11/28/2011

The Weekly Architecture: Sou Fujimoto, DNA Architects, W2Y2L, BIG

I wanted to shift this section into a podcast but as I am not back in France yet, this means that I am not well equipped. I do not have a microphone, among others. Consequently, the podcast will be launched when back to France while I need to work on the content…
Anyway, an Architecture weekly review that will slowly close our Japan's weeks for this year.
This picture confirming that Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto will be designing the Taiwan Tower represents a cake in the form of the so-called Taiwan Tower.
21st Century Oasis Proposal, Taiwan Tower — A cake, Taichung City © Sou Fujimoto

A vertically 21st Century Oasis made of layers: from foundation up to roof beams, including perimeter columns, intermediate columns, spiral beams and Inner columns.
21st Century Oasis, Taiwan Tower, Taichung City, Taiwan © Sou Fujimoto

This sustainable tower will use sunlight, rainwater, to make the tower more energy efficient and reduce its carbon emission, as it will be equiped with photovoltaic cells, solar hotwater panels, ground source heat pump, battery desiccant air-conditioning unit and rainwater storage tank.
21st Century Oasis Proposal, Taiwan Tower, Taichung City, Taiwan © Sou Fujimoto

A very ambitious design that will act as landmark for Taichung City, Taiwan.
21st Century Oasis Proposal, Taiwan Tower, Taichung City, Taiwan © Sou Fujimoto

This building will host museum and exhibition spaces playing as connectors in order visitors to reach at the rooftop garden.
21st Century Oasis Proposal, Taiwan Tower, Taichung City, Taiwan © Sou Fujimoto

Façades will be equipped with LED spotlight which are announced to be able to recreate the effect of a starry sky, or even Chinese lanterns.
21st Century Oasis Proposal, Taiwan Tower, Taichung City, Taiwan © Sou Fujimoto

While BIG recently revealed to have won the Competition for the University of Jussieu Research Center in Paris, consisting of a 15.000-square-meter building that geometrically adaptes to its site conditions.
The University of Jussieu Research Center Proposal, Paris © BIG

It will also be optimized for daylight, views and accessibility.
The University of Research Center Proposal, Paris, © BIG

As Bjarke Ingels says:
"As a form of urban experiment the Paris PARC is the imprint of the pressures of its urban context. Wedged into a super dense context — in terms of space, public flows and architectural history — the PARC is conceived as a chain of reactions to the various external and internal forces acting upon it.
The University of Jussieu Research Center Proposal, Paris © BIG

Inflated to allow daylight and air to enter into the heart of the facility, compressed to ensure daylight and views for the neighboring classrooms and dormitories, lifted and decompressed to allow the public to enter from both plaza and park and finally tilted to reflect the spectacular view of the Paris skyline and the Notre Dame to the Parisians."
BIG will collaborate with a Parisian agency OFF, engineers Buro Happold, consultants Michel Forgue and environmental engineer Franck Boutte.
The University of Jussieu Research Center Proposal, Paris © BIG

A geometrically odd yet elegant tower project for Cheraga, Algeria proposed by Barcelona-based DNA Architects.
Algeria Skyscraper, Cheraga, Algeria © DNA Architects

This building will comprise service, commercial and office areas, hotel, and apartments. Following the forms of the urban surface, this building called Le Far du Grand Vent can adapt itself to the surroundings.
Algeria Skyscraper, Cheraga, Algeria © DNA Architects

Hence its odd form. Materials will be, among others, glass that will allow for light air within the building. The building will be also equipped with terraces to provide private promenades towards the city.
Algeria Skyscraper, Cheraga, Algeria © DNA Architects

An interweaved high-rise complex for Xiaguan District, Nanjing, China, implanted precisely on the South site of Jianning Road. This site combines tradition and history.
Nanjing Jianning Highrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

The architects of W2Y2LXinyu Wan, Dingliang Yang, Keming Wang, Jialong Lai, Jialong Lai, and Jie Li — respect this site with a complex interweaved tower.
Nanjing Jianning Hughrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

This high-rise complex project is based on the idea of traditional Chinese Gardens.
Nanjing Jianning Highrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

