Friday, August 31, 2012

Individual Project One Statement

Below are the panels submitted for the final group presentation.

As seen below, our group had decided to follow a landscape theme which combined the four portrait posters. I feel the outcome of this project exceeded my expectations (however, please note: my expectations were not extremely high toward the final straws of this project - however my expectations were lower given our groups circumstances including inadequate GROUP discussion and some member absences), overall I am SATISFIED/NEUTRAL with the final result. I personally, feel a little sad that our future scenario was kept on a leash and on the mild side, as I had hoped for a more dramatic/intense scenario (as mentioned in previous posts) however, our group was able to cover various future issues which in some-cases are still beyond a realistic vision (which in my opinion, is good).

Both myself and my group member Dennis Tran had the responsibility of completed ALL diagrams and the design of the panels, where I completed the two middle panels (Sustainable Future and People & Lifestyles) and Dennis completed the two outer posters (Future Vision and Architectural Possibilities). The content behind the diagrams however, was finalised as a group, where each group member completed approximately 800 words of text in a Microsoft Word format, outlining the various layers/elements within each allocated topic (one member per topic) and we then compiled the text as a group for myself and Dennis to interpret into a visual, diagrammatic format. This was a long process between the two of us and required on-going support and collaboration to ensure all posters were consistent, however as it was agreed that both of us were more graphically inclined, it would benefit the group if we were given this task to ensure the poster appeared consistent and visual appealing in-line with the assessment criteria. And for the sake of achieving a better flowing poster and overall, better result for the assessment, I was more than happy to take on this additional work-load.

The four posters follow the format of the assessment guidelines which entail Future Visions & Scenarios, Sustainable Future, People & Lifestyles (this was my topic) and Architectural Possibilities. The Chain of Events Timeline at the bottom of the total poster allows the viewer to have a better perspective of how our future scenario occurs over a period of 50 years. As mentioned in previous posts, I had been able to include "A Day in the Life of.." segment, HOWEVER I am not entirely happy with the final outcome of this segment as I would have preffered to include this in a complete digram format rather than text.

After presenting our posters and after viewing posters of other groups, I believe our group did a decent job. Although we were able to submit on time, and produce posters as required within the criteria, in hindsight I would have liked for our group to have had more meetings as an actual GROUP (with all members present for the full duration of the meetings) so we could ensure the topic was agreeable with all members and from there, we could have expanded and intensified our ideas. Most of our group meetings did not consist of all members being present, which hindered our success of a strong collaborative result, where some members lost track of what our group had originally agreed upon in previous meetings.. Or perhaps we simply needed more group meetings, or perhaps, I am being too critical?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Architectural Possibilities - Smart Street Lamps

Non-Light-Polluting LED Street Lamp

I don't know why, but this section appeared to have a white background? Sorry about that, I'm not sure how to change it (unfortunately I'm not a regular user of blogs?).

A street lamp that is environmentally friendly? I didn't realise street lamps causes that much harm to the environment in the first place. But nevertheless, this design is very interesting and could be used in our landscaping for our future Brisbane City scenario. Design by the Spanish Design Association ADI-FAD - the streetlight is made from aluminum and is fully recyclable as well as mercury-free due to the use of LEDs. To avoid vandalism such as graffiti-tags and stickers, the base of the lamp is textured. Unlike most street lights, this innovative design doesn't emit a blinding light. Instead, the light is first directed into the lamp's head and then reflected evenly towards the street.

Images from:

Street Lamp and Fitness Equipment Blend Into Smart Lighting Concept

Another interesting street lamp conceptual design. Information and images below from:

"CITYLIGHT is a hybrid urban illumination system driven by two distinct sources: human-power and electricity. The lamp uses energy saving LED as light source to replace traditional bulbs. Located in public areas, the lamps are connected to outdoor fitness facilities which carry and transfer human power generated to the light system. The interactive linear lighting pattern in the central of the pole indicates if the LED lamp is being charged by human-power and presents current battery status, which encourages people to participate the green exercise. A monitor located on the pole displays the calories burned and the duration of lighting contributed by individual's exercise. This concept could save a significant amount of public energy spending with utilizing human kinetic energy. In addition, by motivating and emphasizing a healthier life style for individuals, CITYLIGHT also enhances community’s awareness of green energy."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Architectural Possibilities

After a few struggles with group management, this week our group (finally) sought to finalise our future scenario content and divide tasks for the final submission which is next Friday. In my opinion, it seems quite late to be starting on the final diagrams to be included in the project poster, however I agree it is equally as important that as a group complete our brainstorming to produce a pure interpretation of future. I feel our context has taken a swing (somewhat negatively) in these last couple of weeks, where our topic was originally strong, then too weak, and is now seeking to provide a balance between our groups member’s both radical and tame ideas.

