Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in architecture, sustainability | No Comments
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Nice work, Darin.

Darin Johnstone was my thesis advisor while I was at SCI-Arc. He was an incredible mentor and a devoted instructor, he took my project on without ever having worked with me and was remarkably insightful and motivating. I felt like I ended up with a great project, and now, ten years later, Darin’s still continuing to collaborate with students to create more great projects.

This project is a collaboration between SCI-Arc and Habitat for Humanity, a low-budget house that certainly doesn’t look like it. Constructed for $165 a square foot, the elegant lines and compelling angles frames some very lovely spaces and produce a refined, elegant aesthetic. I’m glad to see work from SCI-Arc heading in this direction, particularly with Darin at the helm.

Nice work, Darin.

Photos by Joshua White


Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in design computation, student work | No Comments

UNM School of Architecture and Planning student Helen Alexandra just had her work feature on VICE’s The Creators Project. Check out the featured images on this page or read the article here.

Beautiful work Helena!


Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in 402 | No Comments

I’m pleased to announce that three teams from my undergraduate studio last Spring took honorable mentions in the gURROO Innovative Minds 2016 Virtual Epoch competition. The competition awarded a first place and ten honorable mentions, I’m very proud that the SA+P at UNM was awarded three of them. I’m also proud that over 50% of the studio received awards… read more about the competition and see the complete entries here. It was a fantastic studio and I was extremely lucky to work with such a talented group. Awarded projects below.

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Podsocial Network
Cole Cottrell and Lam Nguyen
Once the largest auto production plant in the motor city, the packard plant currently stands as an abandoned symbol of what once was. since the late 1980’s the once thriving auto industry of Detroit has accounted for the loss of jobs and homelessness of a population of nearly 17,000 people currently living without basic amenities. shelters in the Detroit metro area turn away nearly 300 people on average, per night and while the city is home to over 35 work/housing programs, the transient population only continues to rise by an estimated 7% per year. not just another social housing concept or typical nomadic shelter, the podsocial network attempts to serve as a full reintegration into society for its users. borrowing concepts first from social networking platforms such as the location based anonymity of yik yak, and the real time data gathered by Netflix on its users in order to create a profile of preference, tracking the history and suggesting something relevant, we wanted to create an interface that would enable a connection via location of users and needs within the 3,500,000 sq. ft. packard plant. in this way, the virtual epoch is so vital to the enabling of this reintegration. exterior “utility” pods move along the exterior of the building providing goods and services to the interior “hab” pods constructed within the building using existing refurbished infrastructure and assembly lines. the utility pods which scale the exterior of the building are cued and called using the console panel that will attach to each habitation pod created. the habitation pods will consist of a basic frame to which material panels can be created and surface mounted alongside the console panel which links each pod to a system that allows connection between habitations, basic construction information and the ability to order goods and services from the utility pods, all channeled through a basic, identity sensitive profile of the inhabitants most immediate needs.

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Jaime Frias, Ali A. Al-Gahmi, and Rafael Milla

The virtual world has no rules. Rules only appear when code is written in a program to declare its conditions. This codes then becomes data, fading away only to be stored in a closed location where occasionally someone decides to collect the information. What if instead of storing data within virtual boundaries, we store information in the physical world?

Inhabiting the digital world allows the user to leave a fragment of themselves. The information becomes broadcasted for the rest of the world to see. Located in Ipanema Beach, the project turns into a coexistence between virtual essence and physical experience. Every step you take in the sand becomes part of a network that records a presence in time and space. As people walk in the sand they create footprints that vanish into the past but retain their figure for the future, allowing their path to be in both realms. The footprints become a recording of an existence.

The perfect geometry of the project embodies the sense of infinity and an impression of an existence that has always been there. The transparent structure creates a dialogue between a spiritual world and the physical appearance of the water, presented in the form of a light show. Beaches are physical spaces used for entertainment. Ipanema Beach, located in Rio de Janeiro, lies amidst the development of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is used for visiting and tourism but amongst the entertainment, people constantly fill it with their presence without being aware of the damage the growth of the city implies in nature. The value of the sea is in being extremely visually empty, in contrast to the ever changing form of the digital world.

The sand is changed by the movement of the people. The sand washes and fades away, symbolizing the thoughts, comments, shares, and ever-updating form of the internet. Similar to the digital world, someone would be able to inhabit the interior space and leave their “mark” so as to share it with the world outside. The library now becomes an element of the beach’s soul. Rather than feeling closed in your own virtual world, you now feel open to share your information and leave a mark on the physical world.

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A globally responsive field of memory.
Niko Maestas, Robert Peebles, Brandon Pachuca and Nick DiDonato

[TECH]TONIC is an emergent architecture which responds to the relationships amidst the digital and the physical and investigates the phenomenology of interaction between the two. The design is intended to create a global condition of event which allocates for interaction between user-architecture, user-user, and architecture-architecture. This artificially intelligent system acts as a social neural network between people and a world-wide database of our human history.