The particularity of Chinese gardens is to turn elements of water, stones, hills, bridges and even flowers into urban shapes that provide vitality and livability to the entire district.
Nanjing Jianning Highrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

The schemes merge all the programmes into an odd interweaved tower distancing itself from the traditional fabric. This tower, initially two towers but then blended at upper levels to form one, is also connected with different parts of the site offering green terraces and leisure pedestrian loop to the users.
Nanjing Jianning Highrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

The building itself will host services such as tourism service, entertainment area and recreative working all occupying the whole site.
Nanjing Jianning Highrise Complex Proposal © W2Y2L

Facades, due to Nanjing Climate known to vary, requires a particular attention. Facades will consist of a green skin to make the building more ecologically responsive.

11/24/2011

A Fast-Foodisation of Land… Notes from Atsushi Miura's Book Fast-fûdosation of Japan

We continue to explore Japan's cities up to 18th December since we will go back to Paris. I currently read a book Post-3.11 design of society and architecture that begs a set of questions that cannot be sumarized in few lines.

The book Fast-fûdoka suru Nippon ファスト風土化する日本 written by Atsushi Miura (Yôsensha Publishers) must be once again read in this particular moment. Fast-Fûdoka suru nihon means accurately: Japanese term 'Fûdo' becoming food (with its pronunciation translated in katakana フード for fûdo) or a 'fast-foodisation' of Japan.

Reading this book will provide a better understanding of the consequences of 3.11 events on the northeast coastal areas due to 'fast-foodisation' of Japan's lands. Constrained from expanding spatially by the shortage of buildable land, Japan seems to be continually in seek for more lands to respond to housing, offices, and infrastructure pressures.
Geological Map of Northeast Japan. Originally posted on Just Learn..

In a 20th century consisting of a rapid growing population's urban land demand and fast-growing cities, this region has been swallowed by urbanization with the emergence of new housing ownership, turning into very fast-growing cities. In this context, instead of preserving the identity of this region (its landform), this leads to coastal developements, say clusters of housing, infrastructures and other urban components implanted alongside the coast that slowly but certainly replaced the natural elements, ignoring hazardous factors. As seen, land has been marketed in the 20th century to accommodate the growing urban population. And this region is obviously not an exception. 

Yet, this part of northeast region seems the less suitable area for inhabitants due to hazards such as tsunami risks when a maritime earthquake hits the region. 
These aspects have nevertheless been ignored, at least neglected. Subsequently, this urban sprawl, including Fukushima nuclear power plant, impacted on the landforms (valleys, tablelands, alluvial plains, hills). Needless to say the lack of space is an explanation of 20th century's fast-growing urbanization. In this context, this lack of space in Japan has serious consequences not only on environment but also on living conditions, meaning you need to live with risk.
Northeastern Japan's Landform. Originally appeared on Just Learn..

Post-3.11 Japan is in the face of a very consequent challenge: how to do with existing resources while guaranteeing the best standard of living for its dwellers?

This begs another question: how should this devasted part of Japan be rebuilt? No matter how it will be rebuilt, what this threatened as well as threatening region needs is a new landscape serving as connector and protector, namely a reactivation of natural environment, an ecology zone — remediating wetlands, protected landforms, park, natural habitat, and why not pools for hybrid ecologies, etc. — that will, first, improve threatening natural disasters risk policies, and second be offering an opportunity for economic and social innovations.

11/21/2011

Today's map: How Occupy Wall Street Chose Zuccotti Park

The New Yorker posted, on November 21th 2011, an interesting map that reports the best and worst locations for the Occupy Wall Street. Zuccotti Park, New York, as one knows, was chosen as the site of original encampment. During the week leading up to the protest, The New Yorker continues, Tactical Committee, author of the below map, scouted the remaining sites.
Originally appeared on The New Yorker
Tactical Committee explains the origin of the map as follows:
We decided that low-tech communication methods would be best", P. told me. "if we'd used a mass text message, or Twitter, it would have been easy for the police to track down who was doing this."… Soon, maps were distributed and the people began to murmur, "Go to Location Two in thirty minutes. The first arrivals took seats beneath th trees on the eastern side, arranged themselves in small groups, and ate peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. By that afternoon, nearly a thousand people had gathered for a general-assembly meeting."



