Parking Day Installation / Display Wall. San Francisco, CA.
Wind, breeze and human activities predominate San Francisco’s urban ecologies. The urban tissue blocks and funnels the pure and strong Pacific wind throughout the city. As urban activities take place at ground level, the fog and breeze take over the city’s high rise. When sun is shining, San Franciscans celebrate its presence by taking over available public space.
The main inspiration was taken from the romantics of the relationship between the urban metropolis and the beach. The installation named ‘Day on The Beach’ is the manifestation the symbiotic relationship between water, sand and landscape; and how they inform each other’s form and physical state.
The interpretation begins with water, air and the manifestation of earth’s forces. The wind emerges from the ocean, creating waves on the shore, which emits a cool breeze on the beach. Sea foam is produced as a consequence of water’s constant contact with the shore. The air that comes through the beach strokes the sand and leaves its wavy imprint. Sand becomes the visual representation of wind patterns in which we like to engage and lay on. It is also the host for ecologies to grow. All together, they become a perpetual cycle of motion in which we based our parking day installation design on.
Our installation focuses on creating an enclosure inspired by sand wrinkles which will become a threshold between the street and the sidewalk. It will host human activity, such as seating, people watching and play. This segmented wave sits on carpet strips which represent the plants growing on the wavy sandy terrain.
Where the wave meets the sky, bubbles will emerge from the wall. The bubbles are the interpretation of the sea foam, which will fly away from the installation to reach the surrounding areas becoming a catalyst for play.
Architecture / Commercial Office.
Palo Alto, Fremont.
A narrow site with an incredibly long north and south facade, 1450 is a project that explores the breakdown of the facade. Conceptualized as a single solar PV roof housing shifting and tectonic bars that shift and slide past each other, 1450 creates a dynamic niches for entry areas and gatherings.
Architecture / Commercial Office.
San Francisco, CA.
510 explores the creation of harmony between the railyards, highway onramp, mid-block passageway. The project remains transparent and open while maintaining the aesthetic of the industrial warehouses it is adjacent to. The floor plates are between 35,000 to 50,000 sf allowing more of a company to remain on a single floor.
Architecture / Commercial Office.
Palo Alto, CA.
A rectangular corner site next to a high traffic area, the design of 1701 involves increasing daylight and identity to the project by splitting the building in two. Both sides are developed with the intention that they have their unique characteristic with a unifying central courtyard.
The building facing the street corner has a curved facade, made of corrugated aluminum panels, to reflect the rapid speed of the roads. The other building is more utilitarian and more machine-like. The courtyard is the entrance to the project but is also located adjacent to the amenity spaces such as food court and roof deck areas are primarily located.
Editorial, Photography, Publication, Graphic Design.
Airgora. San Francisco, CA.
SHOWCASE is a bi-annual magazine about designers of physical products and their thoughts & process. Each issue of SHOWCASE touches upon current technologies, pedagogy, and ideologies from leading designers around the world. SHOWCASE magazine is a physical product itself that can be touched, collected, and read anywhere in a distraction-free environment. It contains 120 pages of interviews, articles, and conversations mixing design journalism with striking photography to capture the creativity and passion behind the physical product design world.
Photos of Book by Jean Böhm
Competition / Office Lobby.
San Francisco, CA.
The project was approached by asking the simple question: where is the best location for the main reception of a client who shares the ground floor lobby with other tenants? Our analysis led us to move it to the forth floor, closer to the heart of the company, in effect allows for better access to views of the Bay and daylight. This move also transforms the existing stair to create a legible vertical connection between floors by installing rated glass on the outward facing wall. This increases visibility and creates a virtual connecting stair without the cost of a creating a new one.
Use the Site as Inspiration: This area was once a major port for fleets of cargo ships anchored within the cove like temporary islands, bringing life to the growing metropolis, and offering a different view of the city. The site has a natural history in the form of the land, sea, and associated tides that shaped it. The project has an opportunity to celebrate these natural forms and establish a connection to nature.
The organizational idea was inspired by the ships that once anchored in this location. The concept creates two ”ships” that flank either side of the reception area and house large conference rooms. The ships are set in from the perimeter windows yet provide views to the outside world.
