7/30/2011

Dreamhamar online Workshops: Call for registration

The English-version of this call-for-registration for the Dreamhamar online workshops:


We invite students, designers and creatives from all over the world to participate in Dreamhamar Online Workshops.
The workshops focus on network learning and network design applied to a specific case study — the design of a public space: Stortorget Square in Hamar, Norway. Via the workshops, participants will be able to part of an international network of professionals and talented people. The aim is to develop and share ideas about the sesign of the square.
Registration is open for the following two online workshops that will take place in October 2011:

Public Space And People
online workshop directed by Andres Walliser | sociologist

Public space can be the result of a customary use along time, or of urban planning as a given space with different functions like representation, social control, or commercial, among others. It also can be the outcome of a participation process — both top down (this launched by the public administration), or bottom up, demanded by the residents. The workshop will be illustrated with examples reviewing both public spaces along history and recent relevant cases of innovation in urban social design.
More info + registration


Tactical Urbanism
online workshop directed by
Ethel Baraona Pohl (dpr-barcelona) and Paco Gonzalez | architects

Tactical urbanism is aimed to develop urban practices with the use of new technologies, which improves the livability of our towns and cities, starting at the street, block, and public space. If we agree with Henri Lefebvre when he says that the urban is, therefore, pure form; a place of encounter, assembly, simultaneity; we can see the importance of the concept of "tactical urbanism" and how a connected society is able to take the city back.
More info + registration

For more information and registration: here.

Images above based on flickr pictures by Gunnar Bothner-By and Paolo Tonon

Ouverture des inscriptions aux workshops en ligne Dreamhamar

For the first time, I will post in French to share a call-for-registration-to-participate in a workshop, titled Dreamhamar Online Workshops. It is organized by Spanish agency Ecosistema Urbano, Curator, Architect, Editor Ethel Baraona Pohl, and architect Paco Gonzalez. A second article in English will follow this one. Let me shift into French:

Appel à contribution:

Nous invitons les étudiants, les architectes et les créatifs du monde entier à participer aux workshops en ligne Dreamhamar. Dreamhamar se divise en deux workshops: Public Space and People et Tactical Urbanism.
En quoi consistent ces deux workshops en ligne:

Ce workshop est dirigé par le sociologue Andres Walliser. L'espace public résulte d'un usage habituel dans le temps, ou d'une intervention urbaine dans un espace donné incorporant les différentes fonctions telles que representation, contrôle social ou commercial, etc. L'espace public est aussi le produit d'un processus de participation — à la fois du haut vers le bas (l'administration publique ou l'Etat), ou du "bas vers le haut" (rôle effectif des résidents). Le workshop sera illustré d'études de cas qui interrogent ces deux types d'espaces publics dans l'histoire. La place de l'espace public dans les récents projets urbains sera aussi étudiée.



Tactical Urbanism est un workshop en ligne dirigé par les architectes Ethel Baraona Pohl (dpr-barcelona) et Paco Gonzalez. Comment combiner pratiques urbaines et utilisation des nouvelles technologies? Ces nouvelles technologies améliorent la qualité de vie de nos villes — rues, quartiers et espaces publics. Nous inspirant d'Henri Lefèbvre pour qui l'urbain est une forme pure, une place de rencontre, de rassemblement et de simultanéité, le concept de "urbanisme tactique" jouera un rôle important. De même, celui de "société connectée" permettra à la ville de se régénérer.

Les deux workshops auront lieu en Octobre 2011. Ils seront axés sur les méthodes dites de network-learning et network-design, appliquées à un cas d'étude réel: le projet d'espace public de la place principale de la ville de Hamar, en Norvège.
Le but étant de redessiner et de revitaliser cet espace public, Ecosistema Urbano propose de mettre en place un processus transparent et ouvert basé sur un réseau participatif local et international, plutôt qu'un projet architectural traditionnel. Cette méthodologie (dénommée network-design) est différente des autres projets participatifs. En effet, plutôt que de recourir à un consensus général autour d'une seule proposition, elle encourage la multiplicité et la non-linéarité des différentes propositions, permettant ainsi une expérimentation à l'echelle 1:1 avec la réalisation de constructions temporaires (mock-ups).
Les participants aux deux workshops en ligne intégreront ce reseau international qui se compose d'architectes, créatifs et étudiants et partageront leurs idées sur le renouveau de l'espace public, la Stortorget Square de la ville d'Hamar, en Norvège.


Plus d'informations et frais d'inscriptions: ici et ici.

