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emerging latitude 10째 N_longitude 84째 W

a global search for local design solutions by mauricio barboza


Costa Rica, a small country in the tropics, covers less than one third of 1% of the earth’s surface, though, is the host of 6% of the world’s


tropical rain-forest


tropical cloud-forest

Our most valuable resources are being threatened by careless commercial developments that aim only at mass production, standarization and



We need to re-think and re-direct the path in which our built environment is heading in order to emerge within our


tropical mangrove-forest


we need to question

[ everything ]


is there a way beyond repetition?

today’s beach-front developments, jaco_costa rica 2009


how can buildings adapt to specific site conditions?

land movements, guanacaste_costa rica


Veritas University_Costa Rica experimental research on emergent technologies by mauricio barboza




The project is an investigation interested in research-oriented and experimental design processes, materiality, ecology and the latest advances of digital and physical technologies that define the new emergent path of design and architecture, emphasizing its applications within a tropical context.

Latitude 10째 N

Costa Rica in Central America


emergent technologies

|iˈmərjənt| |tekˈnäləjēs| As that which is produced by multiple causes, but which cannot be said to be the sum of their individual effects; models of change that arise from specific situations that require an urgent action.

As the current state of humanity’s knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants. It includes technical methods, skills, processes, techniques, tools and raw materials.


Emergent technologies in design and architecture have brought a series of cutting-edge developments and advances that allow us to re-think and reinterpret the way we do things now. It aims to re-direct the path in which our built environment is heading by searching for alternative solutions that attempt to improve the way we live and interact with our changing surroundings. It confronts evolutionary ideas with innovative digital and physical techniques as experimental tools of positive action.

[ re-searching ] The Growth Project, Veritas


[ re-directing ]

Costa Rica is in need of change.

We now have the latest technological advances to experiment every possibility in which we produce things. It is now time for us to take our own local strategies that respond to specific tropical conditions and merge them with the evolutionary global advances of emergent technologies in order to upgrade our design processes and techniques, bringing Costa Rica to the forefront of ecological developments.


How can we improve our built environment?

today’s built environment at the pacific coast, jaco beach_costa rica 2009

[ re-thinking ]

I believe that there is a way beyond repetition, standarization, mass production and homogeneity; a way in which every architectural intervention is customized to fit and respond to specific contextual values, site conditions and its environmental factors, along with the diverse human activities and their form of living, optimizing the quality of space and minimizing the impact of construction.


emerging latitude 10째 N_longitude 84째 W a global search for local design solutions

The project proposes to take emerging technologies into a different context of complexity. It intends to re-direct the potential applications of advanced digital and physical techniques into the drastic changes and extreme conditions of our tropical environment as tools of positive action. The investgation is interested in evolutionary design processes and innovative technologies that are located in new production paradigms. It seeks to encourage our designers to develop skills and pursue knowledge in design research in order to take a step forward and emerge, focusing our imagination, creativity, intellectual capacity and everything within our reach to generate far more aggressive but conscientious and advanced but contextualized proposals.


[ analytical observation ] It is important to study and analyze the ways in which pioneers and innovators are confronting the latest advances of emergent technologies and managing to apply evolutionary techniques along with conceptual and experimental approaches into contemporary design practice. We need to focus our attention in processes instead of final products; the most important achievements stand along the way. I believe that there is not a better way to learn than by experiencing; observation can become our best strategy.

Monterrey Stadium by Studio Mode

from conceptual processes to actual design practice


Learning by experiencing This has led me to embark an a research oriented journey that seeks to generate synergic efforts between latitudes on formulating evolutionary design processes and innovative techniques that fit specific global regions. The main objective is not only to develop contextualized strategies that respond to local values but to argue the way in which environmental and ecological issues should be taken into consideration in the design practice. The journey aims at generating platforms for discussion with multidisciplinary professionals and prominent universities involving workshops, critical/technical interviews, project analysis and site visits. All the information gathered throughout the journey and research will be developed into a document about emergent technologies in the tropics, directed to designers, students or anybody interested in pushing the boundaries between advanced technology, imagination and ecological intervention.


“ In my opinion, the most interesting proposals do not arise when finding innovative ways of doing things, but when challenging the innovators to apply the latest advances of human knowledge with the integration of local values.� _Mauricio Barboza


Mauricio Barboza_biography Born in San JosĂŠ, Costa Rica in 1984. In 1999, he lived In the United States of America for one year as an AFS exchange student where he began his interests in design and architecture. Studied architecture in the Latin University of Costa Rica until 2007 before switching to Veritas University where he is currently developing his thesis project for his graduate degree in architecture under emergent technologies. Interested in experimental design and research-oriented work involving the application of physical and digital advances of emergent technologies as tools to experiment every possibility in which we produce things. Current work is on display at the Rotterdam Biennale, Parallel Cases 09.


Veritas University San JosĂŠ, Costa Rica

Working from Costa Rica, a Central American country in the tropics, Veritas Architecture School is a learning community focused on creating platforms for discussion, experimentation and discovery, which pursues the development of critical thinking and the definition of the limits of practice and teaching of architecture.


journey’s investigation

[ research agenda ]


FGP_Form-Generating Processes

The project aims to develop design methods that are conditioned by multivariant influences, challenging the orthodoxies of architectural design and its established hierarchies, seeking to optimize the quality and use towards performance-oriented designs. It involves the investigation of fat-free concepts, biomimetics (but not as a mere imitation of form but as the result of the application of informational and behavioral data of diverse sources) and the interaction between form and environmental forces.

EMT_Emergent Material Technology

The research concentrates on the fundamental understanding of materials, interpreted as any physical entity, which corresponds and reacts with its environment. It seeks to find new materials, their applications and ways to update the existing ones. It involves the investigation of behaviors (according to assigned properties), capabilities (such as biodegrading and healing) performance (such as force, stress, strain, deformation, heat flux and energy), self-organization and dynamics.

ACT_Advanced Computational Techniques

The evolutionary computational advances allow us to simulate and experiment every possibility in which we produce things under controlled conditions. It analyzes the behaviors and dynamics of structures, spatial organization and material performance in response to changing conditions, retaining geometric relations while bieng significantly modified. It involves the applications of BIM (building information modeling), parametric controls, generative algorithms and complex geometries in design processes.

ADF_Advanced Digital Fabrication

The impact of advanced fabrication is now seen as an essential design tool that allows the production of complex geometries in a much more precise and versatile process. It has opened up a wide field of experimentation in which architecture could no longer be built but assembled. It involves the applications and implications of digital fabrication mechanisms such as 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, CNC (computer numerical controlled) and other evolutionary equipment.

CPA_Contextual Performance Assessment

The project emphasizes the importance of establishing parameters, criteria and strategies that analyze specific contextual values in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed so that every architectural intervention will perform within specific circumstances under local conditions.


“ Some people see things as they are and say, why? I dream of things that never were and say, why not? � _George Bernard Shaw


Emerging within the tropics  
Emerging within the tropics  

The project is an investigation interested in research-oriented and experimental design processes, materiality, ecology and the latest advan...