Fabrication / Friction-Fit Plywood Chairs.
San Francisco, CA.
3 sheets of plywood were used to explore chairs with a similar concept. With so many advancements in material and chair design, why do so many still suffer from lower back pains after sitting? Tripod Chair is a light task chair made to provide support in only the necessary areas of the back. Inspired by Arne Jacobsen's Ant Chair, Tripod Chair's three legs allow it to keep its stability on non-planar floors while giving it a distinctive minimalist look.
Urban Design / Tech Campus.
Los Angeles, CA.
Located in the historic industrial part of Los Angeles and adjacent to Chinatown and Union Station, half of the site sit’s zoning is slated to change to mixed use while the other half remains industrial. Currently, it sits as a walled off industrial warehouses.
To make the site relevant again, our design attempts to connect the site back into the Urban tissue while providing a campus that is both a place and destination with a 24 hr cycles of use. On the pedestrian main street, the Hotel, Residential and Innovation labs provide an active street edge. Parking will be housed in the Podium level allowing the site to gradually slope upward to where the views are better. On the rail edge of the project, the offices are lifted by the podium and have substantially better views even though each building is 3~4 stories high. All Most buildings are layered such that much of the roof surface areas are accessible and usable. In the center of the site is the Red Train meeting center. A nod back to LA’s history light rail system that connected much of the surrounding suburbs to Historic Downtown LA.
Architecture / Residential.
Bay Area, CA.
A small project designing a tiny home that is under 200 sf. It’s based on the idea of shifting two rectangular volumes and peeling parts of it apart to create a shading veil.
Fabrication / Friction-Fit Tables.
San Francisco, CA.
In a time when everything mass produced, specificity and mass customization is in short demand. Working with CNC routed birch plywood, packable, reusable, and ultimately recyclable furniture are design without glue joined with just just friction. Designed for tech startup that is constantly in flux in employee size, the desks are design to be utilitarian (adapted with hooks, power bar, and cellphone stand) and be quick for assembly. When not used, they can be flat packed and stored. The test cut used 1 sheet per table. The final designed required only 11 sheets for 20 desks.
Urban Design / Civic Center
South Bay Area, CA
This project is a case study on how a civic center can be created on the same site as the existing civic center. The site is currently also occupied by retail stores that are set to be demolished. While research, surveys and assumptions identified the public users of this site and how to best suit their needs, political uncertainties over whether the current government group occupying the site would stay or move during construction led to a more innovative design. To better allow for flexibility, a multi-phase strategy was developed to allow the existing user groups to stay on the site and remain fully function until new administrative buildings are constructed. However, with the constraints of changes in office (of elected officials) and funding reallocations, there is a possibility that all the phases may not be completed. In response, each phase is a project on its own that aims to create vibrant public space even if it is ultimately left as the permanent state.
Urban Design / Research Campus Competition.
Bay Area, CA
As leading academic and private sector research partners work side by side in a collaborative setting, a new form of international research hub is born. Its mission is to tackle global health, energy and environmental challenges through a curriculum centered on governance, ethics, cultural and international relations. An ethos of sharing open source, global contribution will replace the traditionally methodical process of scientific research in isolation. Dedicated to exploring the inexplicable and the unsolvable with the brash intent of explaining and solving these problems in the real world.
The design of the campus focuses on the creation of “Episodic” Quads; a variety of courtyards linking the different phases of the project with a Central Village composed of preserved existing buildings as well as new additions. A variety of building sizes — that are unconnected for flexibility of multiple tenants, owners, phasing.— and smaller, shared amenities and collaboration buildings occupy the Central Spine. A stronger conceptual connection of the two parcels is created by creating two islands and preserving the 1000’ wide grassland reserve and dense eucalyptus grove.
Architecture / Mix-Used Development.
San Francisco, CA.
This project explores the possibility to creating high density mixed used complex. The project site is split into 3 phases and made to look like 3 separate developments. In case developments are stalled, each phase can be built independently. The first phase involves public housing, a daycare, and a public garden. The 2nd phase includes a gym, retail and office above. The 3rd phase includes PDR space, retail and office above. When all 3 phases are completed, they will all be linked.