The limits of social networks in the case of Occupy Wall Street aside, this map reveals that maps are still considered as powerful political instrument.

More and source: The New Yorker.

Today's video: Tokyo's Quake-Proof Communities

While a big earthquake is threatening Tokyo and is haunting all its dwellers' daily life, here is an example of Tokyo's quake-proof communities. Tokyo, known for its combination of high-rise urban form and low-rise buildings, and its extreme population density — 13,185,502 inhabitants on an area of 844.7 sq mi (2,187.66 sq km) for a density of 15,610.4 pp/sq mi (6,027.2 pp/ sq km) (but if you take the Greater Tokyo into consideration now you will reach at 42,607,376) — is to continually improve its risk management policies. This is a guarantee if the city wants to protect a large amount of its dwellers.
The video below, titled Tokyo's Quake-Proof Communities, explains one of the set of measures of these risk management policies.


Credit: CNN/Future Cities

Keep in mind that Japan is probably one of the most responsive cities due to its confrontation with natural disasters. The recent 3.11 events, however, highlighted the limits of these risk management policies. Consequently Japan is condamned to responding to these environmental stresses by a perpetually improvement of risk policies that must be much more adaptive.
Yet, while smart buildings include the latest technologies that provide a better safety management in the event of earthquakes, even those with high magnitude, — at least virtually (nobody can predict if even the smartest building can withstand strong earthquakes) —, questions remain unclear concerning the human-scale areas, these residential, commercial areas, namely urban villages (on the concept of urban villages or mura ムラ see Kuma Kengo's book Shin Mura Ron Tokyo (in Japanese… for now) for more details) hidden by these high-rise buildings but composing more than 50% of Tokyo's components.

11/17/2011

Today's Infographics: Measuring The Human Urban Footprint by The Urban Age - LSE Cities. Towards the BioMed City

Following on from Urban Age two-day conference in Hong Kong, November 16th and 17th, 2011, Urban Age / LSE Cities posted a series of infographics that measure the human urban footprint.
As cities growth, density levels and population size will have a consequent weight on natural resources.
The first map, below, represents the extended metropolitan regions and their density, with darker blue indicating greater concentration of people and ligheter blue more sparsely populated city regions.
Size of extended metropolitan regions and their density © The Urban Age / LSE Cities

This map demonstrates that regions such as Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, South and South-east Asia, North America and Australia have the highest density. In addition, in South America, Cities like Rio de Janeiro scoring 13.3, Sao Paulo 26.2, and Buenos Aires with 18.5 have a high density.

The following maps per city shows human urban footprint which reveal the capacity and resilience of urban form as well as physical and geographical constraints.

We will start with the Greater Tokyo and its population of 42,607,376 on area of 7,408 square kilometer, and a density 5,752 pp/sqkm.
Density map of Tokyo © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 42,607,376 - Area 7,408 sq km - Density 5,752 pp/km

The Urban Age / LSE Cities said to have mapped these 12 cases at the same scale with core built-up areas in black and peripheral areas in grey. By all accounts, Tokyo has the world's largest urban conurbation; and this rapacious conurbation tends to continue to sprawl in the rest of the Kanto region.
Density Map of Atlanta, USA © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 7,506,267 - Area 6,888 sq km - Density 1,090 pp/sq km

As The Urban Age/ LSE Cities pointed out, Atlanta occupies remarkably the same amount of land with an area of 6,888 square kilometers, but for only 7,506,267 dwellers, with a density of 1,090 pp / sq km. The Greater Tokyo, well-known for being one of the most land-hungry cities, is characterized by its lack of space which can be translated into a sensation of narrowness. In this context, living in narrow spaces supposes a low quality of living environment.
Density Map of Lahore, Pakistan © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 13,335,777 - Area 486 sq km - Density 27,434 pp/sq km


Obviously, a high density on small space affects not only the built environment but also daily lives, health and well-being of urban dwellers.
Hong Kong © The Urban Age
> Living at high-density affects the daily lives of urban dwellers across Hong Kong's diverse communities

