hustling my way to the top of the design world, one sketch at a time

  • The Amoebius Machine

    HS Solie
    Apr 3, '14 11:54 AM EST

    The Amoebius Machine is a project I started in my last semester of graduate school at the University of Michigan almost a year ago. It began as an experiment in representational techniques involving both digital and manual strategies converging within the same drawing. The project was started under the guidance of Professor Perry Kulper but unfortunately it went unfinished at the time as my Thesis work took precedence over both this work, and also eating, sleeping... showering.

    After graduation I slowly began to come back to the work. Each time I worked on a drawing, the project would become more and more involved until eventually I realized the work had evolved from a representational project into a full-scale architectural proposition.

    My intention here is to roll out this work slowly and over multiple posts, as it is very much a work in progress. Each post will try to build up the narrative of the work through both text and representation. In this first post I will attempt to set the stage for the work by outlining the stakes and introduce some "silent partners" who have influenced the work.


    The Amoebius Machine

    "Modern building has become so universally conditioned by optimized technology that the possibility of creating significant urban form has become extremely limited"

    - Kenneth Frampton, Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance

    These first words from Frampton's essay on Critical Regionalism were perhaps the starting point for the architectural ambitions of the project. Frampton goes on to establish his six points for combating what he refers to as the "placelessness" of the universally conditioned world. Driven by the economics behind globalization and commercialization, this universally conditioned environment is something which our society seems to be moving closer and closer too. Closer to something Italian architects in the 1960's would have hypothesized about, closer to No-Stop City. It is a future where regionalisms can be substituted for an “Endless Monument” without any resistance.


    - Images take from Superstudio


    This project proposes an alternative to this universally conditioned future through a new kind of place forming. One which does not turn away from technological advancements but instead embraces technology in an effort to create new architectures informed by, and created from, the current landscape. It is an architecture which is not bound by specific ideologies or economic conditions but rather responsive only to the conditions of the landscape surrounding it. To understand these conditions, the Amoebius Machine is introduced.

    The Amoebius Machine is a floating platform which travels across the landscape gathering information about regional typologies, environmental conditions.  programmatic needs and other tangible and intangible qualities. Through its extremities the Amoebius Machine is able to collect climate data, soil conditions, air qualities and other environmental factors. These extremities, or sensory nodes, act like exposed nerves which react to the information which is being gathered. In this way the Amoebius Machine is able to learn for the landscape to determine the optimal architecture for the location and it's regional peculiarities. By translating the data it collects the Amoebius Machine is able to both determine was is existing, but more importantly what is needed.


    These machines roam aimlessly across the landscape, generating regional profiles from the data it collects. These profiles are site specific and responsive only to the conditions of the land it surveys. Commercial and economic factors are not considered when generating these profiles and because of this there exists an opportunity to create architectural singularities which meet hyper-specific regional requirements. 





    Part 2 will expand on these ideas and also introduce how the Amoebius Machine uses this data to generate regional architectures.

    View full entry

  • dematerializedTERRITORIES: Part Two

    HS Solie
    Oct 15, '13 10:25 AM EST

    In part one of this three part series on my thesis research (which concluded last May) I gave an overview of the ambitions of the project and some of the ideas and outcomes that emerged along the way. I will use this post to talk about some of the major results of those ideas; in particular, a... View full entry

  • dematerializedTERRITORIES: Part One

    HS Solie
    Sep 24, '13 7:40 PM EST

    This is the first of a 3-part series I plan on doing that (finally) presents my thesis work, which concluded this past May. I have been planning this out for a while, however since I graduated and starting working full-time I have found it extremely hard to motivate myself  to do anything... View full entry

  • A PLOT: Taubman College Thesis Group

    HS Solie
    Aug 9, '13 6:09 PM EST

    A PLOT is one of the (9) thesis groups at Taubman College to recently complete final presentations (by recently I mean several months ago). Below is a look at some of the resulting work and investigations. A PLOT brief: As cities are strained, once familiar settings become anomalies or strangers... View full entry

  • Research Proposal

    HS Solie
    Jul 26, '13 8:39 AM EST

    Building off of my Thesis work (which i will do a blog post on soon) I recently completed a fellowship proposal that would allow me to expand on some of the core issues. Here is a look at what I submitted. “…one would have to get past the idea of urban fabric altogether and look at... View full entry