Images basée sur les photographies par Gunnar Bothner-By et Paolo Tonon. Ces photographies sont disponibles sur le site flickr.

7/26/2011

Anamorphic Walkway by Alan Lu

I would like to go back over a project designed in 2008 by a M.Arch candidate at MIT, Alan Lu. This bridge project, titled Anamorphic Walkway, is part of Lu's research on typology, computation, and digital fabrication, precisely, and this what interests me, the articulation of typology, form-finding, form-making and fabrication and construction techniques.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

Alan Lu's design consists of application of modular structures to various typologies of walkways in order to determine a set of types and behaviors of forms and materials including curvature, concave, convex of bridges' forms.
Scent Pavilion © Alan Lu

This is not the first time that Alan Lu combines typology, form-finding, site's characteristics and manufacturing such as, to quote a few, this Scent Pavilion which derived from funnel typology study, form-finding and site's input, precisely fluid simulation, branching networks that act as a starting point for the organisation of programs including scent fabrication, storage, and commercial sales.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

The volume and form of this bridge demonstrate a strong relationship to a given site's inputs.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

A complex geometry arises from a series of manipulation like trimming, creasing and intersection.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

The below diagram shows us different steps of the form-finding process including initial projected figures, trim operation and restablishment of privileged views and an overview of the surface which derived from the convergence of vantage points at a given site.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

This geometry and its resultant structural forces establish the tectonic system of the entire bridge, that is, a continuous surface that, then, connects to the ground.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

Now that the design of this bridge is determined, Alan Lu examines the translation of computationally-generated form into its construction through CAD/CAM technologies.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

This generates a voluntarily anamorphic prototype with adaptive openings in four directions, front-to-back and side-to-side, for circulation inside this bridge.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

With this bridge project, Alan Lu pursues his research on not only the combination of typology with emergent design, construction and digital fabrication techniques but also, and why not, infrastructure in the 21st century.
Anamorphic Walkway © Alan Lu

Who is he?
Alan Lu is a designer and prospective architect based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is currently in the M.Arch program at MIT as a Presidential Fellow where his studies and research are deeply engrained within the realm of form, fabrication, and the endless pursuit of luxury through space. Alan Lu has collaborated with Morphosis Architects, Zaha Hadid Architects, CA Architects, IwamotoScott Architecture, among others.







Infographic of the Day: Why China is Kicking Our Ass in Clean Technology

I just found this infography in One Bog (namely One Block Off The Grid. Go and check out this interesting blog) and of course I couldn't wait for sharing it: Why China is Kicking Our Ass in Clean Tech. This infographic was posted by Shannon last week (July 20th, 2011). One Block Off the Grid organizes group deals on solar energy according to what I found in their website.
Change US with your country if you want…
Courtesy One Bog

As I can't post the orginal size the best advice is to go to One Bog to enjoy this infographic.


7/25/2011

Video of the week: How Algorithms shape our world by Kevin Slavin

A video titled How Algorithms Shape Our World opens this new week of Summer 2011. This was Kevin Slavin's talk available on TED. As it is reported on TED, Kevin Slavin, chairman and co-Founder of Area/Code, argues that we are living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by —algorithms. An interesting video for those who are familiar to scripts, algorithms, and others like computation.




Video courtesy: TED

Who is he?
Kevin Slavin is the Chairman and co-Founder of Area/Code. Founded in 2005, Area/Code creates cross-media games and entertainment for clients including Nokia, CBS, Disney Imagineering, MTV, Discovery Networks, A&E Networks, Nike, Puma, EA, the UK's Department for Transport, and Busch Entertainment. Area/Code builds on the landscape of pervasive technologies and overlapping media to create new kinds of entertainment. They have built mobile games with invisble characters that move through real-world spaces, online games synchronized to live televation broadcasts, and videogames in which virtual sharks are controlled by real-world sharks with GPS receivers stapled to their fins. Their Facebook game "parking Wars" served over 1 billion pages in 2008. Before founding Area/Code, Slavin spent over 10 years in ad agencies including DDB, TBWA\Chiat\Day and SS+K, focused primarily on technology, networks, and community. His work has been recognized through many industry awards and press.


7/22/2011

In case you are interested: Balmond Studio is looking for interns…

Just to share with my readers this news. Balmond Studio is looking for two architecture/design interns to join his team this summer. This will be a great opportunity to get hands on experience, Balmond Studio adds.
So, if some of you are interested in applying, and want to find out more information, click here.

