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SPECIMEN ONE, by Joseph El-Hourany and Samer Eid


Published in 2010, ‘Specimen Zero’ already hinted at the possibility of a sequential follower: ‘Specimen One’. Neither an upgrade nor a re-editing version of his latter, Specimen One is a novel generative design family containing, more than its predecessor Specimen Zero, a deeper scope of “free forms”. It used lower-level computer software and analogue basic scripting through different heuristic computational methodologies. Specimen Zero, fully created and published by the ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts) and conducted by Joseph El-Hourany and Samed Eid, was very well adopted at Hexagram and CIAM media arts laboratories in Canada as an ultimate analogue experimental architecture reference; besides, it has been classified in the repertory “Les Livres” of the architecture information bulletin of “la cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine” in France.

Based on design experimentation, Specimen One is not trying to establish a new digitectonic language or even pretend a particular design theory. It looks much more at the overall interplay between the students, the mediums at their disposal and their own creative process in front of the given subjects. In our innovative design vision, a procedural experimentation is the origin of the unknown forms. As such, experimentation in design has nothing to do with neither composition nor equilibrium. In whichever creation process, it has to do with no-finality, with the perpetual road to another place; it provokes what comes after, what appears, and what will be seen. One of the main Specimen One input is the indeterminacy. An architecture based on formal design, as stated by Federico Soriano, cannot resist change of one of its parts without trailing its identity. An architecture without form – informal – allows change, restoration, and change of its image without its form being altered, and as such, the object remains. It can spontaneously absorb additions, subtractions, and technical modifications, without disturbing its essential order.
The authors, Joseph El-Hourany and Samer Eid, have used four different thematic that enable the generation of geometrically complex non-forms. The created forms do not express explicitly, the scale in which it is produced. “The interest lies in pieces that have no boundaries, no limits, that play at indetermination in their entirety. This is not an idea of form that is “one”, but that is “like one”. It is difficult to hold in the mind’s eye. It is elusive except when we see it. All its faces and sides have equal importance. They do not have predetermined hierarchical relations. It is a form, therefore, indebted to the fluctuating processes that the shape it.” These four thematic are: transformers, in-between, new Babylon and cyberchess. Perhaps the most immediate way of describing each Specimen One creation and form would be in terms of our third year architecture students individual knowhow carried out in our process lead.
The students are: Assaad Azar, Carine Harik, Christella Gedeon, Christelle Araji, Elia Kehdi, Eliane Deccache, Elie Abou Jaoude, Elie Makhoul, Elie Metni, Georges Kfoury, Imad Khoury, Jad Choueiri, Jamaila Chaccour, Jerome Eid, Jimmy Nader, Joelle Abi Zeid, Juliano Nohra, Lea Abi Zeid, Maamoun Tebbo, Marc Baladi, Marc Hatem, Marc-Elio Massoud, Maya Kahi, Michael Skaff, Mohammad Ajam, Mohammad Mathlouthi, Najib Al Ghossein, Nathalie Fatté, Nathalie Zalloum, Nicolas Anid, Nicolas Araman, Nour Traboulsi, Palig Kechichian, Racha Hage Chahine, Rachad Salem, Razane Husseini, Rebecca Dahrouj, Sami Daccache, Sebouh Alexandrian, Stacy Helou, Tanya Hayek, Toufic Dagher and Wael Hag Chammas.

Cyberchess – Elie Metni

Cyberchess- Georges Kfoury

Cyberchess- Jerome Eid

Cyberchess – Najib Al Ghousein

Cyberchess- Sami Daccache

In Between – Elie Makhoul

In Between - Nicolas Araman

In Between - Sami Daccache

New Babylon - Juliano Nohra
New Babylon - Stacy Helou

Transformer - Jimmy Nader


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  1. Dr.Hourany


    720 pages, 2 authors (J. Hourany & S. Eid), 4 editors (M. Baladi, S. Daccache, E. Metni & G. Kfoury), 1 graphic designer (L. Jabbour), 43 students, 87 projects and more than 2500 illustrations