4 ways to get on with building Smart Cities. And the societal failure that stops us using them.

The Urban Technologist

( (William Robinson Leigh’s 1908 painting “Visionary City” envisaged future cities constructed from mile-long buildings of hundreds of storeys connected by gas-lit skyways for trams, pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages. A century later we’re starting to realise not only that developments in transport and power technology have eclipsed Leigh’s vision, but that we don’t want to live in cities constructed from buildings on this scale.)

The Smart City refuses to go away
In 2013 Adam Greenfield wrote “Against the Smart City”  in criticism of the large-scale corporate- and government-led projects in cities such as Masdar, Songdo and Rio that had begun to co-opt the original idea of “Smart Communities” and citizens, given a more powerful voice in their own governance by Internet communication, into what he saw – and what some still see – as a “top-down” approach to infrastructure and services divorced from the interest of ordinary…

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Should Architects Learn to Code?


IMG_0832 Coding.

My first experience in computer programming was a freshman year introductory course in high school. It was one of the first courses I signed up for. I liked computers so the idea of making programs for computers was very appealing.

I failed. Like…really failed.

I always considered myself a good student and was decent at math and logic problems.  However, the level of abstraction introduced in class made the notion of creating a program seem daunting. I ended up exiting the course with my tail between my legs with my dreams of developing the next killer app quickly evaporated.

I eventually discovered architecture and took every sketching, art, and CAD course available to me in my high school. I loved the artistry of design and the tangible nature of building concepts. These were things that, in my limited experience at the time, neither a math or computer science course could provide. I eventually went…

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Assigning identity and cultural value to the computational design approach.

The cultural values which identify and link local, regional or national communities seem in danger of being overwhelmed by the relentless influence of the globalization of production. The policies are not able to bring cultural values and production back into a balanced ecology. Nonetheless, the information revolution and digital technologies open up architecture and design to unlimited alternative systems and options. The computational technology generates products that conform to the complexity as it enables us to operate the systems in an optimal way. The infinite possibilities of this approach have a potential to fulfill the demands of the new markets with the aim of preserving the cultural values.

The subject of my research is creating a design model by generating (coding) artificial DNA for the buildings that have strong identity and cultural value which is able to integrate with the most recent algorithms available to maximize functionality and efficiency of future buildings. The aim of the project is to design a model to assign identity and cultural value as a constituent to a computer-aided design approach that allows us to produce systems that are highly adaptable and responsive to the constantly changing conditions and needs of all parties. Therefore the main question of the research is: ”How can identity and cultural values in architecture be captured in a computational model?”

I will construct my research on design science methodology since the aim of the research is to create an innovative, purposeful artefact to preserving the cultural values in danger. During the my research, I plan to do a significant amount of data collection in all relevant disciplines. This phase also involves the generation of diagrams for the construction of the model. In the second year, I will focus on constructing the model, and the task will consist of making analyses using computational processes. After this period, I expect to have a model to improve and support it with empirical methods. It aims to integrate the model with some algorithms that have been proven to be efficient in the field of design by simulating series of dynamic scenarios. I expect to reach outcomes that effectively target both technology-oriented and management-oriented audiences.


Gero, J., S., Mary Maher, M., L. , ‘Computational and cognitive models of creative design VI : reprints of International Conference of Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design VI’, University of Sydney, 2005.
Hevner, A., March, S., Park, J., and Ram, S. ‘Design Science in Information Systems Research’, MIS Quarterly (28:1), 2004.
Parisi, L., ‘Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space’, MIT Press, 2013.
Menges, A., Ahlquist, S., ‘Computation Design Thinking’, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., 2011.
Rifkin, J., ‘The Age of Access: The New Politics of Culture vs. Commerce’, Open University Press, 2000.
Kelly, K., ‘Out Of Control: The New Biology of the Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World’, Fourth Estate, 1995.
Peters, B., Peters, T., ‘Inside Smartgeometry: Expanding the Architectural Possibilities of Computational Design’, Wiley, 2013.
Ess, C., Sudweeks, F., ’Culture, Technology, Communication: Towards an Intercultural Global Village’, Suny Press, 2001.
The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization ‘UNESCO World Report: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue’, 2009.
Lefaivre L., Tzonis A., ‘Architecture of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization: Peaks and Valleys in the Flat World’, Routledge, 2011.
Savage, M., Bagnall, G., Longhurst, B. J., ‘Globalization and Belonging’, Sage, 2005.
Arnett, J. J., ‘The psychology of globalization’, American Psychologist, Vol 57(10), 2002. Wines, J., ‘Green Architecture’, Taschen America, 1999.
Theodore, R., ‘The Voice of the Earth’, Phanes Press, 2nd edition, 2001.