Friday Brew: to-read list

Lack of infrastructure: Monday 12, I found an essay titled Unplanned urban development worsens Afganistan's water crisis in This Big City (that I warmly recommend). This blog reports that only 48 percent of population have access to safe drinking water and only 37 percent use improved sanitation facilities.
Originally appeared on IRIN News
> Bathing man, donkey and boy share water from this canal in Falzabad,
capital of Badakhshan Province, northeastern Afghanistan © Mohammad Popal/IRIN

70 percent of the urban population live in unplanned areas or informal settlements. 95 percent lack access to improved toilets. In Kabul 80 % of the population live in unplanned settlements and suffer from a lack of access to safe water. The reason? A serious lack of infrastructure due to three decades of turmoil.
Originally appeared on IRIN News
> Girl collects water from a tank installed by an NGO to help
displaced persons in the western outskirts of Kabul ©Mohammad Popal/IRIN


Environment: Inhabitat reported that MIT unveiled a flexible solar cells printed on paper. This is precisely a new type of cell that can be printed onto paper or fabric. Inhabitat added that the flexible photovoltaic cells are not energy intensive to produce and they can be folded over 1,000 times without any loss of performance. As Vladimir Bulovic says, MIT has demonstrated the robustness of this technology. Because of the low weight of the paper or plastic substrate compared to conventional glass or other materials, MIT (…) can fabricate scalable solar cells that can reach record-high watts-per-kilogram performance. For solar cells with such properties, a number of technological applications open up."

Image of the day: The Solar Sinter by Markus Kayser
The Solar Sinter © Markus Kayser. Originally appeared on dezeen
Dezeen reviewed German designer Markus Kayser's 3D-printing machine that uses sunlight and sand to make glass objects in the desert. You may have already checked out the video that Marcus Kayser posted in his website on this Solar Sinter. If not, I warmly invite you to watch it.
The Solar Sinter © Markus Kayser. Originally appeared on dezeen

Smart Marketability: Smart Cities once again. Hayley Peacock wrote in the Urban Environmentalism an interesting essay titled Cities in Competition: Branding The Smart City. As smart cities projects grow, competition between cities becomes severe with the risk of becoming "marketable" smart cities. Let's quote Hayley Peacock: "The concept of urban competitivenss is  on the rise and is applicable not jst through cities, regions and nations. Its competitiveness is just as blurry as the concept of smart, with privatisation of services and the blurring of the responsibilities of the public and private sectors complicating matters, with governments making increasing use of the terminology and priorities of businesses. Companies are using the city as a neoliberal space for experiment, and their smartness as the emblem of the city of tomorrow. In a world where increasing precedence is on our cities being smarter, more intelligent or ubiquitous, I'd better go finish War and Peace before the city beats me to it."



Video of the week: I found this video on twitter "The Just City: A Ford Forum on Metropolitan Opportunity" by Ford Foundation.


Video © Ford Foundation

New form of urban sprawl, another consequence of competition between megacities: As its population grows, Moscow is becoming overcrowded. Russia just announced a plan to double in geographical size to ease this overcrowding phenomena. Here is a very interesting report by Miriam Elder of The Guardian. Yet this plan contains risks of, firstly, impending enviromental disaster. Secondly what about the population living around Moscow? And its so famous and beautiful dachas? Apparently, as Alexei Yaroshenko, of Greenpeace Russia, concluded "first money and then people follow"…

Europe to Africa to Europe…: bldg blog wrote an interesting post titled "Geopolitical Redesign, or: A Bridge Between Europe and Africa". This post reports a project launched by Domus, precisely "Your ideas for a connection between Africa and Europe across the Straight of Gilbraltar". Yesterday, Thursday, 21 July (2011), at the Gopher Hole, about 300 different responses were on display.
> A cable car connects Europe and Africa, by Fabio Tozzoli and Eliana Salazar,
Bologna, Italy. Image originally appeared on Domus and bldg blog
> Call for ideas on a Eurafrican bridge Postcard © The Gopher Hole


Conflict: How to build in complex environments such as Caracas or Tijuana? Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner of Urban-Think Tank give some keys with this brilliant essay "Build Simply: South of the Border" published in this very interesting publication Mas Context (I advice to check out their website and to have a copy of this publication, in case you don't know Mas Context yet). This 10th issue deals with Conflict and proposes a series of essays among others, that of Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, and that of Ethel Baraona Pohl (of dpr-barcelona). The Issue #10 is available here.