It tends to weaken cities, in particular, those facing with risks — natural disasters, global warming, flooding, drought, etc.
The Density Map of Hong Kong SAR, China, © The Urban - Age / LSE Cities
Population 7,069,378 - Area 273 sq km - Density 25,933 pp/sq km

It will subsequently create such drastic inequality leading to tension within the city if serious and realistic measures in terms of city designs, housing, infrastructure, transports, and more broadly, politics of quality management are not taken urgently.
Density Map of Lagos, Nigeria © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 15,372,213 - Area 1,174 sq km - Density 13,100 pp/sq km

Consequently, adaptation, convinience, resilience and quality management are keys to cities confronting spatial and physical constraints such as lack of space while being land-hungry.
Thus, an overbuilt and overcrowded city like Tokyo has a number of sernior citizens aged 75 or older that increases. Tokyo Metropolitan Government reckons that 30% of them will be living along, it becomes urgent to shift into an urban model for a super-aging society.
Density Map of London, UK © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 14,830,051 - Area 2,668 sq km - Density 5,559 pp/ sq km

While it does not mean that being ranked first in terms of health ahead of cities protects the city from issues such as quality of life, or viruses — since viruses tend to easily adapt to any circonstance, any type of built environment —, it nonetheless provides a better resistance and management of constraints. A city like Hong Kong with its population of 7,069,378 on an area of 273 square kilometers — for a density of 25,933 pp/sq km — scores 0.88, meaning the city has the highest health index — followed by three cities with the same score of 0.86 — Osaka, Tokyo and Singapore.
Density Map of Kinshas, Congo DRC © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 9,426,523 - Area 368 sq km - Density 25,640 pp / sq km

This is not the case for developing cities coping with population growth, rapid urbanization and economic development. These factors impact the built environment accelerating social inequalities and revealing a scarcity of resources ranging from personal living space to transport and drinking water.
Density Map of Manila, Philippines © The Urban Age / The LSE Cities
Population 23,065,889 - Area 1,149 sq km - Density 20,081 pp/sq km

Needless to say that issues such as climate change and other escalating pressures will weigh on these cities making their urban agenda a global issue.
Density Map of Cairo, Egypt © The Urban Age / LSE Cities
Population 24,243,250 - Area 1,203 sq km - Density 20,152 pp / sq km

As The Urban Age Hong Kong clearly revealed, as cities grow, a better politics of quality management that puts factors such as health and well-being, but also more comfortable housing, transport, labour markets, at top to maintain or improve quality of life is required to respond to future's issues.

In conclusion, a sustainable-friendly, convenient, liveable city requires a consequent urban model to welcome and provide a high quality of life as this will be one of core elements in the nearing future. Cities that will fail will affect living conditions not only locally but also globally. The road to the best liveable city is long and narrow but implementing adaptive urban planning should help to withstand issues… at the very least.

Source: The Urban Age

Bosco Verticale by BOERISTUDIO

An ongoing project that I found via 2050City's tweet is the Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri. According to BOERISTUDIO composed of Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barrera, and Giovanni La Varra:
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the reneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory. Bosco Verticale is a model of vertical densification of nature within the city. It is a model that operates correlated to the policies for reforestation and naturalization of the large urban and metropolitan borders (Metrobosco). Metrobosco and Bosco Verticale are devices for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities. Together they create tow modes of building links between nature and city within the territory and within the cities of contemporary Europe.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

The first example of a Bosco Verticale composed of two residential towers of 110 and 76 meters height, will be realized in the centre of Milan, on the edge of the Isola neighbourhood, and will host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 m tall) apart from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants.
On flat land, each Bosco Verticale equals, in amount of trees, an area equal to 10.000 sqm of forest. In terms of urban densification the equivalent of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 50.000 squm.
The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates and produces energy. The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers. The management and maintenance of the Bosco Verticale's vegetation will be centralised and entrusted to an agency with an office counter open to the public.

