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  • Midnight at the Oasis

    Samer AFIFI, "Midnight at the Oasis." Site plan.
    chicago ILLINOIS

    University of Illinois at Chicago
    critic: Sarah DUNN.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Samer AFIFI: What if it was possible to create a megastructure but have the freedom to mold it to match the needs and requirements of its inhabitants and site? A megastructure is an idea of a different type of city and life, but so far megastructures lacked the malleability to accommodate the large scope of difference in spaces, programs, inhabitants, and still maintain the freedom of its form. . . .

    The Oasis project introduces difference to the basic idea and approach behind the Metabolists’ design of a megastructure. by developing a catalog of diverse primitives and playing out how these collect, interesting scenarios and spaces can be fabricated at a variety of scales. It provides the control of follow a gridded logic, but at the same time offers the diversity that allows for freedom in the design and overall shape.

    The 3-D aggregation method presents a more complex and interesting interactions between interior spaces as well as exterior ones. With such spaces and the logic as mentioned above a dome-like structure was constructed, in the Oasis project, using this pixilated grid system. The dome allows for a new micro-climate in its interior space, generating more opportunities for its occupants. Through form and organization the Oasis creates new ways to live, work, and play.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SA: The project began with research into Metabolism and the Metabolist designs, such as Habitat 67 by Moshe Safdie. That research led to the single question which triggered the design: What if . . . the Metabolists embraced diversity?

    The method of aggregation that megastructures followed had major constraints, mainly the lack of diversity in the units. The design was usually based off of a single unit, multiplied and aggregated around a core element that held the entire structure together. This created limitations in the scale of interior spaces, as well as the overall design, which in turn affected the programmatic possibilities.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    SA: Reading: The Divergent series; Made in Tokyo: Guide Book; and Pet Architecture Guide Book, Vol. 2. Listening to: Babymetal; Pentatonix; Imagine Dragons; Zedd; and David Guetta. Watching: the new Star Trek films; True Blood; Game of Thrones; Friends; and Supernatural.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    SA: JDS Architects, UNStudio, Jimenez Lai, and Zaha Hadid Architects.

    Additional credits and links:
    I have attached two extra JPEGs of the project than can go before the plan and sections. they are basically diagrams that explain certain situations that happen in the project, and also this is a link to my website:

    [samer-afifi.com]

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