Collaboration with Studios & ISArchitects, Renderings by Steel Blue
Prototype Pavilion. Cambridge, Massachusetts
Spring 2012 M.Arch Year 3 MIT Workshop
Instructors: Larry Sass TA: Asli Arpaks
Building Type: Summer pavilion
Class Topic: Digital fabrication & communications
Team: Collaboration of a class of 20
This design exercise was to test collaboration in the digital age. Could a team of 14 design a pavilion with only 2 physical meetings, in only 4 weeks, and fabricate and assemble it in 4 days? Developing digital communication techniques and coordination was key to the success of the project.
As part of the collaboration, our team (3) were responsible for coming up with an assembly method, integrating the structure with the foundation, and designing the concrete footings.
Our initial understanding of a foundation was that it had to fit with the form of the element and that it was very much an extrusion as a function of structures. Our early sketches had elaborated on a few things; we wanted uniqueness but didn’t like the trouble of creating unique molds for ever possible conditions. Various models were made to test the connections between the structure and footing and the mold design. Eventually a design involving spacers allowed the footing to be modular while the connections could be parameterized. Modularizing the concrete parts allowed the molds to remain the same and all the pieces to be cut out from just 4 sheets of plywood.
For the mold, we came up with an idea where the mold would expand when one pulled the sides upward. That’s partly because the form of the foundation allowed the notches to not be vertical so there was no perpendicular relationship with the pour. Therefore the mold walls are never moving parallel to the surface of concrete as you pulled it apart. The connection pieces allow the structure above to just land on the foundation. As designs were tested, the mold was modified so it was easier to remove. Eventually splitting the mold became priority to allow the mold to be as reusable as possible. The construction joint is hidden with the use of groves.
Additional processes in blog post.
Architecture / Neighborhood Aqua Desalination Plant (NADP)
Community mixed use building with integrated prototype water desalination technology
22@, Barcelona, Spain
Spring 2012 M.Arch Year 3 MIT Studio
Instructor: Andrew Scott TA: Andrew George Phillip Ferentinos
Barcelona’s plan to become a self-sufficient city is well under way. In the 22@ area, there are attempts to combat various inefficiencies of energy and material consumption. But none deal with Barcelona’s major shortages of water. In 2008, a drought pushed Barcelona to the edge of crisis; some tabloids had headings such as “Spain sweats amid ‘water wars’” and “Barcelona forced to import emergency water.” To sustain its population, Barcelona spent €21M a month to import 63 shipments of water from other parts of Spain and France. However, the effort was only able to serve the consumption of 25% of its inhabitants. Since the drought, Barcelona has built 6 desalinization plants that use reverse osmosis (RO) to generate fresh water. However, the production of water consumes nearly 10% of all energy spent by the city. 30% of Catalonia’s imports are energy alone.
In recent decades, a technology has been employed in many arid climates whereby seawater is converted to drinking water in a Greenhouse (GH) desalination plant. In addition to being able to produce fresh water, the plant is also a habitat which allows for a more favorable production of food. But this technology has not been deployed in an urban environment since the water production from a GH plant of moderate size can only sustain about 1000 people. While RO plants can produce 50 times more water, they are roughly 260 times less energy efficient then GH plants.
This project therefore is to speculate on the integration of GH plants to create a network of sustainable neighborhoods. Instead of factories that have machinery hidden from the public, desalination plants can be more like community gardens or neighborhood markets. By educating and evoking public curiosity, this project fuses water desalination and food production with cultural and public amenities for a neighborhood much like the Ferns in the Back Bay or the Eden Project in Cornwall. Ultimately, it seeks to inform the public of their water use and water generation through architectural design.
Architecture / Internship at KKAA.
Text + Images: KKAA
A spa resort, standing in the mountains of Tenchun, Yunnan, China. On the west side of the premises there is a Taoist sacred place, Mt. Mt. Mt. Mt. Muyu, and the buildings are arranged along the flow of "Qi" descending from the mountain. By combining several kinds of stones that can be taken at nearby quarries in mosaic form, we were able to transfer the power of the earth into the building.
