“Emergomorphos” by Duha Al Nasir

Emergomorphosis is a concept that aims at the creation or restoration of urban complexity in modern cities that were stripped of their identity and texture. The process includes the implementation of an emergent approach in the fields of architecture and city planning. Eventually, this will lead to a comprehensive regeneration process of the city through the rampant rehabilitation of its components.

This project examines the possibility of an extensive regeneration process of the city of Dubai in order to restore the essence of the city and reach a form of emergent urbanism. To achieve that, the project makes use of decommissioned oil rigs and converts them into fully functional micro-cities (or districts) that serve as modules for the emergent form as well as regeneration nodes that connect to the mainland and contribute to its renewal process.


An emergent city is that of urban complexity and cultural richness.Contradictory to modernist notions that reduce the city to blank containers, this form of urbanism is oriented towards the implementation of city forms that are based primarily on actions and people, then functions. Each block contains several functions that aren’t usually associated with each other. Why? Because they are used as such by people of the city. In an emergent city, issues such as the distance from home to the workplace are resolved in that manner. The beautiful chaos of the city and its organic evolution over the years is not violently repressed by functional separation and grand schemes, but instead celebrated and tamed. The street is more than a passageway to vehicles, but an opportunity for pedestrians, vendors, and drivers to interact.

Reusing oil rigs is essential to the project because emergent cities areall about making use of what the city has to offer with all of its cultural, historical, and economic components in order to restore its essence and identity. Moreover, these structures are mobile and strategically placed which allows them to function in several different manners and offer a flexibility unavailable in static sites. To renew the city of Dubai, they can either be used each as regeneration nodes, or be connected to each other to create a network or an extension to the city. The rigs offer an aesthetic, economic, and sentimental (iconic) value to the project.