All posts by roula

Duration – Final Project

Duration :: putting Forward Notions of Time-space Relativity through Life Forms

Duration is created with the single cellular organism Euglena. The aim of the piece is to artistically convey the notion of time and it’s relatedness to Cartesian rhythms, juxtaposing the anthropocentric point of view with the greater notion of life on earth.









Time measures space. As beautiful as it sounds, logic always only relates to a given point of reference, leaving out – in order to be ‘pure’ logic – all the other points of reference. Of course, one might continue to set one reference against the other…
Our world is entering a chapter in which we can avoid the dichotomy between man and nature. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, certainly.

As life goes on, we accumulate experiences of space related to the material conditions and events that our human sensors detect. These we keep as memories. Also influenced by light conditions. In clear daylight I can estimate the dimensions by eye. In the dark, I am lost. I can only try to feel my way across a space, but the obstacles I encounter make the space bigger because they enlarge the time-span that I need to cross from one point to another. So duration offers a much more complex tool for measurement.


Duration is pseudo-utilitarian object, inviting the viewer to broaden their perspective of time as an absolute, and invite humble thoughts regarding the time scale of other life forms in which we stem from. Time is a flux, and humanity has chosen to measure it in relation to space – the shadow of the dial moving graciously and systematically around the Euglena reminds us of our artificial constructs, which notion is pushed further as the object emits light nighttime. We have always made a stark distinction between night and day, and








A self-contained object that makes things inclusive rather than exclusive, generate energy, light and space. When you look at this object you seem to be looking at the bigger picture. We are attempting to anticipate the object’s possible impact on the atmosphere and how it will be to live with and around it. It is a balance between nature and technology. It tells time through life and central to the object’s life is a single cellular organism: Euglena.

As organisms that go through photosynthesis they put forward the idea of a self-contained living ‘thing’ that blends with its environment and responds to the cycle of life. The object lives outside during the ‘day’ creating shapes and patterns of Euglena conglomerations over time, visible to the naked eye through the green color. The coupling of the sundial aesthetic and function with the solar energy system create an interesting and direct allegory to the nature of the Euglena. It functions similar to the living matter.

IMG_3443The 12 miniature solar cells grab the energy from the sun and store it into lithium ion rechargeable batteries to use it during nighttime. The circuit enables the powering of the light feature and therefor lights up softly during the night to keep the Euglena happy and well. Nature and technology are in osmosis and live in this spatiotemporal piece, putting forward notions of time-space relativity by creating a self- sustainable timepiece. The technical aspects where designed to be subtle, shining through the translucent Plexiglass; they evidently demonstrate their purpose without distraction.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 11.52.30 PM

Time lapse video – vimeo :: this video is a time lapse of the project shot on the rooftop of Genspace : New York City’s Community Biolab

in collaboration with Fabiola Einhorn

BioPlastics | Melanie and Roula

We experimented with the following recipe, using different proportions of ingredients for each batch

Batch 1
1 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
1 tea spoon| Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar

Batch 2
1 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
2 tea spoon | Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar
+ Added color

Batch 3
1 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
4 tea spoon | Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar

Batch 4
3 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
1 tea spoon | Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar

Batch 5
3 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
w/o | Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar

Ingredients Properties

Vinegar | Less brittle
Glycerin | Flexibility / Moldable
More Starch | More rigid
More Water | Less consistent


d house_midterm

D house is an architecture project designed and executed by FaR Architects, a super cool architecture studio I work with in Beirut.  It’s a 2000m2 residential house in located in ‘ain el kharroube’, Lebanon.


The abstract form of the building is neat and simple. It consists of 2 overlapping rectangular volumes connected to a third rectangular volume (the guest house) by a complex steel and glass structure.

The 3D printed model is an abstract miniature model of this house that serves a display to be hung on the wall in the office.

Here’s my process:Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 3.24.49 PMSince I didn’t want to import drawings from CAD and explore modeling in Maya, I made a precise sketch of the basic dimensions needed to model the 3 volumes. Pretty simple!

d house modelHowever, the steel structure connecting the two volumes was more of a challenge to model in Maya without using the original 2D drawings. I tried to do it with cylinders but it was a mess and not precise. IMG_8610

So… I went back to CAD to model the structure and added a base

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 5.25.12 PM

Notice in the design that the proportions of the volumes in relation to the steel structure is quite large which i predicted might be a problem in 3D printing. I had to scale down the model and therefore the steel structure became too thin for printing.

I also had some problems with surfaces of the the structure that needed to be closed.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 18.20.50

I decided to take out the structure and print the model without it; and try to figure out a way to build the structure with another material and attach it to the 3D printed model.

I modeled an approximate topography that holds the upper volume and puts the house in context. Here is the final screenshot of the model.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 3.45.38 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 19.15.35

Object24 model

IMG_1968 IMG_1969 IMG_1974 IMG_1975 IMG_1977

Here’s a link to all the files in dropbox


d house – midterm

I am working on a miniture (figurine like) abstract model for a house, an architecture project i worked on in Beirut, currently under construction.  (by
I am trying to be as precise as possible since i am not extruding from the original plans. I am having a little bit of trouble with the steel structure that links the main bigger volume to the guest house.

I also plan to add some detail to the top volume to show the copper facade divisions.

Here’s a screenshot of the progress

d house modelAnd here’s d house!


here are some updates of the central structure…

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 5.25.12 PM




Hello, I’m Roula. I’m in my first year MFA DT.  I’m from Beirut. I graduated 3 years ago with a BA in Architecture and Design and a Minor in Studio Arts. I worked in Product design, Interior design and Architecture since then. My interest now lies in using new media and technology in my creative work to build theoretical and aesthetic discourses around topics such as the digital self.
I have worked with different materials for 3D model making and sculpture in my unergrad. I am now interested to learn more about new materials and techniques, to go deeper in the understanding of material composition and the potential of the material in the design process. I also want to improve my prototyping skills and 3D printing. And I want to make cool things!