Archives for : Design

ARGUENDO opens at the Public Theater

Vin Knight and Mike Iveson in Arguendo at the Public Theater. September 2013. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Vin Knight and Mike Iveson in Arguendo at the Public Theater, New York. Sep 2013. Photo: Joan Marcus.


A new play by Elevator Repair Service Theater Company

Projection design by Ben Rubin and The Office for Creative Research
Sept 24 through Oct. 27 at the Public Theater, NYC
Click here for tickets and information

The New York Times Review

Arguendo re-enacts the 1991 Supreme Court Case Barnes v. Glen Theatre, initiated by a group of go-go dancers against an Indiana law banning public nudity. Electronically mediated with references to relevant court cases and the First Amendment, the play provides insight into the complex interactions between attorneys, judges, and citizens inside the courtroom. The entire oral argument is staged verbatim, interspersed with real interviews from the lawyers, justices, and an exotic dancer claiming her first amendment right to express herself nude. The play explores the moral boundaries & societal codes governing dance and self-expression. Arguendo was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Arguendo was workshopped at The Public’s 2013 Under the Radar Festival and developed in part at The Bushwick Starr, New York Theatre Workshop and at Abrons Art Center, Vineyard Arts Project and LaMaMa E.T.C.
Ben Williams. Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Ben Williams. Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


Susie Sokol, Ben Williams, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Susie Sokol, Ben Williams, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo: Joan Marcus.


Mike Iveson. Photo: Paula Court.

Mike Iveson. Photo: Paula Court.


Susie Sokol, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Susie Sokol, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo: Joan Marcus.


Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service
Performers: Maggie Hoffman, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Susie Sokol, Ben Williams
Director: John Collins
Set Designer: David Zinn
Lighting Designer: Mark Barton
Costume Designer: Jacob A. Climer
Sound Designer: Matt Tierney
Projection Designer: Ben Rubin

Media software by The Office for Creative Research:
Ian Ardouin-Fumat, Ben Rubin, Jer Thorp, Noa Younse

Producer: Ariana Smart Truman
Production Stage Manager & Assistant Director: Sarah Hughes
Production Manager: Adam Shive
Movement Dramaturg: Katherine Profeta
Associate Projection Designer & Operator: Eva von Schweinitz
Associate Lighting Designer: Dans Maree Sheehan
Associate Producer: Lindsay Hockaday
Advisors to the Project: Emily Bazelon, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

ERS ensemble members Frank Boyd and Kate Scelsa contributed to the development of Arguendo. Frank Boyd played Mr. Ennis during workshop productions at The Guiding Lights Weekend (March 2012) and The Bushwick Starr (May 2012). Kate Scelsa developed the part of Rebecca Jackson for the workshop production at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival (January 2013).

Thanks to Floyd Abrams, Amy Adler, Bill Araiza, Kate Aufses, Nell Breyer, Douglas Curtis, Elizabeth Derbes, Mark Fleming, Linda Greenhouse, Mark Hansen, Katie Henderson, Bob Kerrey, Charles Platt, Robert C. Post, Lawrence Stierhoff, Pamela Talkin, Nelson Tebbe, Jeffrey Toobin, Ben Wizner, and Paul Wolfson.

Press: The New York Times Review

How to Make a Shakespeare Machine

Shakespeare Machine is a permanent artwork in the lobby of the Public Theater in New York City. It was commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent-for-Art program and the Public Theater.  It was opened to the public in October, 2012.

SimpleViewer Gallery Id 3 has been deleted.


The work is by Ben Rubin with a great deal of help from statistician Mark Hansen, who collaborated with on all aspects of Shakespearian digital dramaturgy, and architect Michele Gorman, who conceptualized and realized the form of the piece with me.

Electrical engineering and fabrication services were provided by Marty Chafkin of Perfection Electricks and Will Pickering of Parallel Development.

Processing software development by Ian Ardouin-Fumat and Jer Thorp.

Structural engineering support provided by Guy Nordenson and Associates.

The work was also the recipient of enormous quantities of patience and good will from the teams at Anead Architects, Pentagram, the Public Theater, the NYC Dept. of Design and Construction, and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

And a special thanks to those who shared their insights into Shakespeare’s writing: James Shapiro, Stephen Greenblatt, Barry Edelstein, Oskar Eustis, and my English-major parents, David & Elly Rubin.


Art News
Art Info


2012 Award Winner for Excellence in Design, presented in July 2013 by the Public Design Commission of the City of New York
2013 CoD+A Awards, top 100 projects, Public Spaces Category



Ear Studio collaborated with Diller+Scofidio on the media and interactive aspects of Blur, the centerpiece pavilion of Swiss Expo 2002. A football field-sized suspended platform shrouded in a perpetual cloud of man-made fog, the Blur Pavilion was to host an interactive media project featuring wearable, wireless technology embedded into “Brain Coats,” technologically-enhanced raincoats. Visitors’ Brain Coats were to react to each other, indicating either positive or negative affinity between visitors through color changes and sound.


The project was open from May to October of 2002 in Yverdon, Switzerland.




Brasserie Video Beam Installation Created in collaboration with Diller+Scofidio


Customers entering through the revolving door are photographed by a video camera. An ephemeral record of the clientele emerges as the images shift to the right each time a new arrival appears on the leftmost screen. Together with the architecture, the video installation plays on the notion of a “grand entrance.” The Brasserie won the 2000 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design, and was selected for Design Distinction by the 2000 I.D. Magazine Design Review Jury. Together with the architecture, the video installation plays on the notion of a “grand entrance.”

“Diller and Scofidio’s renovation of the beloved restaurant, in the basement of the Seagram’s building, designed by Mies Van der Rohe, was hailed for its restrained use of technology, particularly the installations by sound and video artist Ben Rubin, of EAR Studio.” – I.D. Magazine, July/August 2000


Architecture Based on Sound Principles

“Joel Sanders and Karen Van Lengen should run for office. They’re two of few leaders we can think of who practice what they preach.”

(from UVA Today)

So says a new article about the architects in the magazine Interior Design. EAR Studio agrees! Sanders and Van Lengen’s new Sound Lounge at the University of Virginia School of Architecture’s Campbell Hall plays with and into the increasing tendency toward public withdrawal facilitated by devices such as iPods. Now students can share private soundscapes in public, using specials sorts of sound booths situated throughout the common space of the building. You can read more in Interior Design or on Sanders’ website.

Ben collaborated with Sanders and Van Lengen  in 2006 on Mix House for the Open House: Intelligent Living by Design show at the Vitra Design Museum, Art Center, LA. Check out Mix House for another great example of thoughtfully and playfully sound building.


National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History

EAR Studio is producing multi-channel audio environments and interactive kiosks for the exhibits in the Smithsonian’s new transportation hall, America on the Move.

Opened November 22nd, 2003 in Washington, D.C.