Migrating Coastlines: Emergent TranFORMations for Dubai, U.A.E.

Emergent TransFORMationsToday\’s emergent digital techniques allow us to deal with the full complexity of material systems, by offering the tools to create effects that exceed the sum of their parts. Emergent TransFORMations will examine some ways in which this can contribute to the formulation of architecture, utilizing digital techniques and generative algorithms for the generation and evaluation of growth patterns in the development of form. The act of designing using digital techniques is reliant on a two-way exchange of information. By allowing for positive feedback, these systems become open to opportunities to incorporate responsiveness, contingency, and the accidental in their generative process. Digital techniques circumvent pre-determined analytical processes that focus on fixed formal issues such as figure/ground, ideal types and static program. Instead, these projects give primacy to transFORMations that are scale-less, accumulative and subject to changes that may shift in type and/or in kind. In addition, projects using digital techniques bundle organization, space and program elements into a singular formation, that incorporates a range of experiences of gradated intensities.The explorations of Emergent TransFORMations seek to push beyond the austerities of digital technique, encouraging concerns for refinement, precision, and formal opulence, and pushing students to unleash a visual intelligence pertinent for architectural design. In addition to the mastery of technique, the development of an aesthetic sensibility is essential to producing the most sophisticated of contemporary projects. This studio will strive to obtain this level of sophistication by mastering specific techniques as the groundwork for achieving nuances within the formal, organizational, spatial and programmatic development of projects.Migrating Coastlines: Emirate of DubaiRapid economic growth is occurring in Dubai, due to changes in residency laws contributing to its status as a regional economic hub and as a haven for foreign investors seeking to hedge against political unrest at home. This transfer of human and economic resources has helped to underscore Dubai\’s emergence as the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East. Dubai is the gateway to the growing industrial centers and to many of the major cities of the interior of the Arabian Peninsula. The most recent estimate for Dubai\’s population is 2 million, a jump of 50 per cent over the previous four years. Rapid population growth has led to crowding and has spawned a tremendous amount of development. Some sources claim that Dubai is now the most densely populated urban center in the region. Moreover, Dubai\’s rapid growth has been a boon to cities in the neighboring emirates of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Many of these cities are now emerging as major markets in their own right, with per capita incomes well above regional averages. To some extent, the fascination of an emerging global city resides in its qualities of mutability and instability. Absences, deficiencies, and deformations in the city\’s physical and social fabric carry a transformational potential. Allowing within themselves diversity, conflict, and change, these cities reflect qualities pertinent to our time, such as vicariousness, transformability, and the almost limitless absorption of information. An emergent form of architecture can create new types of material organization that participate in such a city\’s development. Migrating Coastlines aims to catalyze exchanges between Dubai\’s residents, facilities and the larger city by working within the landscape of the ongoing human, economic, and formal migrations that are currently pressuring the city to respond.Site and ProjectThe program for the studio is a mixed-use high-rise building, to be sited on Sheikh Zayed Road, which connects