Maya Sorabjee


Maya Sorabjee


Tree of Life

As our bodies curve around the organs inside them, so might our homes form around an internal world that addresses our physiological and psychological needs. Some of these functions—the need to bathe or cook—might be pulled inwards by the logic of the organism, adhered to a flexing and nourishing spine. Others—the need to rest, focus, or be together—might behave more phototropically, seeking light through any crack in a dense urban fabric.

When two of these systems coincide, as in the case of an individual and a family living within one shell, the inner workings of the house must adapt. A spine of nutrients, holding within it a shared entry, light, air and the stuff of systems at various points, divides and connects the inhabitants. Their separate interiors intertwine around this central stem, a series of enclosures that branch ever upwards. The skin of the house develops last—an epidermal layer that protects and obscures the world within.

Conceptual diagrams investigating the nature of domesticity and cohabitation

Conceptual sections exploring the branching of domestic space

“As buds
            give rise by growth
                                        to fresh buds, and

            if vigorous, branch out and overtop
            on all sides many a
            feebler branch,                               so by

I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life,
which                 fills with its                   dead
                         and broken                           branches

                    the crust of the earth,

                    and covers the surface
                    with its ever-branching
                                and beautiful

Darwin, The Origin of Species (1872), 104f.

Revised plan perspectives

Exploded plan oblique depicting internal mechanical systems and domestic activity