A Catalog of Ideas

Designed by Aershop. Est. 2009

Architecture · Environment · Research


Connecting the pulses of our built environments with the rhythms of our planet.


Darina Zlateva


Darina has directed projects globally––at scales that span the civic, institutional, and residential. She is Senior Associate Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox, where she is senior designer for One Vanderbilt Place in Manhattan's Midtown.

She unpacks the contemporary city—its cultures, histories, networks, organizations and their stories—to develop projects that bridge gaps between the many 'ways of seeing'.

Darina has devoted part of her time to teaching—notably, at the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Boston Architectural College.

She received her Masters in Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and her BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Dartmouth College.

Takuma Ono


Takuma moves fluidly between various modes of thinking and softwares. His designs of large and small scale urban, landscape and architectural spaces emerge from a place of aesthetic, philosophic, scientific, and utilitarian thinking while his visual communication strategies are often informed by emotion-based, time-sensitive natures.

He has instructed Urban Systems at the Boston Architectural College, Spitzer School of Architecture, and Rhode Island School of Design.

He received his Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and his BS in Microbiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Takuma for Kerb 21: Uncharted Territories

 Kerb21 uncharted territories

Aershop for Environmental Practice Journal

► Dredging: an expanded view


Dredge Economies

Hell Gate Estuary

Hydrogenic City

Interborough Networks

Los Agritopia

Natural History Museum

Harvard GSD

Matrix of IntenCities

Maribor, Slovenia

Taichung Gateway

Environmental Practice

Harvard Design 33

Praxis 13

Boston Architectural College

National Building Museum

Topos 71

GSD Exhibition

BAC Exhibition

Rhode Island School of Design

City College New York

Gardner Museum

Museum of the City of New York

Dredge Economies

While there is an understanding that today’s patterns of consuming·producing·wasting are unsustainable, many networked societies founded on merchant shipping (an enabler of resource allocation) rely upon it for elevating and sustaining its 'standard of living'. When perceived and treated as being independent of larger ecosystems, merchant shipping patterns (and related sea-floor dredging) distort and fracture a range of other interrelated patterns—thereby dwindling the resilient properties of our commons.

Dredge Economies takes Boston as a case study for imagining a more connected future—one that re-establishes relationships between global and local processes. By mapping the city's rich legacy of trade routes, underwater currents, and projected infrastructure developments, Dredge Economies seeks to build a paradigm for addressing these shared dilemmas.


Assisted by Ailyn Mendoza and Adam E. Anderson



This research was made possible by the Maeder-York Family Fellowship in Landscape Studies at the

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The artist in residence fellowship, offered by the ISG Museum in Boston, recognizes emerging design talent across disciplines that engage in experimentation and research as it pertains to landscape. Biannually, a distinguished committee selects a single individual who has demonstrated high achievement in design.


Tall Ships in Boston Harbor, 1992 Creator: Peter H. Dreyer

NASA image by Jesse Allen, using data provided by LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response.


Why? What are the dilemmas? How are they related?

MS Zaandam. CC BY-SA3.0



Is it a 'living' process? What are the effects of time and repetition?

What are the processes? Feedbacks?

What are the quantities/qualities? Why does it matter

What are the goals? What are the scales? How do they connect?

 Why take risks? What are the consequences? What's important?

What are the patterns? How are they related?

Author: Paul Farmer. CC BY-SA2.0


Form informs Process. Process informs Form.

Culture informs Form. Form informs Culture.

Time informs Lifecycle.

Technocentrism < Dredge Economies > msirtnecocE


Hell Gate Estuary

An Ecological Use for Dredged Material

The waterfront's commercial function has grown at the expense of its natural habitat. As Manhattan's East River shoreline became more industrial, the building of piers, wharves, roads, and the dredging of the river decimated the marshes and wildlife along its banks. Aershop's design proposal, which addresses the area between 90th and 103rd Streets, seeks to reconcile the relationship between natural systems and the infrastructural requirements needed to sustain the city's commercial activities.


Second Prize


► Re-imagining The Waterfront
Open International Competition


This open international competition received over 90 submissions representing 24 countries. The award winning projects were on display at the Museum of the City of New York from June 6 through October 28, 2012.