This Bosco Verticale will be located in Milano, Italy with a built area of 40.000 square meters. The ambition is clear as mentioned above: to provide a microclimate for Milan and filter the dust particles contained in the urban environment.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

In 2008, The Telegraph announced on March 7th that Milan was the Europe's most polluted city scoring, on February 15th 2008, 185 micrograms per cubic metre of air, say almost four times over the official limit. Various measures, yet unfortunately timid, were voted with the aim of mitigating urgently this 'plague'.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

Beyond this problem of air pollution, which will play a much more important role in the future in terms of  city design, and health and well-being.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

Indeed, to allow for a healthy living environment will be the key to cities, be they developed or developing cities. As Ricky Burdett said, (…) Global well-being will increasingly be determined by the health of urban dwellers." A city with a highly carbon emission and air pollutation rates cannot provide a healthy living environment for its dwellers.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO

Hence the goal of this Bosco Verticale to targeting a rapid improvement of air quality of Milan, at the very least. Air pollution aside, another issue will be acoustic pollution that Bosco Verticale aims at mitigating.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO


In few words, this multi-task vertical forest will be much more than a green building, it will be as well as energy producer and energy saving.
Bosco Verticale © BOERISTUDIO
Yet this project raises a question I find interesting to ask — that was initially posed by Rachel Armstrong (on Twitter again): how does irrigation and nutrition of a forest vertical work?


Project Information
Project: Bosco Verticale
Architectural Design: BOERISTUDIO: Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra
Team:

  • Phase 1 — Urban plan and preliminary design: Frederic de Smet (coordinator), Daniele Barillari, Julien Boitard, Matilde Casani, Andrea Casetto, Francesca Cesa Banchi, Inge Lengwenus, Corrado Longa, Eleanna Kotsikou, Matteo Marzi, Emanual Messina, Andrea Sellanes.
  • Phase 2 — Final design and working plan: Gianni Bertoldi (coordinator), Alessandro Agosti, Andrea Casetto, matteo Colognese, Angela Parrozani, Stefano Onnis.
Consultant for the vegetation project: Emanuela Borio, Laura Gatti
Location: Milano, Italy
Year: 2007 (ongoing)
Client: Hines Italia
Built area: 40.000 sqm
Budget: 65.00.000,00 euros




11/14/2011

Makkah announcing to be becoming a Smart City… in 6 years

If you are a fan of Smart-Grid City competition, prepare to have your day brightened by these accelerating increase of smart city planning projects in the nearing future. Yet this Smart City project below deploys a clear and frank goal: facilitating the pilgrims' journey to the Mecca with the implementation of a sustainable and smart-grid system.

As the Smart City contest is open, Arab News reported on November 14th that Makkah just unveiled publicly its participation with a clear and frankly goal: " We will employ all kinds of modern technology to make Makkah smarter than any other smart city," as Prince Khaled told a press conference in Mina on Tuesday, the penultimate day of Haj 2011. But what does Prince Khaled mean with "smarter than any other smart city? and what kind of modern technology will the city use for this 'goal'? It remains unclear. Smart city is becoming an fashionable word for any new sustainable/technology-friendly city planning project. But in the case of Makkah confronting a massive displacement in the event of the Haj and Umrah pilgrimages, the ambition is clear: implementing realistic solutions to facilitate transport and offer best services for the pilgrims.

It is important to understand the reason behind this smart city project: the Haj and Umrah are essential pilgrimages. The Haj, one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, is the fifth pilar of Islam while the Umrah, which can be undertaken at any time of the year, is indeed called the 'minor pilgrimage' — the Haj being the 'major' pilgrimage — yet highly recommended. To respond to these important events supposes urgent measures for the pilgrims in order to prevent them from accidents during the journey.

We know few elements on this project. What we know is that the Grand Mosque will be central as the Prince added: (…) The King Abdullah Makkah Construction Project, which will take six years to complete according to my estimation, will provide Makkah with necessary services for the Haj and Umrah. The project"s infrastructure strategy will have the Grand Mosque as its focal point".

Another part of this city planning project, concerning precisely the Haj and Umrah services, will be the transport facilities: "The King Abdullah project envisages the transportation of pilgrims from the airport to the Grand Mosque area and to the holy sites and back. The project includes trains, buses and cars and pedestrian roads, and ring roads. The project will also be linked to the Madinah-Jeddah-Makkah train service and the Mashair Railway. Roads with reflectors will be built in Islamic and local architectural style. We intend to give Makkah a local Islamic identity and the project coincides with the expansion of the Grand Mosque area."

