Architecture 2030′s new 2030 Palette might just be the design tool I’ve been dreaming of – a built environment performance simulation tool that works across site, district, neighborhood, city, and regional scales. What isn’t shared yet, is the underlying methodology and data used the calculations.
If Palette is just another fancy case study browsing interface (there are plenty of those already), which is all that the screen shots and interactive tour feature, then I’ll be sorely disappointed as we desperately need a performance tool that transcends scale and integrates buildings into the larger landscape.
Once I have a chance to test it, I’ll post more. Really hoping Ed Mazria and crew have delivered. If they have, I’ll probably use Palette as the core in one or more of my studios next year.
There are days that I feel like a rubber band – being stretched in so many different directions. Then I snap back. That is resilience.
Climate resilience is such a seductive concept like regeneration that it is one of the primary topics I teach. But not sure if we actually have the political and economic means to pull it off (nor does Andrew Revkin). Check out the video [which refuses to be embeded] of Revkin’s recent appearance at Zócalo Public Square that focused on the topic.
So what am I doing to shift the status quo? Getting stretched in all sorts of ways organizing a symposium for the LA Aqueduct Centennial with folks from UCLA (including Alex Hall and Jon Christensen who are in the video), Woodbury’s Arid Lands Institute, and my mentor Lance Neckar at Pitzer. Target date winter 2014 if we line up the funding. Stay tuned!
A quick shout out to Dan Hill for a fascinating read about the ‘Urban Intelligence Industrial Complex’ aka the ‘Smart City’ movement…
I’ve written about the Buffalo Commons (here & here), now the concept has jumped the pond to the Old World (or maybe it really originated there). The Dutch, at Oostvaardersplassen (featured in a New Yorker Magazine article that inspired this post) have attempted to create a simulacrum landscape of the 13,000 years-ago Pleistocene on a reclaimed polder (circa 1968). This is not Ye Olde La Brea Tar Pits, but a living landscape populated by proxy megafauna.
The Rewilding Europe Project has established five sites in 2010: Danube Delta, Eastern Carpathians, Southern Carpathians, Velebit and Western Iberia. Projects elsewhere include, Spain’s Campanarios de Azaba to their border with Portugal, Lake Pape in Latvia, the Pleistocene Park in far-eastern Siberia aims to restore the Mammoth Steppe Ecosystem (they are attempting to clone woolly mammoths with Korean scientists), and further-a-field there is a tortoise reintroduction program on Mascarene Islands near Madagascar.
Oostvaardensplassen [OVP] is now inhabited with proxy animals to those long extinct, Heck cattle (proxy for Aurochs) from Germany were introduced in 1983, Konik horses (for tarpans) from Poland in 1984, and Red Deer from Scottland in the 1990s). (Why not European Bison?) Birds and variety of smaller mammals (like foxes and muskrats) colonized the site on their own. But OVP is not wilderness, but a managed parkland, where dying animals are euthanized ’10–20% of the large herbivores in the park die from natural causes or are killed by humans’. There is no attempt at bringing back apex predators proxies for Dire Wolves, Saber-Tooth Tigers, Wooly Mammoths, or European Lions of yore that are really needed to re-establish a healthy ecosystem. Modern Grey Wolves are expected to reach the area in a few decades though.
Another interesting aspect to the location is that during the Pleistocene, it was dry land (see below) and became underwater only after the end of the last ice age. One other distinction of this project is that the site was not abandoned or depopulated, but was intended to be an industrial development before the spontaneous colonization by wildlife inspired the park.
Map of the North Sea with Holocene shorelines – Oostvaardersplassen is just to the left of the key for 8700 yr on the Southeastern shore of the Markemeer
Drawn by Japanese researchers before the 1994 destruction of the Kowloon Walled City, this section illustrates what was the densest settled place on the planet – it’s estimated 33,000 residents were living at a density of 3,250,000/sq mi! Now it is a rather banal park.
Surprised that this is my first post on the Walled City, as it is a place that I’ve been fascinated with ever since I read City of Darkness by Ian Lambot with photos by Greg Girard (source of the aerial above and two inside pics below). See Girard’s portfolio for more pics.
Aerial view of Solar Field One at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) on October 27, 2012. Photo shows completed tower construction and heliostat (pairs of mirrors) installation. Mojave Desert, CA
Some of his photos evoking the Nazca lines or Michael Heizer’s Complex – this is quite the documentation of the infrastructural sublime.
Clark Mountain and ground work for future power block of Solar Field One. January 14, 2011.
View north of Ivanpah Solar showing all three solar fields with heliostat installation complete in Solar Field One in the foreground. October 27, 2012.
There is a remarkable amount of intact vegetation beneath the heliostats – making me wonder if it is possible to design a low-impact solar farm?
Installed heliostats in Solar Field One and adjacent section of undisturbed desert terrain of the site’s alluvial fan. January 6, 2012.
Installed heliostats in “safe” or resting position. June 2, 2012
Workers install a heliostat on a pylon in Solar Field One. June 4, 2012.