In this great machine, where the rain and soil waters are drained, treated and reused, a complex ecosystem is formed within the local. This ecosystem is a multifunctional universe made of several interconnected machines. It’s a zone of multiplicity, where meanings and actions float between the unsaid, resulting in dynamic entities.
In the forests of Meghalaya, India, the War-Khasis people have used the growth during the rainy season to their advantage. They guide the roots of an abundant species of rubber tree in order to create these living organic bridges. These are so sturdy that they can support the weight of up to fifty people . Because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time – and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over five hundred years old. The root bridges, some of spanning over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional. The time is not that far off from a getting a building built today.
For the logistics behind construction to make a rubber tree’s roots grow in the right direction, the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems. Technically, the roots could be guided to any direction, say even to become a dwelling.
The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight out. When they reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time, a sturdy, living bridge is produced.
This is quite similar to the FAB Tree HAB by Terreform. Instead of using the betel nut trucks, they propose to use prefabricated Computer Numeric Controlled cut reusable scaffolds. Imagine if Levittown was grown instead of built?
A solar powered timelapes camera is documenting the growth and adventures throughout the summer. Every month they have also been releasing a short as well.
With the new passing of H2749 and CODEX, this might be our only option one day. This sneaky bill which Obama is behind (wtf? when Michelle has a garden at the white house??!Was that all a front?) Her garden is pretty much illegal unless she can dish out $500 dollars. My garden is as well. So would be TRUCK FARM. (more on this bill in its own blog)
Possible we will revert to what I saw when I went to visit my family in Maierato, Italy. Trucks would come around selling goods. There was a mattress truck, egg truck, you name it truck. There was also a boy going around with a cart and a goat selling FRESH FROM THE GOAT goats milk and cheese. Next we will have the village green back.
I love the part about the photoshopping green/grass to make it "sustainable."
John Thackara is the director of Doors of Perception. This is the talk that he gave at LiftFrance09. This talk points in on the the role of design in finding solutions to the ecological crisis. Are you in the Future business? Or the business of now? He invites the audience to avoid terms such as "future" or "sustainable" as they maintain a certain distance to the problem we face. The important point is that the resources to be put in place already exist and that they might not necessitates complex technological developments. Though I would disagree to a degree about the technological developments not being necessary I do believe everything we need is already at our finger tips. The waste in the system is not just noise but energy. But the point is how you TWEAK the waste/noise to be back into the system, be it living walls or energy retrieval devices.
This is very similar to the eco-energy-generating-dance floor that is in England. The floor harnesses power from the pounding of clubbers’ feet and convert it into electricity. The harder you party the more you WORK, from the physics sense. (Think of Ciara's new song work.)
The club is quite pricey at a £10 entry fee but those customers who can prove they travelled there by
foot, bicycle or public transport will be allowed in free. That dance floor could be your bed room floor! Or imagine some sleazy motel powering its blinking sign from the people getting it on inside... It's just recycling the energy.
Here are some of my favorite ones so far. He had said something about John Thackara as well.
If we all talk about "the future," it removes us from being responsible for what we do today -- we trample the world as it exists now!
Two human beings: a sick person and a doctor. What is the lightest, smartest and quickest way to connect them to each other?
Monumento in Brasil: "No more 'stuff' is needed! We have favelas here and four thousand empty office buildings."
Bio®ebo (O) T
“an architecture of moods”
State of advance (02) of the research which will be made public in January 2010, at the Laboratory - Paris.
In the continuation of Ive heard butt presented to the MAM in 2005, this second opus attempts more precisely to work out the computational, mathematical procedures and robotics with collaborations of François Jouve, Marc Fornes and Stephan Henrich. The urban biostructure thus generated remains contingent with protocols of indeterminations, fact of successive aggregations which Re-articulate the bond between the individual and the collective, but not only.