I can't wait to hear more about this Smart City of Makkah.

Source: Arab News.

11/13/2011

The Exhibition: 311 Lost Homes, TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo

The TOTO Gallery MA, Tokyo, is currently presenting an interesting — if not poignant — exhibition titled 311 Lost Homes.
311: Lost Homes Exhibition, TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo

This exhibition was first accompanied with a symposium, on November 2nd. Architects — Toyo Ito, Yasuaki Onoda, Senhiko Nakata, Kengo Kuma, Jun Aoki, Kazuyo Sejima, Kazuhiro Kojima, Riken Yamamoto, and Ryuji Fujimura — were invited to discuss a set of concrete approaches to disaster recovery and urban revitalization.
It is curated by Hiroshi Naito and Kenya Hara. Hence an architectural approach of the scenography that, in my opinion, is very pleasant to see.

3.11 is now inscribed as a major date for Japanese as it can be considered as a starting point for a new reflection on city design. It, anyway, raises lots of questions that will probably remain open. And this is what this exhibition 311: Lost Homes attempts to examine. There is no point of view, no denunciation of city planning before earthquake, just an attempt of exploring Japanese before their destruction, maybe, afterall, with the aim of engaging a discussion on Post-traumatic Japanese cities. This was, at the very least, the purpose of the symposium.

Divided into two levels, the exhibition explores the effects of the 3.11 events — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. All these models show the cities before being damaged as if they were frozen such as ghost cities. The shock is still there as frozen, too.

The 9.0-magnitude undersea Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster, namely Higashi Nihon Daishinsai —, followed by a massive 133-feet (40.5-meter) tsunami, destroyed, on March 11th, 45,700 buildings, damaging 144,300, killing 15,836 people, injuring 5,948 while 3,650 people are missing.

In the first level, a display of white 1/500-scale models of fourteen townscapes and cities from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures — Noda Village, Taro-cho, Kamaishi City, Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City, Kesennuma City, Minami Senriku-cho, Onagawa-cho, Oshika-gun, Ishinomaki City, Sendai City, Soma City, Namie-machi, Futaba-gun — represent these cities before their destruction. These models have been produced by Osamu Tsukihashi based on the plans of these towns and cities before their destruction. These models include satellite images of these townscapes and cities before and after their destructions and visual datas.

311 Scale — Hypocenters and Intensity levels of Earthquake Tremor.
© 311 Scale
On the walls, four types of infographics explain precisely the impact of the 3.11 events not only in the concerned areas but also in the whole country and overseas such as the nuclear radiations infographics.

311 Scale — Area Surounding. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
© 311 Scale
These infographics represent datas of earthquake, tsunami, nuclear radiation and electric power such as heights of tsunamis caused by the earthquake in all parts of Japan (below).

311 Scale — Heights of Tsunamis Caused by the Main Earthquake in All Parts of Japan.
© 311 Scale

On the second level, in addition to these white models and infographics on the walls, two videos projected on wall show once again datas.

311 Scale — Radiation Levels Across Japan and in Major Global Cities
© 311 Scale
The installation makes the exhibition easy to understand not only spatially but as also in terms as a visitor said

311 Scale — Daily Power Usage of This Year and Last Year (TEPCO service area)
© 311 Scale
The exhibition is open up to December 24th, 2011 at TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo.
Visual datas: Here (in English and in Japanese).

11/11/2011

Today's Project: Vertical Farm - Venice by EPFL Atelier ALiCE

A project that I found via Rachel Armstrong's Facebook Page is Vertical Farm / Venice. Here is an abstract:
Vertical Farms / Venice © EPFL ALiCE

Venice is probably one of the most prominent cities in the western hemisphere facing dramatic consequences in the course of global warming. However, Venice is not just threatening by the rise of its seawter causing recurrent floods, but also by the continuous drought of its clear water due to the over-exploitation of its aquifers causing the city to sink. Thus Venice is currently affected by a douvle threat both arguably engendered by humans. In continuation to our exploitation on buoyancy the ALICE studio will travel to Venice and critically investigate on its existing living conditions and then speculate on new architectural production sensitive of these precarious conditions.
More: here.