Posted by on May 11, 2016 in conferences, design computation | No Comments

Aaron Brakke is a friend of mine through the EGS, and he’s put together a pretty incredible conference. The Digital Reveal is in Columbia, so it’s already got that going for it, but it also features a speakers list that includes Michael Hensel, Sean Ahlquist, SOFTlab, and Marc Fornes… which is pretty impressive. Submit all the things and get to Bogota.

More info ::here::.


Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in robots | No Comments


It’s been up for a little bit, but I did want to post here my Creative Mornings ABQ presentation The Robotic Other. Thanks again to Roxanne and the Creative Mornings ABQ crew for making this a fantastic event.

Still from ‘Solipsist,’ directed by Andrew Thomas Huang


Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in design computation | No Comments


Achim Menges just finished his fifth ICD / ITKE Pavilion, his third in carbon fiber. As always, Achim utilizes a biomemetic strategy as the driver of the pavilion’s design, in this case he borrows from the weaving technique of the Diving Bell Spider. The Diving Bell lives underwater and to facilitate breathing it creates web-reinforced air bubbles. These bubbles served as the model for the ETFE / carbon fiber pavilion, utilizing a pneumatic framework for the strands.

What’s particularly notable about this year’s pavilion vs previous years, is the design of the robot itself. A Kuka arm was modded to not only place fiber and resin / glue in place, but also to respond to the deformations of the pneumatic formwork in real time. The structure is efficient and formally compelling, but the architectural team modifying a fabrication robot to this degree is the real innovation. Achim keeps setting the bar extremely high for the rest of us…

More about the 2015 ICD / ITKE Pavilion here.

Obscura Digital’s Installation for F8

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in data mapping | No Comments


Obscura Digital’s installation for the F8 conference uses 3D Cameras like Kinects to track users and map similar interests, friends, locations, etc. The installation queries the user’s Facebook profiles, and uses the data to drive the floor projections. It’s a pretty interesting convergence of digital communication in physical space.

Read more here.

Passed along by Kameron Baumgardner.

Infoam Progress Processing Sketches

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in ARCH 602 | No Comments

Here’s a collection of concept sketches done in Processing for my ARCH 602 design studio. The studio’s been looking at how digital communication is effecting a sense of place, these sketches are the start of proposals for a dynamic, enhanced physical environment.

Ambrose Martinez
Sound & color Movement

Alexis Gauthier
Movement web created with several node systems that have varying size/ stroke weight dependent on their proximity to one another.

Josh Wishart
Sailing Cities

Rocio Rodriguez
Conceptual adaptive city

Leonard Perez
Teal block representing digital realm, orange block representing physical realm. When conditions are just right, a tertiary space emerges (the noisy bubbles) which represents a zone between digital/physical.

Stefan Johnson

EGS Digital Design / Architecture PhD Lineups Announced

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in European Graduate School | No Comments

EGS - PhD - Digital Design - Architecture Urbanism 2015 - APPLY NOW-1
Last summer I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural semester of the European Graduate School’s Digital Design PhD program. The EGS is well known for it’s philosophy / media & communications program, which has featured instructors like Slavlov Zizek, Jean Baudrillard, and Paul Virilio- Manuel De Landa is not only a former instructor, but an alumnus as well. The Digital Design program featured the jaw-dropping lineup of Neil Leach, Ben Bratton, Achim Menges, Patrik Schumacher, John Frazier, & Alisa Andrasek- and is bringing them all back next summer. The second year lineup will include Philip Beesley, Mark Burry, Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden from Metahaven, Casey Reas, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter and François Roche- so obviously I’m stoked. They’ve also introduced an Architecture and Urbanism PhD, which will feature some of the names already mentioned along with Keller Easterling.

The program is not just unique for its faculty but also for its format- each class is three days with two three-hour lectures. Every night there is a presentation by one of the faculty that’s open to all of the programs, so it’s remarkably intense. The entire “semester” is packed into 3 weeks, but was more productive than some semesters I had in grad school. The program was completely catalytic for my own work, and I could not recommend it enough… and that’s before you get to the fact that it’s located in Saas-Fee, the “Pearl of the Swiss Alps.”

The EGS is starting to post the lectures from last summer, I’ll be posting them here as well as documenting my experience this summer. Feel free to hit me up with questions on the comments below.

Infoam Student Projects

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in ARCH 401 | No Comments


Here’s some selections from last year’s ARCH 401 studio here at UNM. The studio description reads:

Infoam is a research-based investigation into the relationship between urban context and architecture. The studio examines relationships between urban behavior, big data and architectural design through the Innovate Albuquerque initiative. Infoam uses a data-based approach to demonstrate how architecture can affect local economy and support an urban agenda.

Starting by researching the city of Albuquerque as a whole, the students proposed urban strategies that were then supported by architectural interventions. A reference to the work of Peter Sloterdijk, the title Infoam is meant to suggest an architecture that is a connective tissue between our own individual spheres, a foam capable of providing urban conditions for the 21st century.

The first image is by David Maron. All following images are followed by the authors.

Alyssa Garnham

Nicolas Leonard

Cory Archie

Damien Williams

Jieon Sung