It will be the occasion to question this turbid zone ''of the emission and the collecting of the désirs' ', by the nonintrusive collection of signals neuropsychological and to seize moods of the future purchasers like as many generative inputs of the diversity and the heterogeneity of livable morphologies.
François Roche is member of R&Sie (N), limited liability company of architecture founded with Stéphanie Lavaux in 1993. He is of more teaching in ''the advanced studio' 'of Columbia University Gsapp/New York and of Angewangde School/Vienna in Austria.
François Roche, through the limited liability company was invited to six recoveries with the Biennale de Venise, took part in more than one score of international exhibitions and gave more than one hundred of conferences abroad. In France, this production structure and of research asserts a statute of native immigrant."
Based on a month long collaboration with the sixth grade class of struggling middle school with low performance statistics in a rough urban neighborhood, this design presents the collective predictions and prescribes suggestions for a better learning environment, directly from those who hunger for the betterment of their future. The classroom of the future needs to be an environment which perpetuates active symbiosis; a place where students are teachers, teachers are students, the space is a teacher, and the space is a learner. Spaces need to be smarter as the students will teach the classroom how to better appropriate itself to them. Without a doubt, technology needs to be more efficiently infused with the learning process.
Let's start with the immediate. Let's start with the immediate experience. In our design, the XO2 Laptop by One Laptop Per Child is available to each student in the class. Working with their software, Sugar, as well as Windows, the students are able to integrate themselves with the lesson plans via the technology.Being a few inches away from the material as it appears on the screen, instead of squinting from the back of a classroom to read the chalk board, students can remain engaged and intellectually stimulated throughout the lesson while having the liberty to posit their own contributions to the lesson through the same technology. This also cuts down on the costs and waste of paper handouts. Students can turn in there homework electronically to maximize efficiency. The laptops will all be connected to a live feed or chat room set up that is displayed on a Smart Board at the main focal space of the room where their work can be displayed instantly to each other, connecting each student in the classroom and unifying them in the material while promoting intellectual diversity by exposing them to the various opinions of their peers. The children will also have ear phones, allowing them to listen in when podcasts are integrated into the curriculum. Wireless Internet is a consistent and necessary amenity for the students. By maximizing the educational potential of these existing conditions, teachers can simultaneously collaborate with classes around the world and provide the opportunity for students to discus and learn about other cultures first hand from fellow students around the world. If the laptops are unavailable, the integration of cell phones and social networking services such as Twitter or Ning can also introduced into the curriculum to act in a similar capacity. With the cell phone, the student can text message their answers or questions to display them at the front of the room. If a Smart Board is out of the budget, a projector attached to the teacher's laptop can fill its role. This promotes group learning from everyday actions that an educator might find to be traditional distractions. If the student is apt to text messaging about social happenings, then they would also be apt to text message about their answer to a question posed the board. This promotes healthy intellectual discourse and does not deter students from learning but rather encourages the use of everyday, attainable technology in their learning environment in a similar capacity to the technology's use in the professional world of which these students hope to one day be productive members. Due to the nomadic nature of laptops and other hand held communication devices, the classroom lends itself as a flux of striated and smooth spaces. All spaces are activated by the inhabitant's (students' and or teacher's) presence and are re-arrangeable and modular.
The space attempts to appeal to all types of learners: the visual, auditory, kinesthetic. There is a spectrum of place where the students learn, relaxed space to rigid space. Relaxed space has beanbag chairs or lightweight couches that can be moved for group or individual work. This area, or the break out space, is a place where students can feel at home in the classroom. The beanbag chairs are constructed out of recycled materials as are most of the objects in the space. If local materials are more economical and sustainable, they will be employed into the classroom. The break out space is also acoustically insulated so that students can come and study and read to stimulate themselves and to erase the stigma of "boredom" in the classroom. Boredom is a frequent complaint of students in the classroom. From existing in a media overload culture, it is hard for most to concentrate without multiple stimuli. The students are not necessarily afflicted with Attention Deficiency but instead simply require multiple stimuli to concentrate, absorb, and question the information they are intellectually ingesting. Carpet from recycled materials defines the space as well as brings a sense of homeyness to it, as well as a hearth or fireplace for the students to congregate around. A small satellite library with physical books chosen by the students and access to digital libraries and A Smart Table will also help to amalgamate the intellectual and informal cues of the space. The rigid space is similar to a traditional classroom setup with desks and chairs yet the desks are table units with at least two students to a unit. Each student has a partner to collaborate with throughout the term. The tables can then be combined to make a classroom in the round for better discussions or even larger groups. Group learning encourages participation for living in a global society with the understanding that multiple perceptions and actions affect others. An area for recycling and sustainable energies in action encourages students to learn and live with an ecological conscious. So far all of the above can easily be included in a retrofitting project at an existing school.
