Friday, August 22, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
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
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
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)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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.
sectional drawing of the stages of inflation during the collection phase
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
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
An electron micrograph reveals sharkskin’s secret to speed: tooth-like scales called dermal denticles. Water “races through the microgrooves without tumbling,” says shark researcher George Burgess, reducing friction. “It’s like a fast-moving river current versus the gurgling turbulence of a shallow stream.” The scales also discourage barnacles and algae from glomming on—an inspiration for synthetic coatings that may soon be applied to Navy ship hulls to reduce such biofouling.
What has fins like a whale, skin like a lizard, and eyes like a moth? The future of engineering.via> National Geographic (April 2008)
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
‘Green Gasoline’ is a liquid identical to regular gasoline in energy, but made from biomass sources such as poplar trees and switchgrass. Researchers seem to have finally discovered a way to create this sort of fuel, that could be of tremendous help to the U.S. economy, eliminating the need to import expensive oil supplies and the need to grow corn for producing ethanol.
Chemical engineer George Huber from the National Science Foundation and two of his graduate students presented the first direct conversion of plant cellulose into gasoline components. The study shows the steps can run sequentially without purification or complex separation processes between reactors.
Huber says that future biofuels will be similar to gasoline in the chemical composition and that the challenge is to produce efficient fuels from biomass that would integrate in the existing infrastructure. The understanding of the chemical reactions used in this process is likely to design more efficient ways to commercialize green gasoline.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Architects Felipe Mesa and Alexander Bernal wanted the Orquideorama to grow in the same way that a garden seeds and develops, with one “flor-árbol” popping up next to another. This lead them to design the installation as a series of interconnected modular structures (14 in all) specialized for a variety of functions including event halls, butterfly reserves, and flower gardens. Fittingly, this repetitious cellular weave resonates with another organic structure: honeycomb.
Each “flor-árbol” is composed of a steel reinforced trunk and six hexagonal petals that form an intricately latticed patio. The plants situated beneath each trunk are sustained via rainwater collected by the petals, and are protected from the elements by the translucent pine wood weave that is sourced from reforested lands. Taken as a whole, the Orquideorama is a delicate display of the relationship and structural similarities between architecture and living organisms.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Skyscrapers are one of the modern city’s most ideologically charged structures. Dominating the skyline, they captivate and articulate a wealth of ideals while anchoring a city’s social fabric. As the world’s population increases and cities stretch to accommodate it, these structures will become increasingly important in sustaining this massive influx. Out of necessity, they will have to evolve. eVolo Architecture was founded in 2003 by a group of international architects in NYC and hosts a yearly contest dedicated to rethinking the skyscraper in radical new ways. The only requirement: “Designs must be technologically feasible and environmentally responsible.”
Daekwon Park created Symbiotic Interlock “to reunite the isolated city blocks and insert a multi-layer network of public space, green space and nodes for the city”. It comprises a system of stackable modules that are designed to add an extra layer of infrastructure to existing buildings via sky docks and bridges, vertical gardens, cultural spaces, and energy producing wind turbines. It addresses some of the shortcomings of green roofs by internalizing green environments within its biomorphic structure while contributing functionality, energy, and food. It may not have beaten the competition, but its symbiotic integration with existing buildings struck us as a brilliant brand of future-forward thinking within the present era.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Blog of student projects dealing with New Orleans in several topics (housing, urbanism, etc). Nice and interesting work. Methinks Team CF should contact them after the semester to add our stuff ;-)
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault vault in Norway opens this week. From Andrew Revkin's posting at NYTimes Dot Earth:
The Norwegian government put up more than $7 million for construction. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing money to help developing countries package and ship seed samples, as part of a broader $30-million project to protect the genetic diversity of the world’s main food crops.
The ongoing operation of the seed vault will be paid for through the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is maintained by contributions from countries, international agencies, and foundations.
A secure supply of thousands of varieties of keystone crops like rice and wheat will be ever more important, experts say, as populations grow, climate changes, and people keep moving species around the global, both intentionally and accidentally."