 There are 4 Topics that we must interpret for the project which are: Future Vision + Scenarios, Sustainable Future, People + Lifestyles and Architectural Possibilities.

So far, we have been able to discuss and provide content for the various layers within each required topic to be included in our poster. A brief overview of the scenario, some of the content will need to be discussed with my group members shortly for approval:

We have decided and kept the original scenario that the O-Zone layer has thinned within the South-Pacific region, however the degree to which the O-Zone has thinned is somewhat minor, as people are still able to walk outside for a decent amount of time without frying/succumbing to a immediate recreation to the increase in UV radiation. The thinning however is significant has this as occurred a rapid rate, and as a result by 2060 (approximately 50 years), 70% of Brisbane City is powered by Solar means and the population is equally aware of the importance of using renewable energy as the primary (and possibly, only) resource. Therefore, the use of fossil fuel has been discontinued with the aim to remove or significantly reduce pollution (to slow down the rate in which the O-Zone layer thins) and cars, homes, companies are run purely by renewable energy. The Brisbane River water level has risen and the City also uses hydroponic derived energy. This clearly has an impact on people and their lifestyles, where vehicles are solar or electrical only, and an increase of population results in governments provides incentives to try reduce the amount of traffic in the area. The population increase is also due to an influx of residents moving closer to the City as a safe-haven, as the City’s hosts the main power generator and is the hub for food, shopping and entertainment. The move to the city is also due to coastal areas being no-longer desirable places to live, as with the recent Climate Change, the water levels and coastal weather is somewhat unstable. The scenario paves the way for an improvement of existing infrastructure including possible solar tunnels (which re-charge solar vehicles are they pass through), solar carparks for workers within the city, safe-haven parks for residents and mega-malls within the city as major retailers have combined all suburban resources to create a central shopping district within the city (to cater for the growing population in the city). Again, to cater for the population, most residents are required to live in multi-storey units, which reduce the carbon footprint and are able to be linked to the main power-supply in the city.

A (Somewhat) Extreme? Climatic Event. Ozone Layer is Thinning... Group brainstorming -

I was the scribe for these bubble maps.

“Movement implies a measurable interval, always in time and frequently in distance… mobility describes the capacity for movement.” Cedric Price.

Image from: Canadian Centre for Architecture

I really enjoyed being introduced to The Fun Palace created by Cedric Price and Theater Director Joan Littlewood in this week’s reading. The Fun Palace is a great example of incredible forward thinking being as the design was conceived in the early 1960. The basis of the project served as an attempt to deviate from the accepted notion of a conformed environment as within this design, the individual was in control of their own “self-participation” in creating their own “physical environment.” Price mentioned that while the activities offered by Fun Palace were already available to the public, it was the ‘inter-accessibility’ of the activities and their juxtaposition to each other that would allow for the creation of new activities and experiences. The Fun Palace is an incredible and unique mixture of architecture, technology and sociality. Which ‘wasn’t about technology. (Rather), It was about people.’’ – Cedric Price.

Image from:

 “Choose what you want to do – or watch someone else doing it. Learn how to handle tools, paint, babies, machinery, or just listen to your favourite tune. Dance, talk or be lifted up to where you can see how other people make things work. Sit out over space with a drink and tune in to what’s happening elsewhere in the city. Try starting a riot or beginning a painting – or just lie back and stare at the sky.”

Almost every part of structure was versatile: “Its form and structure, resembling a large shipyard in which enclosures such as theatres, cinemas, restaurants, workshops, rally areas, can be assembled, moved, re-arranged and scrapped continuously,” - Price.

Stanley Matthews (2006) describes:

“In his Fun Palace project, Price turned not to traditional architecture or fantasy but to the discourses and theories of his own time, such as the emerging sciences of cybernetics, information technology, and game theory, as well as Situationism and theater, to develop a radically new concept of improvisational architecture capable of negotiating the uncertain social terrain of postwar Britain. As socially interactive architecture, the Fun Palace integrated concepts of technological interchangeability with social participation and improvisation as innovative and egalitarian alternatives to traditional free time and education, giving back to the working classes a sense of agency and creativity. The three-dimensional structure of the Fun Palace was the operative space-time matrix of a virtual architecture. The variable ‘‘program’’ and form of the Fun Palace were not conventional architecture but much closer to what we understand today as the computer program: an array of algorithmic functions and logical gateways that control temporal events and processes in a virtual device.”