The classroom needs to be integrated with natural elements to inspire the students with real life as well as digital influences. Opening to a classroom-specific outdoor space with access to an edible garden or edible green wall as a product of the space allowance will add to the curriculum and nutrition of the students. The incorporation of a water element with living fish that are the responsibility of the students lends itself to hands on science explorations and lessons. For the truly ambitious school that is dealing with overcrowding, organic and living construction can alleviate the use of the "temporary classroom." By using controlled cultured plant growth, the skin of the classroom is living and changing. The structure of this growth of living materials such as native or non-invasive trees or shrubbery uses a prefabricated system to direct its form. The possibility of this plant as a nutrient supplier, aka an apple or a fig tree, offers healthier strategies for the student suggested snack and soda machines. A sitting area outside with a natural moss or grass lends itself as the setting of an outdoor classroom. Composting and water harvesting are also part of the outdoor curriculum. The school, if not the classroom itself, will obtain part of its energy from solar panels and insulate itself with inhabitable green roofs.
As per request of the students, the classroom should have direct access to the restrooms with efficient Grey water toilets. The main reason for this was that other students use their opportunity to go to the restroom to skip class and socialize. With this program shift of restrooms reintroduced into the classroom program, the area of the hallway outside the classroom is not longer just a through space and can then be augmented with other small niches for breakaway and socializing areas. Socialization does not have to be frowned upon and should be thought as part of the curriculum. Thus socializing will not be seen as a distraction from learning but a method of learning itself. Another important factor is the introduction of teacher-specific space. At the end of the day, the teacher is the one encouraging and inspiring the students to try harder. Teachers also deserve better spaces and their own breakout rooms and an inviting teacher lounge that is not just a dark room with few chairs and a microwave. An overall design motive is to have as much daylight as possible with out over heating the space. Larger windows and glass garage doors can be added to existing walls. When applicable, light wells to the sky similar to James Turrell's Sky Space pieces can leak sunlight from above. Shading and water protection is also provided. Other than day lighting there are low hanging LED lights equipped with proximity sensors so that when a student is near or below it will turn on.
All in all, the classroom of the future should be comfortable and a place that is more attractive and safe than the streets. School can be a fantastical place where the walls are filled with living plants instead of bars. They have the power to provoke the minds of the students and cultivate their ideas, but only if the space is inviting and receptive to creativity and cooperation. The space has to allow for itself to be occupied or claimed by that group of students and reclaimed by the next. The classroom cannot deny its previous history by being sterile but can celebrate learning as a compilation. The students requested clean spaces but clean does not have to mean sterile. Due to the context of the urban school, a graffiti wall should be placed in each classroom where students have permission to tag on designated areas. Graffiti will be seen as art and not as an act of vandalism. Thus, the classroom needs to reflect the community in which it exists while creating an intellectually stimulating and safe community within itself.
LOST IN PARIS
It s the story of an urban witch living behind a rear windows designed as a duck cabana. As alchemist, she feeds the plant with drop by drop hydroponics system watering liquid substances coming from the bacterian chemical preparation in 200 beakers disseminated in the ferns surfaces.The neighborhood is both attracted by the green aspect and repulsed by the brewage and the process to produce it.
