Sunday, July 24, 2011


Texas A&M University Department of Architecture. Second Year Studio. Spring 2011. Student: Erin Templeton Critic: Gabriel Esquivel


Texas A&M University Department of Architecture. Second Year Studio. Spring 2011. Student: Jackie Gutierrez Critic: Gabriel Esquivel


Texas A&M University Department of Architecture. Second Year Studio. Spring 2011. Student: Hugo Ochoa Critic: Gabriel Esquivel


Texas A&M University Department of Architecture. Second Year Studio. Student: Marny Itzkowitz Critic: Gabriel Esquivel

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Twins, the good and the evil

The evil twin is an antagonist found in many different fictional genres. They are physical copies of protagonist, but with radically inverted moralities. In filmed entertainment, they can have obvious physical differences with the protagonist—such as facial hair, eyepatches, scars or distinctive clothing—that make it easy for the audience to visually identify the two characters. Sometimes, however, the physical differences between the characters will be minimized, so as to confuse the audience. Both roles are almost always played by either the same actor, or (if the actor has one) the actor's actual twin.

Though there may be moral disparity between actual biological twins, the term is more often a misnomer. In many cases, the two look-alikes are not actually twins, but rather physical duplicates produced by other phenomena (e.g. alternate universe). In others, the so-called "evil" twin is more precisely a dual opposite to their "good" counterpart, possessing at least some commonality with the value system of the protagonist.

The design of a single family home appears to be a simple design problem and, yet, to design a house is not as easy as it may first seem. As a project it requires continuous reflection about personal beliefs, both aesthetic and ideological. As a matter of fact, in order to decide which design language to utilize implies profound examination of our lives and establishes a serious commitment with our peers by offering them the image of how we would like to live. To connect personal insight and feelings with a specific architectural expression is a daring subject for any designer and I see no better way than exploring the always-alive subject of the single-family home.

Furthermore, the single-family house provides the opportunity of fulfilling the design experience in a complete way by covering the scale of the inhabitant and of the entire house. The single-family house asks for the design of the interior, something that is often neglected in school, regardless of the fact that it is one of the most challenging experiences of an architectural practice.

The first house was an indexical house, this house will develop an antagonistic other on the same site that will de “the evil twin”.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Diaphanus Script

Diaphanus is a tessellated surface, a set of pieces organized through aggregation. A deep investigation was established not only on digital fabrication techniques but also on the technologies of rainwater collection to be able to develop a prototype that also discusses performance and sensation.

In the modeling process, we used Rhino 5 and Grasshopper, which allowed us to generate this particular surface, using algorithms that allowed us to control not only the surface itself but the amount material in order to manage the budget. First, we generated the curves that limit the surface; these curves are basically a series of catenaries. Once the surface was generated, the structure was determined basically as adiagrid that was built out of thermoplastic transparent hose.

Based on the points generated by the subdivision of the diagrid, a second surface was generated; this surface was made out of hexagons divided in twelve parts, which integrated a series of modules that were repeated throughout the surface. In spite of being the same module, all the generated pieces are different to each other, as if it was a mutation. Besides this, we included a series of attractor points which when we modified their values it allowed us to generate a gradient of pieces (2D flowers) throughout the surface. A third surface was generated in which the central point was taken from each module and by means of attractor points, we obtained a rise of the flower towards the center of each hexagon, having generated three-dimensional forms (flowers) that altogether with the surfaces previously generated, would obtain a more impressive visual effect according to the established expositions of sensitivity, where the flat surface evolves into an exuberant three-dimensional surface.

Rainwater capturing technology.

A system for rainwater harvesting was designed based on diverse methods and existing technologies, its performance had to be completely fused with the design, subtly responding to the aesthetic sensibility and within the limits that digital fabrication processes and technology allowed us. After all the research it was decided to integrate the “3D flowers” as the water collectors for this prototype, integrating them with carbon filters connecting them to the capillary system (hoses), since this is a process by which the impure molecules adhere to the activated carbon surface. The adhesion is due to an electrochemical attraction; once the water is already filtered, it moves through the structural network, continuing the process of purification. It finally ends at water storage for later use.