Occupy the Buffer Zone

Final Design Thesis:

Cyprus 1974: The forced geographical separation of the two main communities of the island, the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, today have been developed back to back, creating two realities separated but joined by the third space, the Buffer Zone. Because of the lack of a political solution to be given the “Occupy” movement of  Cyprus, have joined forces to set up camp inside the buffer zone demanding reunification. A network from different types of people with different backgrounds from both communities co-oporate on site to create an actual and symbolic bridge. The assembly components are made out of waste timber found around the surrounding timber workshops. It is an emergent system that comes to life through a bicommunal effort to make their own style of living , and in that way becomes symbolic. The project is based on a time based growth of occupation in order to adapt to the expansion in time, across the streets and the buildings of the area rejoinning the two communities.





No man’s land Project

Cyprus 1974: A War

Since 1974 the political act of partition on the island has been manifested as a rapidly erected and expedient physical partition. The forced geographical separation of the two main communities of the island, the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, today have been developed back to back, creating two realities separated but joined by the third space, the Buffer Zone. Since then, the Cyprus Problem has remain unsolved  and the faith of the land and properties laying inside the Buffer zone remains uncertain.

2012: Famagousta “The Ghost city of Europe”.

Every four or five years since 1974 the issue of opening the abandoned and fenced city, that lies inside the Buffer Zone of Cyprus, is brought forward. The discussion is based on the argument whether the city should be returned right away in its current condition to its inhabitants or it should be kept fenced for some years more in order to be restored and  rebuild, since after 37 years of abandonment virtually all its infrastructure, if not the whole built environment, is not reusable and beyond repair.

The no-man’s land project  is an architectural case study and a future challenge for Cyprus which is based on the hypothetical return of the abandoned and fenced city of Famagousta to its former inhabitants and beyond. It brings an opportunity  for an innovative urban space. Different teams under the umbrella of the Project explore different scenarios for the future of the city worth to look at.

Grasshopper and Hoopsnake

This video shows a summary of the potential using grasshopper combined with Hoopsnake.
The intention is to be able to multiply the component to a large amount of them by controlling the angles of rotation and building a mega-structure out of it.
As grasshopper is not very good on closed loop systems the Hoopsnake plug in comes in to repeat the definition over and over again in order to produce the outcome. The video indicates how you do it. Simply by double clicking on the Hoopsnake component in the definition and then adjust the preferable angles and click loop.
You can repeat the operation as many times as you want with different variation of angles and once the satisfied result is there you can bake the meshes into Rhino and then use them to render.
The possibilities are numerous and pretty exciting results can occur.

The tower of David

In last February, the NY Times wrote an article about a very interesting skyscraper in Caracas, the Torre de David,  that seems to carry a good analogy with the current Venezuelan situation since Hugo Chavez has been elected since 1999. In fact this 150 meter tall building is currently hosting about 2500 squatters who find in it, a good way to dwell in this housing crisis time. This skyscraper that was originally supposed to become an architectural symbol and an economically operative building of the Financial power never finished its construction because of the national financial crisis in the late 90′s.

To read more:


Parade: Instalaltion.

Parade: Instalaltion.

Parade: Instalaltion.

Critical Practice is a public arts group based at the University of the Arts, London. They operate under the proposition that developing aesthetic and programmatic space is a radial rather than lineal process and created the installation Parade to explore the effectiveness of their process in the public square. Made from 4300 black milk crates tied together with zip ties the structure’s components were minimized in order to focus on special relationships during the design and assembly process. It was constructed on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at Chelsea Collage of Arts and Design during the third week of May, 2010.

The temporary installation was designed by Polish architects Ola Wasilkowska and Michał Piasecki who developed it as an exploration of changes and context of public space and how user-built structures could evolve. The seed of the design came from a series of algorithms manipulated to provide structural soundness. As participants began the assembly process they were encouraged to add to the design layout by manipulating space and adding “furniture” or human scale seating and platforms designed into the overall structure. This had the effect of the structure spreading out. The building process had layers of predetermined design and spontaneous space creation which then became indistinguishable.

The installation is intended to explore the role, intent, and process of communal places- how people interact by creating space and engage in group design.


Mapping potential locations

Mapping potential locations

Cosmogony, as in the coming into existence, is a network of collaboration and participation in the city of burning man. Cosmogony is based on 50 000 components (10 variations of them) which will be given to 50 000 burners and their interaction will enable the social phenomenon of participation. People have their own freedom to make their own creations. Creative participation is the only constraint to make this project work.

People receive one single component with their ticket to the festival. The project is enabled only when the people intermingle with each other. The assembly process can be interesting and fun. It also invites curiosity. It’s manipulation does not always indicate any particular use or any specific location. The beauty of the potential structure(s) is that no one knows where it will appear, it isn’t organized and it just grows. What is suggested is the direct interaction of humans.

A manual of directions for possible structures to be made will be given to burners as a start point. A variety of scales, from a chair, to a bed, to a dancing platform to a mega structure. The aim of this project regardless of one’s physical capabilities, skills, interests or geographical location is to engage in the creation of a mega structure by adding their component to it. A structure made by everyone that belongs to everyone. The assembly process is fast and unpredictable as the human’s creativity cannot be controlled . A series of experiments for the potentials of the manipulation of this system was tested by inviting a several people to create forms out of these components. The bigger scale will be tested in burning man city.

When the festival will be over, the burners will be able to disassemble the structure and take their components back home.

You can follow the blog at: http://burningmanproject.wordpress.com/

Shape to Fabrication Team 2

Shape to Fabrication was a week-long workshop  based on contemporary digital fabrication and generative design techniques. It was divided into four individual teams building different parts of a pavilion which will  be exhibited London South Bank University between 21-27th of November.

As I was part of team 2, the cantaliver team under the command of Rupert Maleczek (KOGE, Innsbruck) Sam Joyce / Al Fisher (Buro Happold) we aimed to use re-Claimed sheet materials. So with the support of SMART (Rhino plugin) we have done some form exercises and using cardboard corrugated sheets, we shaped the 1:1 scale structure. Also,  two testing models scale 1:4 were produced to test the strength of the structure and possible solutions

It was an interesting experience to complete a design under the pressure of for days using generative techniques. The direct collaboration of the four teams was really direct as there was structure interference.

The exhibition is an opportunity to view the output from the four workshops so please come. For further information see: http://www.shapetofabrication.com/exhibition

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