The Incredible Edible House was designed by LA-based Rios Clementi Hale Studios. This is a thorough design for a concept home. The Edible House is constructed out of three prefab containers stacked on top of one another. The mixture of living and prefab is a fantastic combo bringing living home aspects to an attainable realm.
This house is stacked with vertical axis wind turbines mounted along the roof placed in front of an evaporative cooling reservoir. The energy production and cooling system are integrated into the house, reducing energy usage dramatically. This is what one could call a dry metabolism, self sustaining itself. Of course, the house comes with a photovoltaic awning for energy production and shading as well as adjustable doors on the sides of the house for natural cross ventilation.
The hydroponic skin covering the living quarters with a multitude of plant, vegetables and fruits starts to creep towards a wet metabolism. The living wall on the outside of the house reduces heat gain to the house as well as nourishment for the people inside.
This is close to the Edible Estates from Fritz Haeg.
Her Urban Space Station project is quite remarkable. Cesar Harada worked on this as well. (He's just amazing.) This portable piece of architecture is intended to improve the quality of air in the surroundings. It sits on the roof and filters air, grows food and re-uses organic waste for inhabitants. Very Inhabitable Organism! It's goal is to improve the health of people around it as well as tidy up our environment. A conscious receptacle of wastes that transforms them to food per say. This is a light weight answer to heavy construction green roofs, not to deter any one from using them. If the urban space station was packaged right , it could be the next big hit from IKEA or any other vernacular store where people could feel apt and capable to application of them. You too can have one on your roof!
Theo Jansen has created these beautiful walking beach animals. They are aware of their place in space and their environment. His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. New robots are now modeled with such joinery. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine’s direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck.
The fact that they are self powered is a kick in the pants to why more buildings can't be that way. Yes, we have integrated wind and sun more but really it is not an everyday occurrence. These sand beasts that Jansen has made are low tech and could be reproduced. Imaging if you lived inside of one of these beasts, and not only was the wind powering the "animal" and what ever else you plugged into it but you with your movements were also attributing to its energy?
Would that then be the inhabitable organism?
Another great sea addendum is a recent project by Bios Design Collective. This project designed by Charles Lee. He produced this model of a sealife inspired boat dock. He incorporated the idea of communal gathering spaces in boat communities where trade and work can be done before retreating to the privacy of your quarters. If there was farming involved, it would be more similar to the Harada's project.
Acconci Studio designed in Korea a performing arts center for a floodable island. This project relates due to its capability to adapt and change. Some words from Acconci::
DROWNED WORLD. The floodable base of the island is a landscape of no-landscape. It’s other-worldly but not untouchable; it’s usable, walkable – you walk in and out of craters and crevices, you sit inside the craters…
HOVERING WORLD. The Performing Arts Center proper is rotated on the floodable base of the island; it’s cantilevered off the base, it escapes floods, it hovers above the water like a spacecraft.
TUBE-TO-TUBE, VEIN-TO-VEIN. The skin is sucked into the body of the spaceship to make an access. The access tube is sucked in to make a circulation-tube; one tube is sucked in to make another, the tubes take you up and down and across the spaceship, as if through the circulation-systems of the body.
BLOWING BALLOONS. The skin of a circulation-tube is sucked in, stretched out, to make an opera house, concert halls, restaurants…
STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE. The space in-between the programmed spaces is landscape, interior landscape: it’s a jungle. You stop off here on your way to a theater; you enter on different levels, it’s as if you’re floating through the jungle.
AN INSIDE OF OUTSIDE. The perforated surface of the spaceship lets sunlight in, into the jungle. It rains and snows inside the jungle.
COMING IN OUT OF THE WATER. If you don’t want to walk or drive across the bridge, you can come to the island by boat; you dock your boat in a crater. The largest craters are occupied: they’re filled with transparent capsules, that function as hotel rooms.