Update: In your Agenda: Urban Age Hong Kong: Cities, Health, and Well-Being organized by LSE Cities

In your agenda you will inscribe Urban Age Hong Kong Conference, 16-17 November 2011.
In a week, LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society in Partnership with the University of Hong Kong present Cities, Health and Well-being, the 10th Urban Age Conference.
For the first time ever, the Urban Age Conference will be web-streamed live to the public. Follow the conversation and post your questions to @lsecities on Twitter and Facebook with #urbanagehk.
The first international conference on cities, health and well-being will kick-start with a press conference on Tuesday 15 November, where new research will be presented for the first time comprising comparative data on urban health indicators across 129 cities worldwide.
Key speakers include Carrie Lam, York Chow, Gonzalo Navarette, Joan Clos, Detlev Ganten, Sharon Friel, Victor Rodwin, Reinier de Graaf, Saskia Sassen, Edgar Pieterse, and Stephen O'Brien.

Questions to be addressed include:

  • How does the design and planning of the built environment affect growing up and growing old in cities?
  • To what extent to urban sprawl and fragmentation increase health inequalities and alienation?
  • What are the health advantages and disadvantages of the 'compact city' model?
  • How important are urba amenities and infrastructures such as public transport, housing and green space in enabling people to lead healthy lives in cities?
  • What role do public space and nature play in mitigating the negative effects of high denities in cities?



More: Here.

I profit from this post to recommand you a book just launched by the German publisher Sternberg Press: Caring Culture, Art, Architecture and the Politics of Health. In case you are interested in architecture and healthcare, this book examines changing political uses of the concept of care in neoliberal democracies and asks how artists, architects, and designers both contribute to and attempt to critique its social manifestations. The publication brings together case studies of artistic and design interventions within health and social care institutions and broader political and philosophical essays and interviews relating to civic wellbeing. Contributors include curators, artists, politicians, architects, and healthcare professionals.
It is edited by Markus Miessen and Andrea Phillips. Contributors are among others: Niels van Beek, AA Bronson, Beatriz Colomina, Elmgreen & Dragset, Fulya Erdemci, Mark Fisher, Margreet Fogteloo, Gavin Wade.

Update: News: Domus India will be launched November 12th, 2011

While print magazines face the most difficult time since their creation due to tablets, and even more due to today's shaky economy, Domus continues its politics of magazine in paper format with Domus India. Domus challenges the problems that print industry is facing due to the emergence of tablets, blogs and web magazines by developing diverse editorial projects such as that of with India. This reminds me Tyler Brûlé of Monocle saying to Gopher Illustrated "The issue is not about whether we're going to be reading off of paper or whether we'll be reading off backlit screens or whether we're going to be reading on the moon. The future belongs to visionary and courageous people to get the power back to the editorial floor."
The Cover of the debut issue of Domus India, November 2011.
Studio Mumbai's installation presented on the occasion of the 21th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012.
Cover Photograph by Hélène Binet. Originally appeared on Domus Web

I do not know if Editor-in-Chief Joseph Grima is courageous or not to launch a print Indian edition of Domus. What is clear is that in contrast with magazines like eVolo which is declined into paper format as well as application format, I am not sure to have seen a Domus' application format. In the case it exists, it would be like that of Monocle: you will not have access to the content of the magazine.

The first issue of Domus India will be presented November 12, 2011, in Mumbai — for the luckiest of you who are in Mumbai. Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA will deliver the keynote address and Domus Editor-in-Chief Joseph Grima will introduce the new magazine to Indian readers. A conversation will follow with the participation of architects Bijoy Jain, Christopher Benninger, Kapil Gupta, Soumitro Ghosh.
Top and Above: Interior spreads from the debut issue of Domus India, November 2011.
Originally appeared on Domus Web

Why an Indian edition of Domus? This question remains open. But I infer that Domus wants to explore what I like to say "what in India's architecture". According to Domus, this Indian edition will be a space for the dissemination of original and rigorous thought in architecture and design. It will Provide a sharp critical focus on the zeitgeist and the possible resultant futures for architecture and design in the Design subcontinent.

——— Update ———
For those who hope to find Domus India, according to the editor-in-chief Joseph Grima, the magazine will be exclusively available in India and will be in English.



More: Here.

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