Interview of the day: Elemental (Alejandro Aravena and Quinta Monroy) talked with Actar Editorial on their recent project in the framework of Actar Editorial's project Total Housing.



7/19/2011

Urgent: Competition: Submission for The Pop Up Chapel Competition will be closed soon

In case you forgot, concerning The Pop Up Chapel Competition, launched by Architizer and The Knot, submission deadline will be closed very soon (July 21, 2011).
Let's refresh the guidelines of this contest:
On Friday, June 24th, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed the historic legislation legalizing same sex marriage in New York. The bill becomes a low on July 24th,  2011. Now it's time to get married. Pop-Up Chapel with The Knot is hosting a day-long marriage ceremony in Central Park. They are providing the wedding, the photographer, the officiant and the cupcakes, now all they need is a chapel!
Architizer and The Knot are asking designers to submit designs for one of two temporary structures to be erected for the day long ceremony.

Competition Notice: July 11, 2011
Registration Opening: July 11, 2011
Project Submission Deadline: July 21st at 23:59 EST
Jury Selection: July 22, 2011
Results notification: July 22, 2011
Installation date: July 30th, 2011


For more information check out Architizer.

News: Actar interviewing Alejandro Aravena from Elemental

News on Latin American architecture.You may have already read Architecture Design issue on Latin America titled Latin America at Crossroads. I am working on a Tuesday Brew (it may be called wednesday brew depending on if I can post it today) which includes a link, a essay titled "Build Simply: South of the Border" by Alfredo Brillembourg I found on Mas Context. For this post, I'd like to reoriente toward an interview with Alejandro Aravena from Elemental I found on Actar Publishers. This interview must be understood as an "aperitif" before the forthcoming book  (published by Actar). I only post a short abstract and invite you to read this interview and wait for the upcoming book.
Actar: Favelas and other forms of self-built neighborhoods have always been considered undesirable in terms of their instability, both structural and social. The project in Iquique reverses this view and uses the DIY approach as part of its architectural language. Where did this idea come from? Elemental: Actually it was not an idra, nor a choice. There was not enoug money to build a whole house. What the market does in these cases, is to reduce the size of the house until it meets the costs…

More: Actar Publishers or click on the abstract.

7/18/2011

Team 136's Design Proposal for the Water As the 6th Borough: Open International Design Competition

We continue our exploration of the semifinalists of the Water as the 6th Borough: Open International Design Competition with Team 136's design proposal, a complex, responsive, adaptive, behavorial, and productive infrastructure which envisions to promote sustainable way of life in high density urban areas. Firstly, this competition aims at envisioning the Sith Borough of New York City, precisely, the NYC Blue Network and E3NYC, The World Largest Clean Tech Expo. Propositions include expanding waterborne transportation, linking the five boroughs with transit hubs, incorporating ferries, water taxis, bike shares, electric car-shares, and electric shuttle buses, as well as providing in-water recreation, educational events, cultural activities, pavilion halls, and climate resilience.

Now back to Team 136's proposal which aims at providing habitats for native species of animals and plants, healthy food production methods and Clean Tech solutions.
© Team 136
> Aerial View from the GAIA_Sky Bridge structure down the East River corridor with
Expo structures in Brooklyn and Manhattan on both sides.

First, the Gaia_Sky Bridge aims at connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn and Governors Islands. According to Team 136, this GAIA_Sky Bridge is an innovative solution to bridge design. It can act as an icon of the Cleantech Expo NYC.
© Team 136
> Brooklyn Science City Expo site and transport hub are interconnected
with Brooklyn Bridge Park that provides a green frame.


The Blue Network contains the Brooklyn Expo site and structures, the new transport hub and the GAIA_Sky Bridge floating base located at East River.
© Team 136

Team 136 proposes a new type of transportation, the Brooklyn Transportation Hub integrating options and inamovible sustainable energy productions methods such as this Shapeshifter, a multifunctional modifiable transportation unit, that is composed of a flow through propulsion system, a modifiable exoskeleton meshstructure and an energy harvesting skin. 
© Team 136

Morphological features and behaviors are the characteristics of this Shapeshifter, a range of trefoil-like inflatable units with no fixed shape and scale allowing for more flexibility and adaptability.

