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.”

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