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Differential City


Differential City is a proposal for a code-generated city constantly displaced from itself. Differential City eschews linear modes of organization informed by efficiency and the shortest distance between point A and point B. Differential City displaces the direct path between these points and introduces intermediate points B, C, D, E, F… This operation of programmatic displacement maintains the constant overlap of movement speeds, scales, and activities as a means to increase physical mobility and opportunities for unplanned and unexpected interactions—a calculated informality. As a result, unlikely urban synergies emerge: high-density housing supported by big box retail, an industrial complex adjacent to a skate park, an urban leisure park on top of an office building. 


Three zones of varying density and formal organization of courtyards, building envelopes, and streets (mesh, grid, and cell), are organized based on a circle-packing logic that ensures a calibrated distribution of scalar and programmatic displacement. This project, located in the gridded district and focusing on the industrial code, challenges the straight line as a model of urban and industrial efficiency by pushing, pulling, elevating, and depressing a series of lines to create episodic moments of convergence between divergent programs and activities, allowing industrial production to exist alongside urban recreation in an unified architectural articulation.


In Collaboration with Aanya Chugh and Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola

Critic: Timothy Hyde

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