  • [En]Coding Architecture 2013 now on video

    HS Solie
    Jul 25, '13 1:23 PM EST

    Archinect, its been too long my old friend. It seems like a lifetime since I last posted a blog entry, pretty silly considering what an awesome platform this is for sharing all things designHUSTLE with the world. Well all that changes now! While a post-graduation malaise is the main culprit for... View full entry

  • Drawing Speeds with Perry Kulper

    HS Solie
    May 20, '13 5:14 PM EST

    In my last semester at Taubman College I had the privilege of taking an amazing drawing class with one of the school’s foremost experts on drawing and representation, Perry Kulper. His work has been published extensively, in addition to several posts here on archinect. For the purposes of... View full entry

  • propose[EXISTING]

    HS Solie
    Feb 24, '13 1:58 PM EST

    So my last post has induced a lot of diverse responses and opinions...which is awesome.  As a work in progress, it is great to be able to get feedback to help me clarify and/or reframe my argument. As predicted, a conversation has emerged about 'ruin porn' which unfortunately has... View full entry

  • DETROIT: from now to then

    HS Solie
    Feb 21, '13 2:20 PM EST

    As part of my thesis research into the past, present and future realities of Detroit housing, I have started to use representational devises as a means of speculation.  The current work seeks out opportunities, not in the present or future, but embedded in the past.   This current work... View full entry

  • Taxonomy Project: Thesis Readings

    HS Solie
    Jan 28, '13 12:15 PM EST

    In the course of thinking about ways to avoid working on my thesis, I came up with an idea to launch what I am calling the "Taxonomy Project."  Basically, I am trying to document the life/work/play of a thesis student, using Taubman College as a case study.   What I am trying to get at... View full entry

  • Final Review: Fall 2012

    HS Solie
    Jan 3, '13 12:37 AM EST

    A few weeks ago our studio, Apophenic Ecologies with Adam Fure and visiting professor Matias del Campo, finished up with an amazing final review.  Considering we had almost as many critics as students in the studio, it was a little intimidating.  Fortunately, each of the 3 student teams... View full entry

  • A PLOT: thesis work at Taubman College

    HS Solie
    Nov 30, '12 3:28 PM EST

    Cross-plotting: Detroit to Windsor is an exhibition by a group of Master of Architecture students at the University of Michigan. The group is formulated around a research practice that investigates the unfolding circumstances of the city through full-scale-work: making is used as a means to... View full entry

  • propositionSTUDIO: Apophenic Ecologies

    HS Solie
    Nov 13, '12 2:06 PM EST

      This semester my studio is under the supervision and guidance of Taubman College's visiting professor, Matias del Campo of SPAN (  Matias, along with Taubman College professor Adam Fure, are leading an exploration into what they call "Apophenic Ecologies"... View full entry

  • Learning from the Digital Technology Revolution

    HS Solie
    Nov 12, '12 12:09 PM EST

    What can architecture learn from the Tech Revolution Maybe nothing? Maybe everything?   I have been thinking about this post for a while and its original title was going to be, “What can architects learn from Apple” but with the recent release of Windows 8 I think my thoughts can... View full entry

  • designMANIFESTO: responding to Design Intelligence

    HS Solie
    Sep 21, '12 3:44 PM EST

    This is an exciting post for me as it will not only cover a topic that has framed most of my M.Arch education, but also because it is the first post of this blog's new format… the transition from education to profession and all the interstitial space in between.  I can think of no... View full entry

  • The un-American state of higher education in the US.

    HS Solie
    Sep 3, '12 3:29 PM EST

    DISCLAIMER: Welcome to my new blog!  I originally created this blog last year in order to provide a glimpse into the world of Taubman College at the University of Michigan and the life of a graduate student in the program.  While I thoroughly enjoyed reporting on all the... View full entry

  • Liberty Lofts: Taubman College West

    HS Solie
    Jul 13, '12 2:00 PM EST

    If you are a young, plump child with a sweet tooth then Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory is the place for you.  If you are an architect or architecture student looking to make moves, head to Taubman College's newest addition, Liberty Lofts. Liberty Lofts is located on the west side of Ann... View full entry

  • Final Table Design_Architecture of Objects 2012

    HS Solie
    May 7, '12 5:41 PM EST

    In my last post I showcased some of the work done this semester in my "Architecture of Objects" course led by Professor Shaun Jackson.  I am sure everyone who checked it out would agree there were some really awesome lights and furniture pieces in this year's showcase.  This post will... View full entry