© Team 136

Both Clean Tech Expo NYC and Blue Network work as interconnected systems consist of various components that actively and passively respond to ever changing environmental, social and other needs and scenarios.
© Team 136
> Shapeshifter: a multifunctional modifiable transportation unit

© Team 136
> The Metamorphosis of the Shapeshifter from transportation pod to infrastructure: submarine - surface cruiser - wind powered catamaran - hoowercraft - sky bridge

As a problem-addressing strategy, Team 136's design proposal's goal is to redefine the water edge. It will be composed of innovative water purification systems.
© Team 136
> Plan of the Blue Network

© Team 136
© Team 136
> GAIA_Sky Bridge is the new icon of the NYC Clean Tech EXPO.
Formations of inflatable units form a new bridge connecting Manhattan-Brooklyn-Governors Island.
It is powered exclusively by solar, wind, hydro, thermal and bio energy and provides a hand
on educational experience for visitors interested in clean tech solutions and alternative
transportation methods.
© Team 136
> Detail section of Blue Network map showing the Brooklyn EXPO site and structures with the new transport hub,
GAIA _Sky Bridge floating base in East River and part of Manhattan
Source: One Prize



7/17/2011

DSSH Bridge by Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

Sanzpont [Arquitectura]Sergio Sanz Pont and Victor Sanz Pont — was recently awarded for its design proposal Infraestructure DSSH (for Dynamic ShapeShifting Helix) Bridge which consists of a flexible tensile Helix-shaped bridge which particularity is to be responsive to the users thanks to a technological dynamic structure. Sanzpont [Arquitectura], like the other participants, were required to design a "building to building pedestrian bridge". This competition was sponsored by HP and media partner ArchDaily.
DSSH Bridge © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]
The perforated tensile skin of this complex helix-shaped bridge is transparent with a pattern of circles that spreads out onto the surface of the skin. These circles allow circulation of air into the bridge. As for the transparency of the envelope, it facilitate diffusion of natural light inside the infrastructure.
DSSH Bridge © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]
This bridge is self-sustainable; it features plants and foldable photovoltaic solar panels that capture energy from the sun.
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

Plants act as air purifier reducing and eliminating the concentration of pollution and other contaminants in the city. With this system, Sanzpont [Arquitectura] created an effective energy-efficient bridge.
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

A LED RGB technology permits to highlight the bridge at night. This system provides a low power consumption. These LED lights vary in color — blue, red, pink, orange, yellow, green — creating elegant color effects.
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

The tensile skin incorporates foldable photovoltaic solar panels capturing energy from the sun to generate and supply electricity from a clean and sustainable energy.
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

This makes the bridge self-sustainable. The design includes Plants that clean and purify the air, transforming the pollution of the city in pure oxygen.
DSSH Bridge at night © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

As the architects say, Plants and the Breathable Membrane aim at creating a greener environment and a clean pedestrian tunnel by embedding energy-saving and energy-generating systems into this bridge.
DSSH Bridge © Sanzpont [Arquitectura]

Source: Sanzpont [Arquitectura], ArchDaily



7/15/2011

GAIA, A Design Proposal by Team 153

'Water as the 6th Borough: Open International Design Competition' just announced the semi-finalists. I have a list of projects that I appreciate. The first one is that of Team 153. I do not know who are the architects that compose this team but the GAIA project is ambitious.
GAIA — Water as the 6th Borough: Open International Design Competition © Team 153


GAIA, an undulating infrastructure, is located at the upper harbor, near the mouth of the east river, New York, USA. 
GAIA — Blue Network © Team 153


As Team 153 says, GAIA will serve as a beacon to water traffic approaching from multiple direction. It can also serve as amenities and attractions such as an urban beach, or exhibition spaces.
Day view of GAIA © Team 153
Night view of GAIA © Team 153


The other but main characteristics of Team 153's proposal is that GAIA envisions a future of clean energy empowered by technology. First, it profits from the east river for its system of under water turbine. Then it proposes a biotechnology-based system made of micro-algae to remediate tainted water and soil, and its photovoltaic system. 
Technology of GAIA © Team 153


GAIA is announced to be capable of producing solar, wind, tide and algae-derived energy. These elements are components of GAIA's structure. By integrating them, GAIA will maximize the energy production.
Gowanus © Team 153


The lower structure of GAIA houses algae membranes, tidal power and photovoltaic system. The aim is to neutralize toxin, biocrude oil, biomass, lipids and hydrogen. Then algae outputs fresh water. Using Gowanus canal to farm algae permits to take advantage of sewage during combined sewage overflow episodes. The tidal power consists of underwater turbines that will convert tidal forces into energy. The photovoltaic system will profit from sunlight.




Governors Island © Team 153
GAIA © Team 153
GAIA © Team 153
Source: One Prize and Team 153's proposal

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