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CharlesAlwakeel architectural design portfolio 1


extendedResume Charles Alwakeel PO Box 9362941 San Juan, PR 00936-2941 Tel. 787.477.8624 Email: c.alwakeel@gmail.com Education 2009 Master of Architecture /2006 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning 2006 /2003

B.A. in Cognitive Science Concentrations in Computational Approaches to Cognition and Linguistics Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Computer Skills Advanced knowledge of Rhino 3D, Digital Project, Maya MEL Scripting, Maxwell Render, V-Ray Render, Autodesk AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Basic knowledge of Python, C++, HTML, 3DsMax and Mental Ray. Languages Fully fluent in English and Spanish.

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Professional Experience 2007 Architectural Design Intern Skidmore, Owing and Merrill, Washington, DC Worked on the schematic design phase of a large United States Department of Defense project; creating and developing an array of Digital Project scripts to automate tasks pertinent to the various design options that were being presented to the client. 2006 /2005

Staff Member Johns Hopkins University, Digital Media Center, Baltimore, MD Aided students in the usage of the equipment and software present in a computer laboratory dedicated to the digital arts.

2004

Research Assistant Johns Hopkins University, Department of Cognitive Science, Baltimore, MD Childhood language acquisition research dealing with the computational analysis of infant speech transcripts in French.

Awards + Recognition 2009 process_stop, 4th place in NextStopDesign.com’s Bus Stop Design Competition, University of Utah and the Federal Department of Transportation 2008

Borderlands International Studio, Published in Dimensions, vol. 21, University of Michigan

2007

The Remembering Machine, Published in Entropia, International Architecture Workshop.

2006

disarm, Chosen as cover art for Zeniada, Spring 2006, Johns Hopkins University

Organizations + Activities Digital Design Discourse Group at the University of Michigan Sigma Chi Leadership Fraternity (Chapter Founder) at Johns Hopkins University Sigma Chi Recolonization Board at the University of Michigan

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contents

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Project Page resume........................................................................................3 process table...............................................................................6 process stop..............................................................................10 3g6 studio..................................................................................14 3g5 studio..................................................................................18 3g3 studio..................................................................................20 parametric explorations............................................................22 3g4 studio: mexicantown border crossing station......................26 3g4 studio: borderlands international studio..............................28 som: whs headquarters..............................................................30 other drawings..........................................................................34 thesis: fragments of self and process.........................................38

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processtable September 2009 Mockett Annual Furniture Design Competition A further expansion and extension of the design process devised throughout my graduate thesis. Fragments of automation are forced into coherence late in the process as issues of tone-feel (explored throughout my work with Coy Howard at the University of Michigan) are allowed to further influence the final production.

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cross-section at 1� intervals 9


processstop September 2009 NextStopDesign.com Bus Stop Design Competition An entry for nextstopdesign.com’s bus stop competition; Using a similar set of methodological tools as the ones developed throughout my thesis (presented in further detail in this portfolio), the design of this bus stop attempted to move forward ideas of automaticity and the visceral, while at the same time attempting to create a sensuous form. This design was awarded fourth place in this competition.

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3g6studio Fall 2008 Professor Michael Bell

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A vertical/horizontal studio that attempted to tease out links between the perceived verticality of a high density urban setting (NYC) and the horizontal decay of the midwest (Michigan). My work began as an attempt to comment on false perceptions of flatness in the city; It is easy to assume that there is minimal grading changes within the ground plane of New York City. This is not the case. My proposal takes advantage of a 40 foot drop across a single block of property in the city. It exploits this change in grading and creates a space that attempts to reconcile academia and the real world by exposing students to the culturally rich neighborhood of the Amsterdam Houses in the Lincoln Center Area.


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3g5studio Spring 2008 Professor Coy V. Howard

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An aesthetic comprehension and development studio, completely different from any other one I took part in throughout my schooling. The studio consisted of an array of projects that attempted to explore and expound a deep sense of personal aesthetic, while removing many of the pressures of the architectural construct in order to accomplish this. These images were part of the final project in which we were asked to create a series of images of a non-problematized tower showing what we had learned about issues of tone-feel, suggestion through form, decoration, symbolism and Professor Howard’s transrational approach.


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3g3studio Spring 2007 Professor Karl Daubmann

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Our third graduate studio delved into structurally expressive forms through a series of exercises of which I present the third and final one. In collaboration with Colin Richardson; we pooled our parametrics/ scripting knowledge to create a series of CATIA/Digital Project parts and scripts that allowed for the automated creation of an array of programmatically viable surfaces upon which a part was instantiated. Each of the triangular forms reads its distance from the ground and computes its thickness based on that distance and its location within the surface. The end product is a form that could potentially be structurally plausible, as well structurally expressive.


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Early Thesis Work Using Maya’s MEL scripting language, I explored an array of generative textures as a prelude to a more theoretical understanding of parametrics in the context of automatic drawing.

