Posted by: Barrak Al-Babtain | June 9, 2009

Amenah Benjasem

We here at re:kuwait are proud to introduce our newest contributor, Amenah Benjasem. Amenah is a Kuwaiti architect and founder of the charity organization By Virtue. Having completed a B.Arch at the American University of Sharjah, she has worked for Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Amenah will be focused on parametric urbanism with special attention towards MEL scripting and digital programming.


The field of scripting has seen an explosion of interest in architectural and urban circles as a result of advances in digital fabrication and rapid prototyping. The means now exist for a machine to physically build anything you can visualize on a computer.


MEL Scripting example:

for ($i = 0; $i< 30; $i++) {
for ($j = 1; $j<16; $j++) {
$rx = rand(-3, 2);
$rz = rand(-4,4);
////for change in length of brick
int $l;
if ($i < 10) {
$l = $i ;
} else if ($i >= 10) {
$l = ($l-1);
polyCube -w 4 -d 1 -h 1; //for brick length variation, change -w “4” to “$l”;
move $rx 0 $rz;
select -all ;
rotate 0 10deg 0;
move -r 0 1 0;


The preceding MEL (Maya Embedded Language) script will produce a variation of the image shown above. The variables and parameters can be manipulated to produce a digital form that is parametrically generated; meaning that it was created using a set of rules and not each cube being individually organized into such a form. The designer simply sets the rules of the game, the script, and the computer does the calculation and visualization.


There are some wonderful examples of scripting on her blog Mayation, and we look forward to her contributions to re:kuwait in the future. What we can expect to see from her is an exploration of scripting and a digital expression of urban variables and parameters of Kuwait City.




  1. Great stuff..!

    I was working in London with Paul Coates (an ex-partner, from their time at the AA, of John Frazer) one of the old ‘Gurus’ of architectural scripting, and Christian Derix, who has taken on the mantle and made it his own (he currently teaches scripting at the AVA at UEL and Vienna, whilst running the related R & D department at Aedas)…

    At some stage we should put our ‘wise-heads’ together and see how, and what, we could come up with locally that utilizes relevant know-how…


  2. Beautiful!

  3. nice visualization and welcome to ameena. we are waiting for more.. my best wishes.

  4. Thanks Tom. It would be great to have some local collaboration, I bet there are many hidden talents out there.
    Thanks Zaydoun and Ostath.


  5. welcome on board Amna. great work.

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