Author: U.S. A.C.E. CC BY-SA2.0

Author: Paul Farmer. CC BY-SA2.0

Today, the port of New York and New Jersey, the third largest container port in the nation, dredges 1-2 million cubic yards of sediment a year to maintain the deep navigational channels required for the ultra-large container ships.

The proposal finds a new use for this dredged material, transferring it to Hell Gate for the purpose of building a landscape that re-establishes a salt water estuary. Solidified concrete-dredge monomers are aggregated in ways that mimic the environmental conditions required for growing a marshland along this stretch of the waterfront. The design supports the regeneration of aquatic habitats and creates spaces for people to relax, fish, kayak, and participate in other waterfront activities. In this design, industry and nature are no longer in opposition, but rather interdependent--each grows with the other.


The island of Manhattan, Jersey City, Newark Bay, and areas of the New York / New Jersey Port seen from aboard a plane in July, 2005. Author: Maureen.  CC BY-SA2.0


Author: Fritz Geller-Grimm CC ASA-2.5G


Hydrogenic City

Hydrogenic City addresses the impacts of climate change and depleting water supplies in Los Angeles with a responsive and scalable solution: a decentralized network of environmentally sensitive and aesthetically compelling wastewater reclamation centers.

Each reclamation center provides a sustainable water source to the city and the distributed design scales naturally. The mechanistic infrastructure of waterworks is transformed into an interactive and sensory series of public nodes. As mist platforms, solar-encased water tanks, urban beaches, aquatic parking lots, reflecting pools and channels, water-based landscapes become organizational moments for community building.


Finalist, Professional Category



Open International Competition
► WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture

Organized by

► UCLA's City Lab


by Takuma Ono and Darina Zlateva of Aershop

Assisted by: Helen Han, Matt Storus, Erin Kasimow, and Ryan Leidner


Dust blowing in the bed of Owens Lake in 2008. by Richard Ellis.  CC BY-SA 3.0

"Adaptations to climate change would make better use of existing water resources through integrated water resources management."

Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A Federal Perspective, 2009. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey


In the United States, many of the fastest growing cities are located in the arid Southwest. Traditional supply from the Sierra Nevada and Colorado River is vulnerable to warming loss. The city of Los Angeles imports as much as 85% of its water from these basins and was chosen as the pilot location.


Mule teams of up to 52 animals pulled the pipes over the mountains and through the desert. Public Domain.

Spectators wait for the first water swelling down the open part of the aqueduct. Public Domain.

Massive pipes carry water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles. 1912. Public Domain.

The remains of Owens River at Bishop Tuff. by Urban~commonswiki. CC BY-SA 3.0

Dean's Wall Exhibition, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2009 (Dean Mohsen Mostafavi)

Dean's Wall Exhibition, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2009 (Dean Mohsen Mostafavi)


Dean's Wall Exhibition, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2009 (Dean Mohsen Mostafavi)


WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture

WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture began as an open design competition seeking innovative, implementable proposals that place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding our cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. The competition, organized by UCLA's cityLAB, was inspired by the Depression-era Works Projects Administration and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Given the $150 billion dedicated to infrastructure–the largest investment in public works in the United States since the 1950s–designers were asked to envision a new legacy of publicly-supported infrastructure, projects that explore the value of infrastructure not only as an engineering endeavor but as a robust design opportunity to strengthen communities and revitalize cities. Nearly two hundred teams from 13 countries and 25 US states entered the professional competition. The six final proposals represent some of today's most progressive plans for transforming existing urban infrastructure with an emphasis on better public spaces, more conscientious energy and water use, and turning detriments into resources.

The Competition Jury, chaired by Stan Allen, Stan Allen Architect, Dean, School of Architecture, Princeton University, included international figures in architecture, landscape architecture and allied design.


Taichung Gateway Park City




A Catalog of Ideas

Designed by Aershop. Est. 2009

Architecture · Environment · Research

Table of contents


◦ Aershop/People/Projects

At Aershop, we examine relationships between many types of patterns in our effort to identify and develop novel combinations of forms, materials, policies, and technologies that aptly confront and engage known dilemmas.

In our imagined scenarios, innovative technologies are perceived as being integral to adapting the international DNA to the ever-accelerating pace of change. Aershop's mission: To Cultivate Adaptive Technologies For Tomorrow, reflects this point of view.