Architecture, Projects, Thoughts

Sixth Semester Studio: FarmX New York: Extreme Vertical Farming in NYC: MidTerm

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Farm X New York: Mid Term Presentation

Cell Family ‘Blue’  Extreme Deformation States

Cell ‘Blue One’ Graded Deformation

Cell ‘Blue Two’ Graded Deformations

Cell ‘Blue Four’ Graded Deformations

‘Blue One’ to ‘Blue Two’ Morph Test

‘Blue Two’ to ‘Blue Four.Six’ Morph Test

‘Blue Two.Twenty-Eight’ to ‘Blue Two.Twenty-Five’ Morph Test

‘Blue One.Fifteen’ to ‘Blue Two.Twenty-Five’ Morph Test

‘Blue Seven’ to ‘Blue Two.Three’ Morph Test

New York City’s Hudson River Science Barge Project Self-Sustaining Off the Grid Food and Power Farm

The Science Barge

Simplified Diagrammatic View: Farming Cell Type

Simplified Diagrammatic View: Human Habitation Cell Type (Live, Work, etc.)

Simplified Diagrammatic View: Power Generating Cell Type (Wind, Solar Algae)

East Perspective Elevation

East-West Section Cut. View South.

North-South Section Cut. View East.

View From The High Line at 17th Street.

View South Along High Light

View South From High Light

View from West Side Highway & 18th Street

View South Along 10th Avenue


Written by hbaal

March 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

Posted in Projects

Magical Realism: Coney Island Housing for Early Diagnosis Alzheimer’s Patients

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Written by hbaal

March 5, 2011 at 1:33 am

So I decided to CNC my face.

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Well, almost – I didn’t actually stick my face into a CNC machine…

First, using myself as a reference I modeled my (a) head in Maya, you can judge the ‘accuracy’ of the model yourselves:

I think the model successfully resembles a human face, if not quite my own.  See more images below.

Then, I constructed a physical model with Master Cam and our new CNC router, see gallery below for more.

Written by hbaal

March 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Salutation The Third

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– Ezra Pound, 1914


Let us deride the smugness of “The Times”:


So much for the gagged reviewers,

It will pay them when the worms are wriggling in their vitals;

These are they who objected to newness,

Here are their tomb-stones.

They supported the gag and the ring:

A little BLACK BOX contains them.

So shall you be also,

You slut-bellied obstructionist,

You sworn foe to free speech and good letters,

You fungus, you continuous gangrene.


Come, let us on with the new deal,

Let us be done with pandars and jobbery,

Let us spit upon those who pat the big-bellies for profit,

Let us go out in the air a bit.


Or perhaps I will die at thirty?

Perhaps you will have the pleasure of defiling my pauper’s grave;

I wish you joy, I proffer you my assistance.

It has been your habit for long

to do away with good writers,

You either drive them mad, or else you blink at their suicides,

Or else you condone their drugs,

and talk of insanity and genius,

But I will not go mad to please you,

I will not flatter you with an early death,

Oh, no, I will stick it out,

Feel your hates wriggling about my feet

As a pleasant tickle,

to be observed with derision,

Though many move with suspicion,

Afraid to say that they hate you;

The taste of my boot?

Here is the taste of my boot,

Caress it,

lick off the blacking.



Written by hbaal

November 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

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Magical Realism and The Indefinite Present

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“In the future it will always be Monday.”

“Scientists have invented dry water.”

“She keeps hot coffee in a thermos, in the refrigerator.”


The Tao Te Ching speaks often of the duality of Nature. Every gain is coupled with a corresponding loss, as every loss is met with its own corresponding gain. It is with this concept in mind I began to explore the possibilities for a mixed-use housing facility for early onset Alzheimer’s patients on Coney Island. The goal is not to discover the gain that might couple a Loss of Memory, as this would be an individual, singular experience.  Instead, it is my purpose to create a means for an individual to find that gain.

The goal is to confront the user, the residents suffering the beginnings of Alzheimers, to shock them if necessary, into the Moment, into a state of mind that has no past – which they are slowly losing, and no future – which for them is certain and bleak. Through a series of moments, presented in no chronological or periodic order, the residents – and the public- are to be confronted both subtly and overtly with situations that cause them to question their surroundings. Imagine a building that has fallen on its side, but instead of setting it aright, the people inside simply walk on the walls. Imagine a building, as physical and solid as the one you are in now reading this,  not only floating, but tethered down so as not to float away! Occurrences that are real, and yet impossible. These singularities will, over time, create and increased awareness within the residents, an acute focus on their surroundings and the world outside of their own experience. It is my belief that this heightened sense of awareness, and mental activity, will not only provide the residents with a richness of experience, both on and off site, but could very well prolong their period of independence and mental decline. If this approach could provide an Alheimer’s patient with even a single extra day of independence, then I will have succeeded.

It is through the use of Magical Realism, known most famously through the literature of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges (and I’m sure many other authors with three names), that this environment is to be realised.

“Magical realism is, more than anything else, an attitude toward reality that can be expressed in popular or cultured forms, in elaborate or rustic styles in closed or open structuresº.In magical realism the writer confronts reality and tries to untangle it, to discover what is mysterious in things, in life, in human acts. The principle thing is not the creation of imaginary beings or worlds but the discovery of the mysterious relationship between man and his circumstances. In magical realism key events have no logical or psychological explanation. The magical realist does not try to copy the surrounding reality or to wound it but to seize the mystery that breathes behind things.” (Luis Leal, Magical Realism in Spanish American Literature.  Magical Realism. Ed. Zamora and Faris, p. 119-123).

The relationship between Magical Realism and reality is completely different than say that of High Fantasy to reality. It is important not to get carried away by the idea of magic – there are no spells, no witches, no demons. Instead the occurrences that makes these worlds magical are the subtle -though sometimes not so subtle – deviations from what we would describe as our present reality.  ‘In his [Borges] fiction, as in trompe l’oeil paintings, realistic referentiality is deployed and then disrupted; mimetic devices are engaged in their own undoing.’   (  It is through their direct relationship to reality and realistic possibilities that the impossible is presented as the real, and therefore accepted as possible.

Magical Realist text expresses a sense of time that is aperiodic, concurrent, and anachronistic, often all at the same time. In Tlon,Uqbar, Orbis Tertius Borges writes of a present that is indefinite, in which ‘the past has no reality except for a present memory,’ and ‘the future has no reality except for a present hope.’ The Indefinite Present therefore strikes me as an ideal reality for a sufferer of Alzheimer’s Disease, and  is the Moment that I wish to create for the residents of this proposed intervention.

Minimal Superstructure Suspended from Above

Minimal Superstructure Suspended from Above

Minimal Superstructure Suspended from Above

Structural Scheme Two

Maximum Structure Forest of Columns

Maximum Structure Forest of Columns

Maximum Structure Forest of Columns


Written by hbaal

October 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm