Friday, August 22, 2008

New Address

Please see 2008-2009 updates to the blog and a new academic year's work at

Friday, May 2, 2008

Animation of the movement of the collection system

walking motion of the collection system

Animation of system growth and movement

the system of movement through a pilot site where it collects methane and selectively leaves behind the residue for a new energy self-sufficient settlement.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reinterpreting the Edge

Reinterpreting the Edge: A Response to Coastal Flood and Erosion, New Orleans Seacoast, LAby: Asta Fivgas, Jung Im, and Paul Stein

Coastal flooding and erosion is only one factor that plays into the larger picture of "global warming". Our group became increasingly interested in it's effect on what we consider the "edge". Edge can refer to sea vs. land as well as urban vs. natural.

Our system deploys itself along the edge as a mediator (both between the city and the surrounding wetlands as well as the marshland and the sea) that capitalizes on natural sediment flow by capturing and redistributing the sediment to strengthen specific areas of the coastline as well as diverting and slowing wave currents. As the sediment is secured new "land" is created and a second phase of the system is deployed. Each phase builds upon the previous creating layers of build-up both natural (silt/sediment) and architectural (nested geometry). The growth pattern is dependent on scripted algorithms that orient the aperture of the cells toward desirable conditions as well as manipulate the cell based on inputs such as topographical depth and environmental context/needs.

Img 01: Precis, Context Mappings, Salinity / Erosion Rates / Wave Flow

Img02: Context Geology, Site Selection

Img03: MRGO
The MRGO is currently under debate and there are plans to completely shut down this shipping channel and re-route cargo ships through the Mississippi. Heavy erosion rates based on poor design have widened the MRGO and contributed to the rapid decline of surrounding wetlands which serve as a barrier between the mainland and the Gulf of Mexico.

Img04: Context Mapping (site erosion without implementation)

Img05: Time Lapse Diagram: predicted wave diversion and sediment flow changes

Img06: Scripting

Img07: Site Implementation: Phase One

Img08: Site Implementation: Phase Two

Img09: Module Development

Img10: Phase Three: Introduction of Walkable Landscapes and Inhabitation/Pedestrian Use

Img11: Spanning Qualities, system vertical growth potential

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rethinking Resource Infrastructure

By: Natasha Harper, Katie Adee, and James Baldauf

This project proposes a mobile collection and sequestration system that searches the terrain for methane rich permafrost deposits while leaving behind "off-the-grid" settlements across the Arctic landscape.

In light of the current climate crisis, we began looking at ways in which architecture could serve a more fundamental role in the issue of sustainability. As permafrost (perennially frozen soil) melts, it releases methane into the atmosphere. Methane, is 30 times more effective than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. However, hidden within the permafrost is what is known as gas hydrate. Gas hydrates are gasses trapped within the crystalline structure of ice. Methane is a potential clean-burning energy source 2x larger than that of all other fossil fuel reserves. In our thesis project, we chose to capitalize on this naturally occurring phenomenon by collecting the methane for use as a new energy source while using the infrastructure erected as the bones for new communities that would be energy self-sustaining.

lifespan of the collection system

lifespan of the residue system

sectional drawing of the stages of inflation during the collection phase

stills from animation depicting the movement, growth, and residue of the energy collection system

plans at both ground level and platform level of new settlement

physical model of settlement

physical model of the collector

physical model of potential settlement looking at flexibility between spaces

physical model of creeper (earlier study)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Although it would be too late for any of us to reap the benefits, I think Hanrahan should get Nicholas Ronco to install one of his Yelo centers in Higgins.