  • The Architecture of Objects

    HS Solie
    May 2, '12 12:31 PM EST

    Weeeee Diiiiiid it!!!!! Studio finals are over and I have emerged from my studio cocoon only to realize that posting on Archinect is only one of the many things that has taken a backseat to school in recent weeks.  In an attempt to make up for lost time I am preparing a full on blitzkrieg of... View full entry

  • Theories on Architecture

    HS Solie
    Apr 10, '12 3:13 PM EST

    Over the course of the semester I have been taking a course on Architecture Theory with one of Taubman College's foremost Theorists, Professor Amy Kulper (  It is safe to say that this course has blown my mind and has given me a lot to think about as I prepare for... View full entry

  • Taubman College Externship Program Highlights 2012

    HS Solie
    Mar 23, '12 6:03 PM EST

    The Spring Break Externship Program here at Taubman College ( is one of the best resources for the students at the school.  Basically, it is a week-long, unpaid internship program that places current students at a firm in the location of their choice (almost... View full entry

  • Construction Site Tour: Broad Museum by Zaha Hadid

    HS Solie
    Mar 21, '12 12:32 PM EST

    In a rare break of the studio grind our studio had the chance this week to tour the new Broad Museum by Zaha Hadid, currently in construction on the MSU campus in East Lansing, MI.  A reward from our professors for going on 2+ months of no sleep.  A less critical view would be that our... View full entry

  • Vertical Cities studio: Schematic Design Review

    HS Solie
    Feb 26, '12 5:23 PM EST

    Spring Break 2012... whoohoo!!!!   I think spring break in graduate school serves a slightly different purpose than in undergrad.  For undergrads it is usually a time to cut loose and get after it.  However, for graduate students, when spring break rolls around their is only one... View full entry

  • A look back at M.Arch, year 1

    HS Solie
    Feb 15, '12 4:56 PM EST

    I feel guilty because I have not blogged in about two weeks.  But here's why...   Over the past several weeks I have been doing what is usually the most enjoyable/dreadful/nervous/hilarious (depending on how you look at it) thing any student can do while in school...MAKE A NEW... View full entry

  • design a city in 4 days....GO!

    HS Solie
    Jan 26, '12 1:19 PM EST

    This week at Taubman College marked the 2nd iteration of a new pilot program at the school, Masterclass or Expert in the studio.  I am sure all of my dedicated and loyal readers will remember my post from our Alexander d'Hooghe charrette last semester, but for those you didn't read it (hard... View full entry

  • Research Through Making 2012

    HS Solie
    Jan 22, '12 11:06 PM EST

    This past weekend TCAUP was home to both Whither Architecture: A symposium intended on investigating "installations" as a framework for architecture; and the presentation and gallery opening of this years' Research Through Making projects.  Needless to say, it was a very exciting weekend... View full entry

  • STUDIO BIG BOX. the finale (fall 2011 recap)

    HS Solie
    Jan 15, '12 11:56 AM EST

    "Hey hsolie! We noticed you haven't updated your blog "The Michigan Difference" in a while.   Do you have something new to say? Click here post a new entry. Are you totally done with this blog? Click here to archive your blog (select the "Archive... View full entry

  • A closer look at Representation 516

    HS Solie
    Dec 13, '11 4:38 PM EST

    as promising in my last post, here is a closer look at my individual section's projects for our Representation Studio here at TCAUP...   Our student section, lead by professor Tsz Yan Ng (, was focused on creating full scale horizontal surfaces using digital technology... View full entry

  • Representation Studio presentations

    HS Solie
    Dec 7, '11 4:46 PM EST

    Today was the final day and showcase of our Representation Studio, a 2nd year grad student wide course focused on representation and its various methods and techniques.   from the syllabus... "Here in Taubman College, the discipline and program of Architecture are at a crossroads with regard... View full entry

  • Masterclass, Taubman College

    HS Solie
    Nov 10, '11 3:47 PM EST

    An Architecture of the Territory That was the title of a recently completed pilot program at TCAUP.  The program is tentatively called "Visiting Experts" and consisted of an intensive week-long workshop effort lead by an outside guest and involving, at least this time around, the entire 2nd... View full entry

  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

I am a graduate student and an entrepreneur at the University of Michigan Taubman College where my studies are focused on leveraging design ideas across multiple scales and platforms. Meeting at the intersection between design, tectonics and fabrication, I am continually exploring how a design idea can navigate complex material and production systems and evolve into fully realized architectural artifacts.

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Recent Entries