EMERGENCE is an applied research project that explores urban form and structure, and the forces at play in city formation.

Starting from decoding the logic of an unpredictable urban like conglomerate, Neft Daslari, the design directions are first defined and tested in an abstract ex nuovo city scheme, before being applied to the context of Mexico city, specifically at the intersection of the ‘Segundo Piso’ with a major rail freight station.

The aim of this application is to rejoin the wounds left by these two modern mobility systems onto the organic city fabric. This is achieved by applying a scheme of compression, city blocks, and expansion, connections, starting from the existing context, over the infrastructure, to form a network of nodes and paths.

Another aspect of this investigation is focused on creating a continuous optimization algorithm capable to assign programme based on global goals and define the connectivity networks based on programme.


Neft Daslari is one of a kind development. Refered to as Stalin’s utopia, this is a conglomeration of oil extraction platforms so big and so secluded that it required its own hotels, cinema, bakery and a soft drinks company.

Situated 8 hours, by boat, from the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, this is in excellence a city based on one resource – Oil – and the worldwide demand for it

The challenge of this research was to understand what drives the unpredictable shapes and behaviors of this cities roads network. The in-depth study of the development logics influenced the progression of the project through its ex-nuovo and then real context application.

The Ex-Nuovo city

Based on previous research, the goal for the ex-nuovo city was to explore a resource based, globally distributed development. In other words, a flexible, adaptable, uniform, urban structure that sprawls the territory through a generative form finding protocol that adapts to local resource.


Site location

At the intersection of a major rail freight zone with Anillo Periferico’s Segundo Piso, this project tries to reconnect the rupture created by these two major infrastructure elements, while envisioning a new form of city programming and connectivity planning. 


  • to recreate a connection between the 4 districts
  • to increase density of the area in a sustainable way
  • to process goods on site thus reduce heavy load traffic around the railway
  • to increase vegetation for amenity and to counter motorway pollution









see more about the genetic optimization project here