Image from:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Architectural Possibilities - Urban Hydroponic Gardening

Urban Hydroponic Gardening - 
A new system designed to fit into tight spaces.

By British product designer Philip Houiellebecq. All images have been found from external websites other than that of the over of this design and are not mine, credits to AUXANO. They are very interesting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

People + Lifestyles - A lifestyle on the ocean.

"The best way to predict our future is to invent it."
(Alan Kay 1971)

 The organisation Open Sailing aims to design and invent future lifestyles to overcome any possible natural and manmade disasters stimulating "people’s ingenuity and sense of solidarity".

"Might it be global warming or energy conflicts, we are living in a time where we are sniffing the ‘Apocalypse’, finally realising our human part of responsibility as the earth is crumbling.

Open Sailing method is to convert apocalyptic threats into design constraints. From our compiled set of threat maps, oceans were found to be the safest location. Ocean survival architecture has become a new starting point, but we need to go further than surviving : how can we live together in this new fluid configuration and remain a hyper-connected intelligent social being? We are trying to make a truly “open architecture” : pre-broken, under-defined, reconfigurable, moveable, pluggable, organic, fluid. Can we reach a harmonious dynamic state of interdependence with each other and the earth? Is this the next step of civilization progress? Will we dissociate our concept of progress with infrastructure and metropolis?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

People + Lifestyles - Algae Farm

Future Lifestyle Thoughts:
The Energy-Generating Algae Farm

H.O.R.T.U.S., "Hydro Organisms Responsive To Urban Stimuli," is a possible future evolution of urban gardening where computational design, agriculture, renewable energy, city lifestyles and high-tech combine. it features a "physical garden" with over 300 “photobioreactor” clear plastic bags hung in a wave-like pattern from the ceiling, all containing several different species of algae -- which generate oxygen, biomass and energy. The system is also literally dependent on visitor feedback. H.O.R.T.U.S.' interactive component comes from the ability of visitors to directly exhale into the bags of algae, thus feeding these organisms with carbon dioxide. Below images found:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

People + Lifestyles - Wind-Powered Mini Oil Press?

Wind-Powered Mini Oil Press for the Home!

Dutch designer Dave Hakkens' wind-powered oil press which uses a simple assembly of components to make fresh, homemade, cold-pressed oils. Cold-pressed oils are not produced via heating to high temperatures; heating the ground paste up will produce more oil but alter the oil's nutritional value and taste. Quote from designer below:

"I made an oil pressing machine which works only on wind energy. The machine is made to press nuts and seeds such as walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts. The wind power is transformed with a worm drive [a type of gear arrangement] to make the movement slow but very powerful.
First I gather some nuts and put them in the machine. When the machine starts pressing I just sit back and relax. The leftover pulp is full of protein, great for cooking or feed your animals and plants with. The machine doesn’t use heat which means good pure cold pressed oil is produced."


Saturday, August 18, 2012

People + Lifestyles - Egg Carton Design

Egg Carton Made From 1 Piece of Cardboard?

Hungarian designer and graduate student Otília Andrea Erdélyi, redesigned the egg container into something even more minimal, materially efficient but still visually appealing. Using a single piece of recyclable cardboard, Erdélyi's Egg Box folds back to both displays and protect the eggs. Genius!

People + Lifestyles

Following last week’s initial proposal of having a Thinning O-Zone layer within the Southern Hemisphere, we have brainstormed a few more ideas HOWEVER I am a little disappointed as we have decided to “tone down” the intensity of our idea as the previously discussed events would be more likely to occur within a 100 year time frame, and after speaking with our Unit Co-ordinator, Yasu it was mentioned that we would keep to a 50 year time frame. Perhaps our group has taken this direction from Yasu was taken too literally, as I personally believe we should continue with a DRAMATIC idea as I feel that by ”toning” the scenario down, we would create a scenario that is too realistic. But nevertheless the criterion is not necessarily measuring whether it is too realistic. There will still be many elements regardless that will need to be discussed, and there is still a domino-layering effect. We have decided to generate ideas within four major elements within our scenario as individuals, and report our findings back for discussion in the next tutorial. Each group member is covering one element each out of: 1. Resources and Economy, 2. Environmental, 3. People/Social and 4. Political. I will be focusing on People/Social, which will discuss the different “layers” of impact our scenario will have on this aspect.