GOING OUT INTO THE WATER. The hotel capsules are tethered to the craters on pistons; when the river floods, the hotel capsules float.
Who is ready to take this out to sea?
At MIT, a team led by Angela Belcher has genetically engineered viruses to excrete certain proteins that react with chemicals introduced to the environment to create complicated structures much like life forms. The viruses are genetically programmed to first grow the iron phosphate battery electrode material, then pick up an individual or bundle of carbon nanotubes that then wire the electrode for fast energy transfer. The battery created is only big enough to power a calculator but the same technique could be used to make batteries for cars, or maybe even ones home or at least plug in appliances.
The recipe for this energy is simple:: all you need is the virus (easily multiplied exponentially in a lab) and the raw materials. Now, it's not available at your local Ikea just yet. The batteries being produced are not at the standard of traditionally designed nanotech batteries due to their shorter cycle before they start to loose charge. I say give the team at MIT a few months and it should be up and running.
Unfortunately, the batteries being produced are not up to the standards of traditionally designed nanotech batteries. They can only go through about 100 cycles (vs. more than 1000 for today's batteries) before starting to lose their charge. Of course, the team is confident that they can direct the viruses more effectively and increase that number significantly.
Genomatica, as other various green companies, is a company that has devised organisms that can produce chemicals like methyl ethyl ketone which can be used as a way to replace energy-intensive processes like cooking chemicals at high temperatures to produce other compounds or noxious, fossil fuel based substances. Genomatica also makes bugs that produce plastic.
Now I am still waiting for them to teach cancer to be a building material. Maybe a field trip is in order.
Mouna Andraos worked on the Public Farm Installation Work AC did for PS1 last year. She is a designer and artist working on interactive objects and installations as well as in web, electronics and video. Recently she was a R&D fellow at Eyebeam's OpenLab where she researched the possibilities of open source and sustainable design.(wink) She's also been researching the intersection of established crafts and emerging technologies as a means to generate innovation. Lo tech Hi tech if you will. I appreciate the analogue digestions of technology.
Francesca Birks is an Analyst within London’s Foresight, Innovation & Incubation (FII) group at Arup, where she leads demographics research. This group identifies and researches emerging global trends which will have an impact on the built environment. She is also a researcher for Arup’s Drivers of Change initiative. She doesn't look at just the numbers but the stories of the demographic research behind the situations and the environments. She's pretty much studying the future.
By living in cities we have an operating system already inlaid. How do we hack the city? Is graffiti a hack?
Choe U Ram is an amazing artist from South Korea. He has a deep understanding of robotics and creates these organic like structures that "live" autonomously almost. His show entitled Anima Machines was at the SCAI The Bathhouse gallery in Japan. Anima means soul in Latin. These things definitely have a life of their own. One of the best part of his work is that he treats these sculptures as specimens and gives them scientific names as well. This beautiful specimen is Una Lumino, 2008
Scientfic Name : Anmopispl avearium cirripedia URAM
The materials are Metallic material, machinery, metal-halide lamp, and of course electronic devices. Here is the description from U Ram's website:: According to a recent report from United Research of Anima Machine- U.R.A.M,
a brand new species of mechanized sentient creatures has been discovered
operating within communities.Said to exhibit sophisticated and uniform behavioral patterns, this new species has been observed communicating actively with each other in colonies not unlike those of bees and ants.
Communities of these species gather and collect to form a giant mass of pulsing, breathing light, where they exchange information about where to find city energy, their main source of sustenance. Despite the inexistence of leaders or orders due to lack of command system, they seem to operate through interactive communication. When the lump with congregated independent living entities shines brilliantly, larvae swim in the air towards it and attach themselves.In addition, their eggs and larvae are reported to generate light by themselves. This living entity also emits redundant energy where city energy is necessary through communication by means of light. When looked down from a night plane, the city lights seem as if they are breathing,
and some are actually the scenes of these living entities’ interactive communication. Although these living entities are not easy to be distinguished from city lights due to darkness and distance, observations are occasionally made on their swimming act in search of greater community to adhere to.
