My name is Kristopher Gerard Menos, and I go by “Kris.”
I am a human being. I am also a designer, and a co-founding Principal of Human Being Design, a full-service design practice at the intersection of individuality and community. We offer services including: residences, installations, everyday items, and memorial artifacts.
My partner and I are currently working on: a 44-unit apartment building in suburban New Jersey, a private residence on the peak of a six-acre site in north Santa Fe, a semi-rural private residence in the northeast US, and a series of multi-human urns for private clients. We’ve recently completed (in collaboration with Woolley Morris Architects) a private client’s mixed-use commercial-residential complex consisting of six conjoined two-and-one-half-story row houses, and a two-story building containing 17 apartments above a 12,000 square-foot ground floor of commercial space near the Princeton Junction Train Station in New Jersey.
I have also been a Board Member and the Director of Research and Design for the nonprofit, youth-oriented community gardening organization Trenton Grows. In the spring of 2018, we established a “Garden Club” for first- through fifth-grade students at an underperforming charter school in Trenton, New Jersey. We held twice-weekly meetings with about 25 to 30 student volunteers between the ages of six and 12, with the intended goal to facilitate educational experiences in gardening, nutrition, and fitness. With the help of the students, we collaboratively designed, built, and operated a small, temporary educational garden on the school’s grounds using mostly recycled materials and a budget of approximately $1,000. Through this hands-on process, we introduced the students to every phase of the organic gardening process, from seed to harvest. It was a joy to mentor these amazing and enthusiastic students, and on the final day of Garden Club to feast on our harvest with them and their families, sending each family home with the remaining plants, produce, and gardening supplies. Over the course of this incredible experience I was personally involved in activities including: proposal writing, curriculum and pedagogy development, small-scale fundraising, material research and procurement, as well as basic resource planning and site coordination.
In 2017, I received a Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS) degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Architecture under a Graduate Fellowship, with a concentration in Architectural Design. My graduate thesis, entitled Post-Mordial: Esoteric Embodiment, proposed an alternative mode for the ritual treatment of the deceased. View the project in full here.
For undergraduate study, I attended Syracuse University under the School of Architecture Scholarship, and attained a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree with dual majors in Architecture and the History of Architecture. Upon graduation, I was a recipient of the 2013 James Britton Memorial Award for Outstanding Thesis for Isotopia: Architectural Visions from a Posthuman Future. This project was shown in the 2013 AIANY Architecture School Exhibition at the Center for Architecture. View the project in full here.
Beginning in 2004, I’ve had professional experience in the fields of urbanism, design, architecture, and construction. This includes a term as an Architectural Research Fellow with the nonprofit urban think tank Terreform ONE, researching, designing, and fabricating exhibition models and materials for the NYC Post Carbon City State project. With Woolley Morris Architects, I worked directly with the firm’s Design Principal on projects such as the NYS Office of Cultural Education, Collections Processing and Storage Facility in Albany, and the St. John’s Hospital neighborhood rehabilitation effort in Syracuse. With the concrete contractor Pacific Structures, I worked as an intern on the construction of a ten-acre, 1,500-unit mixed-use residential development in San Jose.
I’ve been involved in a diverse range of projects, across a wide range of scales: memorial objects, products, exhibitions, gardens, residences (single-family, multi-family, and condominium), senior living and assisted living facilities, dormitories, schools and government facilities, cultural spaces, cafés, auto dealerships, retail strips, master plans (residential, commercial, and academic), speculative urbanism, etc. I have experience in every phase of the architectural design process –– from preliminary research-analysis, site surveyance, conceptual design, and contract negotiation, to construction administration and closeout –– on tens of millions of dollars of projects.
My particular areas of focus include: transhumanism and posthumanism, paper architecture, agricultural and food-related architecture, exhibition and installation design, physical modeling, concrete construction, and digital fabrication. My research is focused on novel means of anthropomorphic form-making, fabrication, and materiality, using fundamentally human tools, methods, and sources.