Image from:

I am interested in documenting a little charrette within our poster with a heading something similar to (if not) “A Day in the Life of...”. This could be a day in the life of a young family, a working professional, a child, a group of youths, and what it will show is either in diagrams or text, the start to end process of this social group within our future scenario. I think this will be an interesting way to put the viewer in perspective to how our scenario ”works”. I am also fascinated with pixel art and perhaps I could diagram a little section of a suburb or city HABBO style. (Refer to pic below). With info-graphic style captions or speech bubble text indicating each future product or process.

'Architecture is the final point in the achievement of any artistic endeavour because the creation of architecture implies the construction of an environment and the establishment of a way of life'.
- Timothy James Clark

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

People + Lifestyles - Recycling

No More Disposable Packaging.

Laura Weiss created Go Box in Portland, Oregon. A program that teams with some of Portland's copious local food carts to offer reusable plastic packaging to local patrons. For a one-year subscription fee of $12, a consumer purchases a token that they give to participating food carts, and their takeaway food is served in reusable (BPA-free) plastic containers. After a year, Go Box has managed to divert 8,000 disposable 'clam shell' containers from the Portland waste stream, and Weiss has plans to expand. She's moving beyond just the food cart realm to include downtown Portland restaurants that do take away.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sustainable Future

After recently receiving confirmation of joining the URBAN theme group, this week we have finalised our project group of four to commence Project 1 – Creating a “Future Scenario” for our proposed architectural design within Brisbane City.

Our project group started to look at various issues which would have a large impact on Brisbane City and its inhabitants within a 50-100 year time frame. The issues we discussed were broad and dramatic and included topics such as WAR and SUDDEN CLIMATE CHANGE. We wanted to work on a topic that would be some-what feasible, and then turn the notch up on the intensity. The element of heat, and taking a spin on the current Australian issue of Sun damage allowed us to start to question the effect on the growing population, subsequent increase in pollution which results in a dramatic thinning on the O-Zone layer – particularly in the Southern Hemisphere and conveniently above Australia. Our group quickly fumbled out each of our individual views, and it was clear that our ideas needed to narrowed into an agreeable scenario. After discussing our initial idea with one of our tutors we received the “nod” and gained alot of interesting ideas such as the various layers that would be affected due to this change in the climate – we would need to expand and document the “Domino Effect” of this nationwide disaster. With such a dramatic change in the O-Zone layer would create various weather changes within and around Australia. “This would cause, this and that would cause this to happen and.. etc”. The cycle continued. I like the idea of such a dramatic event as our architectural solution will be very interesting. One of our tutors mentioned that perhaps, people would need to seek refuge underground due to the high level of UV radiation. Perhaps no-one uses cars anymore due to the heat and solar damage outside. Perhaps the existing streets within Brisbane City have been flooded as due to the increase of solar activity, the polar ice-caps have melted and the sea levels have risen dramatically. All interesting concepts which I’m looking forward to discussing in our next group tutorial.

“Boredom + Money + Fashion 
= New Wallpaper Every 7 Years.” (Brand, 1994)

I found this weeks reading very interesting; Brand (1994) discussed Frank Duffy’s “Shearing Layers” concept which what I gather, discusses Duffy’s view that buildings are a set of components that evolve in different timescales; Frank Duffy summarized this view in his phrase: “Our basic argument is that there isn't any such thing as a building. A building properly conceived is several layers of longevity of built components”.The concept of Shearing Layers leads to an architectural design principle, known as Pace-Layering, which arranges the layers to allow for maximum adaptability. The layers are (quoted from Brand, 1994):

Site: This is the geographical setting, the urban location, and the legally defined lot, whose boundaries and context outlast generations of ephemeral buildings. "Site is eternal." Duffy agrees.

Structure: The foundation and load-bearing elements are perilous and expensive to change, so people don't. These are the building. Structural life ranges from thirty to three hundred years (but few buildings make it past sixty for other reasons).

Skin: Exterior surfaces now change every twenty years or so, to keep up with fashion or technology, or for wholesale repair. Recent focus on energy costs has led to re-engineered skins that are air-tight and better-insulated.

