• Expocity 2020 : Accelerating Processes

    AA Visiting School Dubai 2015, "Expocity 2020: Accelerating Processes." Photo: Riyad JOUCKA.
    dubai UAE

    AA Visiting School Dubai 2015
    director: Riyad JOUCKA.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Riyad JOUCKA: Set up as an independent exploratory architectural lab in the Middle East, The second edition of AA Visiting School Dubai (AAVSDXB 2.0) advanced the research of the previous workshop by exploring avant-garde methods of materializing architecture. The outcomes consisted of a speculative body of work, representing a UAE pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020 that will take place in Dubai.

    The brief was divided between four Units that worked together on the same project as specialized teams: Material Composites, led By Riyad Joucka; Computational Simulation, led by Alessio Erioli; Scaffolding Fabrication, led by Muhammed Shameel; and Robotic Recursion, led by Suryansh Chandra.

    The teams aimed at producing full-scale prototypes using in-house technologies, alongside full representations of their Expo interventions. Slowly increasing the size of prototypes, students tested materials at full scale, switching back and forth between physical and digital design realms.

    At AAVSDXB 2.0 we used funicular logic toward form finding for tensile fabric formwork, for casting lightweight shells—a material system that under development and inspired by German architect and engineer Frei Otto’s work on the “Biotopic Building,” a building of minimal mass. The idea is to simplify the construction of doubly curved surfaces using contemporary computational and ad-hoc processes.

    Within the short time of the workshop, only one shell was cast. We will continue our exploration and advancement of this system toward the ability to cast many components that allow for the construction of a spatial and structural enclosure.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    RJ: Frei Otto, Heinz Isler, CAST, and Buckminister Fuller.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    RJ: Reading Uncube magazine and listening to Isaac Delusion, “Midnight Sun.”

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    RJ: ICD ITKE; Achim Menges; Sean Ahlquist; Emtech; DRL; and the AA as a whole.

    Additional credits and links:
    Director & Tutor: Riyad Joucka.
    Tutors: Alessio Erioli, Muhammed Shameel, & Suryansh Chandra.
    Media: Farah Ragheb.
    AAVSDXB Coordinator: Maryam Altaf.

    Pariticipants: Bayan Mujahed; Yahya Kaddoura; Farah Zandaki; Hashem Joucka; Maryam AIMulla; Suha Al Salamain; Noha Jaheen; Alin Voitescu; Hira Amjad; Basma Ajoor; Hamzah Mohammed; Dunia Abu Shanab; Sarah Sager; Abdulrahman Bucheeri; Noora Bucheeri; Nijoud Alqadi; Rishem Adnan; Jehad Khayyat; Noura Mhied; Aya Riad; Mohamed Rowaizak; Anna Haji Shahmohammadi; Mishari AlNajjar; Thanyaporn Sriskulpinyo; Sireen Al Khatib; Reem Thawabeh; Yasmeen Khalil; Tamara Hamad; & Shahad Al-hadeethi.

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