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3G3 (First Year Design Studio) In Collaboration with Colin Richardson. Using CATIA/Digital Project; we worked to create an array of parts which would read their position within an irregular surface and change according to this position in order to create a structurally inspired form.

parametricexplorations 23


Variable Sequential Transformations One of my many parametric scripting explorations during my thesis semester while using Maya’s MEL scripting language. In this set, an array of cubes are randomly generated and a “chance to distort” function is applied. The user determines the chance to distort before the script runs. (Bottom = 0% chance for distortion, Top Right = 50% chance to distort, Top Left = 100% chance to distort).

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3g4studio: detroit border crossing Fall 2007 Professor Gretchen Wilkins

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Gretchen Wilkins’ Borderlands International Studio was divided into two phases. The first was a research intensive studio that sought to create a deep awareness for site and situation within the neighborhood of Mexicantown in Detroit, MI. My project, a redesign of the border crossing station that took into consideration land ownership on behalf of the managerial company of the station, sought to reconcile the need for an efficient expanding border crossing station which could still generate increased revenues while also allowing for it to be self-contained enough to not interfere with the potential for population growth an density within Mexicantown.


living

connecting shopping refilling

washing

visiting

eating

shopping shopping working visiting shopping

refuelling

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3g4studio: the remembering machine Fall 2008 Professor Gretchen Wilkins

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The second phase of the Borderlands International Studio; a collaboration with Rafael Pargas (from the International University of Catalunya, Spain). We developed a proposal for a Museum, Park and Memorial at a site adjacent to the old Detroit Train Depot. The concept suggested deep cuts into the earth, creating two distinct zones within the proposal. The topmost would consist of a green-space, publicly accessible to the residents of Mexicantown. In the second zone, an array of paths would lead to central plaza where a small pavilion would have been located, while the walls would be filled with specific types of urban debris conmemorating the history of Detroit City.


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som: whs headquarters Summer 2007 Washington, DC My work at SOM DC mainly centered itself around the schematic design phase of a large Department of Defense proposal for facilities at a site adjacent to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The program consisted of 2.2 million square feet of office space, parking facilities, and amenities for the employees. Furthermore, there were strict geometrical constraints on the positioning of the building within the site due to security concerns. My responsibilities included the parametrization of code constraints, and the quick production of working models and diagrams for each of the three proposed schemes. 30


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Exploded axonometric and thermal effect diagram. Both of these drawings were presented to the client during the final presentation of the schematic design phase.

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Presentation Diagram of Predicted Thermal Effects of The Sun on Specific Areas of the Building

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First Year Pre-Modeling Sketch

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3G6 Explanatory Sketches

Explanatory Sketch of the workings of the 3g6 project: the University of Michigan - New York Campus. This sketch is an attempt at resolving, as well as explaining the points of contact between the new building and the housing projects already present at the site.

otherdrawings 35


Two drawings from our third graduate studio. Both of these attempt to describe constructs built throughout the studio.

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awareness

of what must be given up.

before the lines are doubled. and before the shell becomes shell. but after the pen touches the drawing. and the red line attempts to find something, reducing my work into a sketch.

after the lines are closed. before we erase our attempts at delineating something that cannot be delineated. when my pronouns start changing.

when colors are labeled as diagrammatic. and they begin to stray from the original. splines begin to chase and devour visceral strokes.

i am about to leave the building.

thesis: fragments of self and process Advisor: Perry Kulper Spring 2009

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Section The final concluding piece of thesis attempted to reconcile the initial expectations of the architectural construct with the inner-most desires of the author. Here the automatic-parametric piece is beginning to be comprehended in rational three-dimensional/sectional terms through the sparse use of conventions. 39


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My thesis began as a reaction to the perceived depersonalization of architectural form and process. Simply stated; I believed (and still do) that something was lost when we surrendered our visceral desires (both rational and irrational) and intuitions to external expectations of what architecture should and should not do. Through my thesis I attempted to integrate such visceral desires into a working methodology that could result in fruitful architectural productions. I explored an array of methodologies which inherently questioned the role of the author (automatic drawing, parametric scripting, sampling, exquisite corpses) and became fascinated by the notion of parametrics as automatics. Automatics being defined as the willful interaction of an external process (the parametric function, gravity, the unconscious, rand()) and the author’s desires (the illusion of the automaton, the executable), while keeping in mind that any move undertaken would be fully informed in regards to issues relating to


finality logic; the notion that there is only one possible outcome to any creative process that results in an outcome, a.nd that if_ >> then_ cycles would always be influenced by previous if_ >> then_ cycles. Through a close reading of works by the surrealists Breton, Arp and Masson, a method was devised. Constant scripting, tracing, digitizing, printing, and tracing in a near circular methodological pattern. Rationality was eschewed as an external expectation. This methodology for design attempted create a stronger link between the desires of the author (conscious, unconscious, rational and a irrational) and the piece of work being produced. The only constraint that was actively managed throughout the thesis was the expectation of producing a near-architectural construct.

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full quality version available at fluxbound.com

thankyou 46


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2009 Architectural Design Portfolio  

Charles Alwakeel's Architectural Design Portfolio

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