Services: These are the working guts of a building: communications wiring, electrical wiring, plumbing, fire sprinkler systems, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), and moving parts like elevators and escalators. They wear out or obsolesce every seven to fifteen years. Many buildings are demolished early if their outdated systems are too deeply embedded to replace easily.
Space Plan: The Interior layout—where walls, ceilings, floors, and doors go. Turbulent commercial space can change every three years or so; exceptionally quiet homes might wait thirty years.

Stuff: Chairs, desks, phones, pictures; kitchen appliances, lamps, hairbrushes; all the things that twitch around daily to monthly. Furniture is called mobilia in Italian for good reason.

Reference to quotations: Brand, S., 1997. Shearing Layers, in How buildings learn: what happens after they’re built, London: Phoenix Illustrated. pp12-23

Sustainable Future - International Designs


I was interested in finding out what a sustainable city could look like and found an funky website outlining the EfficienCity! EfficienCity is a city built and governed by Greenpeace. The city shows, with text, images and video how a sustainable city it’s made, the flash application way. The site is packed with interesting information that explains and give examples on how a smart and “eco-friendly” city should look like. You can easily zoom in on the different buildings in the city and learn more about, for example, how bio-gas, wave, wind and solar is being used throughout the city.

Gwanggyo Power Center with Plantations Around Terraces by MVRDV
Information/quote below from:

A self-sufficient power center will be built soon in Gwanggyo, a new town in the south part of Seoul Korea, and the Dutch architects MVRDV won the project. The power center will house residential units, office, culture, retail, leisure, and education spaces. The center will have plantations around terraces with a floor-to-floor circulation system that stores water and irrigates the plants. In addition, the terraces are planted with box hedges with the ability to create a strong, recognizable, cohesive park that will in turn improves the climate and ventilation and at the same time will reduce energy and water usage.

Since the beginning of the millennium local nodes with a high density concentration of mixed program are used in Korean town planning. These nodes consist of a mix of public, retail, culture, housing, offices and leisure generating life in new metropolitan areas and encouraging further developments around them: the Power Centre strategy. The Gwanggyo Power Centre will consist of 200,000m2 housing, 48,000m2 offices, 200,000m2 mix of culture, retail, leisure and education and 200,000m2 parking.

This diverse program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size. To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life. Plantations around the terraces with a floor to floor circulation system store water and irrigate the plants. The roofs of these hills and the terraces are planted with box hedges creating a strong, recognizable, cohesive park. This vertical park will improve the climate and ventilation, reduce energy and water usage. As a result a series of overgrown green ‘hills’ appear in the landscape.

The shifting of the floors causes as a counter effect hollow cores that form large atriums. They serve as lobbies for the housing and offices, plazas for the shopping center and halls for the museum and leisure functions. In each tower a number of voids connect to the atrium providing for light and ventilation and creating semi-public spaces. On the lower floors the atriums are connected through a series of public spaces on various levels linking the towers and serving the outdoor facilities of the culture, retail and leisure program. The Power Centre creates a dense urban program with a green regard.

The concept plan is currently at the Gyeonggi provincial authority’s Urban Innovation Corporation for further development and feasibility study, the entire new town will be a self sufficient city of 77,000 inhabitants. The estimated budget and timeframe are still in the process of being established, completion is envisioned for 2011. A consortium lead by Daewoo develops the project with local firm DA Group, which commissioned MVRDV to design the scheme. British firm Arup is involved as engineer.

Oil-Rich Azerbaijan Builds on a More Sustainable Future
Information/quote below from:

In the past, oil rich countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia have celebrated their economic fortune through industry developments that suggest opulence and excess.
In developing modern infrastructure and urban planning developments nearly from scratch, designers in these economically-strong areas have the ability to create without limitations, which has more often than not led to some emissions-heavy buildings built using equally ‘brown’ construction processes.

While Azerbaijan’s economic foundation has been based on oil, one of the least environmentally-friendly resources, the nation is not planning on developing upcoming major projects in the same carbon-heavy manner. The country is undertaking a number of high profile, billion-dollar urban planning projects and, surprisingly, has chosen to focus on sustainability as much as luxury.

The overall aesthetic suggests the sustainable and organic functionality of the entire island, with the grouping and overall structural design for the main islands taking on a biomorphic look in their resemblance to a mountain range. In a country that is highly reliant on oil, Azerbaijan is taking environmental responsibility and urban landscape longevity seriously. Instead of planning in the hedonistic footprints of their economic success, planners in the country are ensuring that a functional, stylish and sustainable Azerbaijan is a reality long after the depletion non-renewable energy means.