Roxbury, South Boston
Fall 2010 M.Arch Year 2 Studio
Instructors: Cristina Parreño, Sheila Kennedy
Building Type: Renovation & Addition to Existing Concrete Tower
Program: Design Incubator
Roxbury is a vibrant community with a rough recent history. During the civil riots of the 70’s, stores on Blue Hill Avenue were looted and eventually burned down, leaving a desolate and abandoned landscape. This landscape of burnt down buildings and trash filled lots discouraged commerce and business development. With the crack epidemic of the 1980’s, Roxbury became one of the most dangerous and least occupied counties in Boston.
Historically however, this particular site was occupied by the Ice industry, which had a powerful influence on the economy of Boston and the commerce of the world. When the invention of the refrigerator made the ice industry obsolete, other industries moved in. Groundwater contamination from the occupation of these other industries resulted in a drop in estate and increase in infectious disease. The purpose of this project is to clean the site through Phytoremedation, the use of plant roots to extract contaminants, and to incorporate public galleries into the icehouse/incubator which reveal the interior and act as a panoptic. Public engagement would encourage future designers to not develop inventions that contaminate the area. The reuse and reactivation of this building unlocks the social and historic potential of an Icehouse.
Architecture / Compound Perspectives – Limited Porosity
Bridge. Boston, MA
Fall 2009 MIT M.Arch Year 1 Studio
Instructors: Nick Gelpi / William O’Brien Jr. / Skylar Tibbets
This project centers on the development of a component that allows itself to be aggregated in forming a structure that bridges the gap between two platforms. The structure serves a secondary purpose as a shading device during the day, while also providing lighting for users at night and framed views of the city. Compound
Design for Reuse: Post Occupancy of Olympic Stadiums
Field Hockey Stadium -> Vocational School / Community Center
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fall 2012 MIT M.Arch Thesis
Advisor/Readers: Ana Miljacki, Arindam Dutta, Miho Mazereeuw
On the surface, the spirit of Olympic Games is about the competition for medals. Underneath the surface, however, lie a series of political, economic, and social agendas. Individual Olympians represent their Nations. Rising modernity, stabilization of economies and social cohesion of nations are represented by the contemporary Architecture of the Games. Every Olympic Game has resulted in a significant change in the host city and presented the host country with a unique opportunity to shed a new light on itself in front of a global audience. In anticipation of presenting a brilliant, dynamic image to the world, Olympic cities often build contemporary sporting arenas that follow similar design patterns of generating iconic and autonomous buildings with relatively fixed programs. In order for a city to accommodate such a large number of newly constructed sporting venues, a trend has emerged whereby cities shift the games from the urban core to outlying peripheries, scattered throughout the suburbs. After the 17 days of international use, the venues return to serve the host city’s needs. But the stadiums are largely freestanding objects that compete with pre-existing residential fields for the occupancy of local teams. These local teams often favor smaller arenas that are less maintenance-intensive and are more widely accessible due to their greater proximity to the city core. As a result, Olympic stadiums become underused, labeled as white elephants and even in some instances abandoned.
The next Olympics will be held in Rio, which has the 5th largest economy in the world while also having one of the world’s lowest GDP per capita. This thesis explores the possibility of exploiting the flamboyant nature of the Olympics to create a dual purpose field hockey stadium, the design of which is flexible enough to adapt to a post Olympics transformation into a vocational school.
Urban Design / New Contemporary Chinese City
Village for Vitality. Jinan, China
Summer 2012 Collab. Workshop w/ Qinhua Univ.
Instructors: Dennis Frenchman, Jan Wampler
Design Type: Mixuse Urban Residential Community
Team: Alexis Howland, Chia Yang Weng, Ian Caine, Liu Cheng, Yu Tao.
Village for Vitality (V V) is dedicated to increasing the compatibility of West Jinan with the natural environment by providing sustainable development strategies to link individuals , groups. and community-based ecological activities. V V is a project of the MIT-Tsinghua Joint Urban Design Studio that promotes the concept of energy efficiency and emphasizes sustainability with smart urban growth. The goal of our project is to improve the quality of the air; lower the use of non-renewable resources; encourage the building of green homes, offices, and other structures; reserve more u ser friendly green space, support environmentally-friendly methods of transportation (electric vehicle and bicycle sharing program); and offer recycling programs. V V embraces livable-city principles and design strategies that enhance the health and well-being of citizens in urban environments.