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The Surreal Visions of Hernán Díaz Alonso / HDA-X 

Thames & Hudson (February 11, 2020)

Considered one of today’s most influential and innovative architects, in addition to his role as director of SCI-Arc, Díaz Alonso is the founding principal of HDA-X (formerly Xefirotarch), a multidisciplinary design practice based in Los Angeles. Praised for its work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments, and radical architectural explorations, HDA-X combines these disciplines to create plans for sculptures, architectural ventures, and various objects. 


Entitled The Surreal Visions of Hernán Díaz Alonso, the monograph is described as “the definitive collection of spaces, constructs, and imaginings by one of the most daring architects working today,” and encompasses more than 80 projects from HDA-X challenging the limits of human imagination, captured in vivid images. A spectacular survey of Díaz Alonso’s cutting-edge designs, including chairs, tableware, and lamps, the volume includes plans for such architectural projects as a library in Helsinki, a promenade and park in Barcelona, a theater in Bogotá, and a museum in Budapest.


The book also includes an interview with Díaz Alonso, reproduced in nine parts, illuminating his creative process, along with essays by designer and architectural theorist Joe Day, designers Marcelyn Gow and Florence Pita, Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at UCSD Benjamin H. Bratton, and lead designer at HDA-X Rachael McCall.


In his foreword to the book, Chief Design Officer at Nike John Hoke, III writes: “Bold foresight and true originality are rare. The work presented here is both a prediction and a call to action. It lives in the bright light of a new artistic dawn. In this work, we are given clarity of vision, and a bold ambition, that pushes beyond the hazy limitations of constraints. This body of work represents an architect in pursuit of the future. It is a magnetic true north of innovative and imaginative design.” 


XEFIROTARCH (Design Series 4)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006)

Since its founding in 2001, Hernán Díaz Alonso’s Los Angeles-based architectural firm, Xefirotarch, has attracted critical praise and global attention for its highly imaginative designs. Characterized by biomorphic forms that meld the organic with the supernatural, Xefirotarch’s projects reveal cinematic influences — Díaz Alonso initially considered a career as a filmmaker — and an innovative approach to integrating multipurposed spaces. The exhibition includes architectural models, digital animations, and a specially created sculptural installation entitled Sangre (Spanish for “blood”), a dramatic, undulating construction coated in patented Ferrari Red paint. This is the fourth installment of SFMOMA’s design series, devoted to showcasing emerging design talent.



Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press (April 1, 2008)

Creating projects that look a whole lot less like conventional architecture than something out of the Ridley Scott’s film Alien’ or the creative output of H.R.Giger, HDA’s architecture has stolen the imagination of a younger generation of architects around the world. Twenty two mostly unrealised works often in the form of competition entries or research projects are examined here, including; Maison Seroussi, Paris; Art Hotel, Playa Grande; U2 Tower, Dublin, and PS1 MOMA. All are extensively documented with full-colour computer models, sections and details, and accompanied by several exploratory essays.

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