumption, acquisition, and obsolescence that defines the lifecycle of the playthings that we buy, and that leads to the now ubiquitous demand and market for self-storage solutions like PODS.  Themes developed with students in the DigiFAB seminar included concepts such as unpacking and laying out reconfigurable furniture, laying out maze-like components into pathways, creating a sound piece by replacing POD walls with xylophone bars, creating interior cave-like spaces by removing solid biomorphic forms that function as provocative objects on the surrounding lawn.  


June 30, 2011 by Metalab Admin


June 30, 2011 by Metalab Admin

PV-POD installation at Houston Permitting Center

June 14, 2011 by Metalab Admin

Our first PV-POD application has been installed on the roof of the new Houston Permitting Center opening soon.  The building will house the new Green Building Resource Center and the roof will be viewable from penthouse in the central staircase.  This installation will expand with to include more solar and wind turbines on the roof.

groPOD VOA garden installation

June 14, 2011 by Metalab Admin

We've installed the first large-scale groPOD garden for the Volunteers of America on North Yale St. in Houston. The 64 units were installed on a Saturday with volunteer labor.

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February 12, 2010 by Metalab Admin

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February 12, 2010 by Metalab Admin

OFFGRID SPACE lands at UHGBC Exhibition

September 05, 2009 by Metalab Admin

Houston's first offgrid building has been completed by METALAB as a research project in the UHGBC (Green Building Components) initative.  The charge has been to team up with industrial partners to perfect the product with regards to its design and access to market.  Harvest Moon Development, ttweak renewables and METALAB have formed a joint-venture to build and distribute these as disaster relief centers, triage/medical offices, security stations, parks & recreation spaces, sales centers, educational centers and construction field offices. The SPACE's PV system with battery backup will provide the unit with power for 3-4 days in the event of successive days without sun and a small generator provides a 2nd backup.  Standard Renewable Energy, our region's largest onsite renewable energy vendor, has provided the technical specification of equipment and installation.  The project will be on view this month at the UHGBC Exhibition opening this Tuesday, Sept. 8th and continuing until Sept. 18th.  Come by and see the other exciting research projects produced by faculty and students at the University of Houston. IMG_8038 IMG_8063 IMG_8066 IMG_8027IMG_8071IMG_8059

Mold fabrication

August 28, 2009 by Metalab Admin

The molds for the PV Pod prototype are being fabricated at Plastic Mart in Burnet, TX.  Our high-density polyethylene roto-molded vessles will be exhibited at the UHGBC exhibition next month. DSC06129 DSC06140 DSC06138

Photo(booth) con Queso

August 26, 2009 by Metalab Admin

Metalab and Merge had pizza and Photo con Queso brainstorming with Brooke Schwab Photography to discuss marketing strategies and beta-version fixes. IMG_7985 IMG_7991 IMG_7997

Component assembly

August 14, 2009 by Metalab Admin

The full-scale Grotto cut out of 1/8", 1/4" and 3/8" stainless steel sheets will need more tolerance between the components as we incrementally assemble the structure.  It won't be possible to weld a part without checking and tweaking the alignments a few cells away.  We've devised a system of holes that will allow for fasteners to be placed to hold the connectors to the ribs temporarily.  As adjustments are made to the braked angles, the fasteners are tightened and contact is made.  Two other holes in the connector will provide easy access to perform a basic plug weld.  Fasteners are removed, welds ground and the entire structure will be glass-bead sandblasted, erasing the trace of the assembly process. 11

Photobooth finish

August 10, 2009 by Metalab Admin

The Photobooth for Brooke Schwab Photography has returned with its coat of white paint ready for the equipment installation.  It will begin making the rounds to weddings and other events for original candid photos taken from a innovative and elegant container. img_7918 standing on the ballast plate img_7919 upper aperture for strobe light, camera and touch screen monitor below img_7921 perforation down the side along the radius of the bends only img_7923 and blending into the  flat solid surface via a sorting script img_7925 interior, access door open img_7926 access door closed img_7927 embedded casters for short distance mobility and placement on ballast plate for stability

Photobooth Assembly Diagram

July 09, 2009 by Metalab Admin


Kit of Parts

July 06, 2009 by Metalab Admin

The Photobooth is ready to be fabricated.  Our assembly team at Merge will receive a kit-of-parts of digitally cut components ready to be formed and welded, a 1/4 scale model and some diagrams... not one dimensioned drawing!  Metalab has designed and authored the parts for this innovative and mobile Photobooth.  Our clients at BSP will transport and install this at weddings and other occasions for quick, high quality photos printed on the spot.  The wheels will be integrated into the box with removable handles so the unit can be easily moved onto the thick ballast plate from the truck/crate. photo0652


April 05, 2009 by Metalab Admin

We are designing an innovative portable photobooth for Brooke Schwab Photography. BSP_02 040509

Mirabeau B Sales Center

May 29, 2008 by Metalab Admin

We are working with Harvest Moon Development, Ttweak and Merge Studios to design, fabricate and install a Sales Center for the proposed Mirabeau B Condominium project.