This living entity has the form and movement the same as that of sea acorn (barnacle), which collects city energy in the air by moving their hard mouth.
They often attach themselves on some surfaces in factory machinery rooms, basements of old buildings and colorful neon signs within places with high human population density. It has been reported that the discovery of mechanical living entity community in the form of a giant bee hive is the first in history.
I love it how he talks about energy as well. mmmm sounds familiar....
Or for a bigger stretch, what if we could pay for things with pee one day? It would be more of a barter system, but if we can sell our eggs and organs, why not our potential energies? I mean the dollar isn't worth the paper its printed on most days now so .. how bout something that's more "physical"? ENERGY IS THE ANSWER.
Adam Greenfield wrote about the everywhere. This Sixth Sense is the next next of the iphone minus the calling. This is like the yellow arrow project but to a more seamless level. Philip K. Dick, can you hear us? Mmm may be I was on the right meme when I made this stop animation...
Four the past four years, Zach has been involved with BICAS in Tuscon, AZ. BICAS (Bicycle InterComunity Action and Salvage) is a cooperatively-run non-profit Community Center that through bicycle advocacy and recycling bikes, promotes education, art and a healthy sustainable environment. In conjunction, it provides services and opportunity for those in need.
The emergence of places like BICAS has occurred relatively recently. 10 years ago only one or two such projects existed. For a little history, BICAS itself was created in 1989 with a different mission than bikes. It was to help the homeless and originally called Bootstraps to Share, operating out of someone's garage. In 1994, Bootstraps to Share organizers decided to focus on what the group did best encourage people to ride bicycles. Thus, BICAS was born. BICAS is one of the country's oldest bicycle co-ops, along with Boston's Bikes Not Bombs and New York's Time's Up. It is only appropriate that Zach started his journey there. Now almost every major city some type of collectively run community bike space. Many of these groups have organized a network and meet at a national gathering to discuss their tactics, success stories, and challenges. All across the country, community bike shops have become a powerful resource, impacting all who come in contact with them.
I would even go to say that they have become a staple in our generations society. I almost expect there to be a bike co-op in every city because I grew up with one as well. (shout out to free ride!) It's weird that that's what I assume. Fortunately, every city I've gone to in the US there's been one. Right after I moved to LA (like that week) I found a bike on craigslist and brought it to the Bicycle Kitchen. It just happen to be Bitchen Kitchen, the ladies night. I didn't know any one in LA and it was so welcoming! And re-affirming to be able to be fixing my bike in a strange new place.
Bicycle co-ops/collectives are the actualization of strong ideas. This once viewed as a sub-culture occurrence has blossomed into a current and appreciated amenity of the city and culture of its own. Zach's goal with this book is to bring attention to the bicycle co-ops and collectives and give this new and promising movement the recognition that it deserves. This next part is a direct quote (I've been paraphrasing thus far) but its too beautiful not to say it as it::"Thus far, there are many people who are involved in such endeavors, and countless others whom I believe could benefit from the knowledge that there is a practical and viable alternative out there. As individuals and communities, we can empower each other to reject those forces in the world that hold us down and to replace them with something much better. Through photo documentation, interviews and film [Zach] will be offering a glimpse into an alternative that is flourishing. "
It brings tears! So great! and SO TRUE! When I fix my bike and turned my Motobecane to a single speed all by myself I felt so empowered. This sounds lame. But bicycles truly contribute to bodies in space working in complete freedom. They cross lines of occupantcy and rights. When you are on your bike you become this beautiful hybrid of flesh and metal. With cars, you are still just in a pod, your energy is not recycled in any way and there is abundant waste. Freedom and mobility are extremely important to me and to what I think are everybody's rights (that and the right to information.)
I would also like to throw out there how much I have wanted this for a while::
So! Please contact Zach while hes on his journey. This book should be pretty awesome.