Autonomous Cities

Shifa Aaquil






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Shifa Aaquil
Autonomous Cities

Professor George Katodrytis

This project creates a new landscape for inhabitation in the salt flats of the UAE. The process involved building hand-driven, motor-driven, and digitally driven drawing machines. A pre-programmed drawing machine that responds to forces on site – the depth of water and the density of salt - is used to create the architectural scaffolding of a new city. As the machine moves on site, detecting the presence of salt and water, it draws on the surface of the earth. These drawings produce visual data of the elements on the site: the denser the drawing, the deeper is the presence of water and salt. Then, the pre-programmed machine excavates in the densest parts. These excavations create the first kind of inhabitable space. With the excavated salt and water, the machine extrudes a scaffold, essentially a 3D print of a salt-water mixture, above ground. These extrusions form the second kind of inhabitable space. The excavated space underground, the extruded space above ground and the space within the machine create the infrastructure of the new city.


Shifa Aaquil: ︎  

Project Description
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