Homayoun Ismael ZARYOUNI, "SKIN; HIDES; MASS."
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    critic: Hernan DIAZ ALONSO.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Homayoun Ismael ZARYOUNI:
    This is a ghost Cultural Center proposal for the ghost city of Kilamba, Angola. Built by Chinese developers, occupied by families of the 220 units sold out of 2800*; a dream reality occurs. Surrounded by empty acres, a “furry” oasis ensues.

    In order to remove the city of its failed history this thesis purposes a cosmetic mutation of Kilamba, Angola. Unlike adaptive reuse projects that turn run-down motels into yoga studios & startups, this cosmetic mutation slingshots the city further into its irrelevant existence in order to birth its new identity; investment in the superficial is made in search of depth and substance. Maybe the comparison of a toupee changing the character of a face or figure into a new identity would be appropriate here, or one extravagant fur coat turning a fragile human body into majestic animal form would be the best comparison. Here the architectural skin covers history, transforms image & mutates ideology. From uselessly banal to uselessly excessive; skins hide mass and other things.

    *Louise Redvers, “Angola’s Chinese-built ghost town,” BBC News, July 03, 2012. Web. Accessed September 01, 2016.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?:
    HIZ: Animal furs and feathers, Alexander McQueen, Surrealism, and Meret Oppenheim.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
    HIZ: Reading Anrdré Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism; listening to Bodega Boys Podcasts; and watching Friends.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?:
    HIZ: Frank Gehry; Xefirotarch; Eric Owen Moss; Young & Ayata; Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects; Hirsuta; Zago Architecture; and Bodega Boys.

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  • WP_Modern_Notepad
    • hmmm Says:

      Let me just first say, good job, any project takes time and a strong push. Shaw we establish when you relate what you see and do, you related it towards the project. We therefore associate this with the Surreal.

      Only at the glint of the tear of a moon dragons eye, does this have anything to do with Surrealism (yet you do list Friends, weird). Surrealism is about literal obvious realism twisted towards that which it normally does not do. Therefore when something is so far from obvious and literal, it becomes pure abstraction. This misunderstanding of the effect of surrealism is wide spread in architecture. Yes Max Ernst had a few paintings that danced this line and sure Robert Mattas paintings tend to dwindle towards pure abstract, but when Surrealism is at its best it contorts the reality we know by offering up alternatives. I am waiting for the day where surrealism is made in architecture, I myself have attempted it several times, and i have seen a couple. It is deep, it is poetic, and it has many faces.

      But we have to be honest with ourselves not to dilute what we know because that dilutes the minds of the future to come. So for the next surreal project lets see a House for Audrey’s Bird Cage, a Martian Stalker at the center of the Silver Globe, a Nose ring for Mad Max 2-step, or a Dead Mans Corpse at the top of the Holy Mountain.