3D Printing Basics // Design and Manufacture

Digital modeling and fabrication are latest tools allow designers to produce digital materiality and the change the future of production in design and architecture. Now an object can be formed with any kinf of geometric complexity or intricacy without the need for elaborate machine setup and sometimes even final assembly. Those systems reduce the construction of complex objects to a manageable, straightforward, and relatively fast process. I see fabrication laboratories as laboratories of the innovation of today. Most essential machines for digital production that all fablabs contain are:

  1. 3D Printers
  2. CNC Routers
  3. Laser Cuts

Each of them have different logic to produce with. Their operation systems are substantially different than each other. I will be giving some basics information about 3D Printing Process. I saw a chart that explains it in iMakr in London. I thought it makes it easy to understand all the steps, so here is something alike.

3D PRNT-01

3D printing industry allows people to pursue very different careers or paths than one could imagine. I want to introduce two companies I came across at the event of iMakr in London that are 2 examples of it.

Stalactite (Barcelona)

It is a very fresh 3D printing company that produces with its own eco-friendly resin with the consultance of a group of chemical engineers. They work with a resin company that pioneers in photo polymers. They yet have 3 sizes (70mm, 100mm, 200mm). They produce their own 3D printers besides they try to develop their eco-friendly material to make it highly compatible with any kind of 3D printer.

I CAN MAKE (London)

It is a company aims to create education models for the children about the technologic devices that is used in 3D printing and teach them all steps of 3D Printing to make each of them a maker.

“Rapid Prototyping” is becoming a very popular term that refers to a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design data. Such systems are also known by the names: additive manufacturing, additive fabrication, solid freeform fabrication and layered manufacturing and many others.

What is Green Building? 10 Features of an Eco-Friendly Building

What is green building? Eco-friendly buildings and sustainability is not a subject only architects or engineers are familiar with anymore. Alienation from nature resulted as environmental crisis, physical and mental disorders that humanity faces. It brought a high level of consciousness in society. So this concept has emerged from the realization of the consequences of formalist design which is not in harmony with the environment. There are hundreds of publications on this subject but this text covers the simple explanation of the concept and philosophy by introducing its characteristics. Here is some principles that we can evaluate the quality of a green/eco-friendly building:

  1. Integration between landscape and architecture (Building should be in harmony with the landscape with its scale and the construction material. Material should abide by as it was taken from that area and the building should not dominate the territory with its scale.)
  2. Environmental analyses (Building should be in harmony the soil, the wind and the solar analyses)
  3. Preservation of the nature
  4. Energy efficiency
  5. Use of recycled materials 
  6. Recycling of buildings (adaptive re-use, renovation of existing)
  7. Use of fully eco-friendly materials (Material should not contain harmful chemicals or toxic wastes that may release in production process.)
  8. Low maintenance
  9. Harvested wood (avoid any other to prevent deforestation)
  10. Use of technology and innovations (use of smart material)

Sea Ranch Chapel










Sea Ranch Chapel – California

Schlumberger Research Laboratories










Schlumberger Research Laboratories – Texas

Bonus: Here is a great video of Catherine Mohr about how to design a eco-friendly


How Data Turns into Art?

Here is a work of Andy Thomas.

With his own words what he does: “Using a combination of digital technology and traditional mediums, Thomas’ work is a symbolic representation of nature’s collision with technology. Inspired by the beauty of nature and extensive travel to some of the world’s most ancient rainforests, Thomas fuses together images of flora and fauna into evolved abstract forms. ”

No more word needed. Enjoy it!

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