Sep '04 - Nov '06
from the unit 4 description:
"adverse weather; deep freeze
sound, light, texture, porosity, space in climatic and topographic extremes
UNIT4 will be examining the possibilities for the built-environment to affect and be affected by natural systems in places of topographic complexity. Natural Phenomena are incredibly complex in cause, effect and experience. A single pattern or systemic logic is inadequate for modelling/simulating a contextualized (or system within system/environment) natural phenomenon. In areas exposed to the hazards and the potential of extreme natural conditions and disasters most funds tend to be channelled into disaster relief. With pre-emptive design strategies, much more could be done to maximize the architectural effect of natural phenomena whilst minimizing the effects of the natural disasters on both lives and infrastructure.
UNIT 4 will ask students to investigate material and spatial systems that are affected by natural phenomena. The aim is for the student to develop an architectural project, in which, the form and material understanding is inexorably linked to its performance according to the specific phenomena. Students will have to develop an in depth understanding of the natural system they are working with. They will do an on site investigation and conduct their research in collaboration with expert consultants. Students will have to understand what aspects of these large natural systems that one can predict and possibly control and which aspects are only left to chance. In simple terms, we are proposing to investigate formal and material systems that affect the behaviour of a natural system. Form, in this case, is directly an issue of “organized complexity” of systems within systems i.e. form is directly depended on complex relationships between elements of a system when seen within a larger system or context/environment. We are attempting to get students to go beyond singular and self similar systems to explore hybrid systems and the amalgamation of conditions and phenomena that generate unforeseen behaviours.
Besides attempting to reduce the effects of a potential natural disaster these projects also operate as incubators for the local/regional culture and economy. SÃ¡mpi (Lapland) that we are going to is a European Development Region with an enormous unemployment rate and a decreasing population. SÃ¡mpi is also the home of the SÃ¡mi Europe's only remaining indigenous people.
For the success of the research, it's critical to balance factors relating to the performance of the system, the impact on the natural environment, the impact on the built environment and other socio-economic factors. We are hoping to demonstrate that some current models of singular systems, self-similarity and performance are inadequate to address the multi-layered complexity of natural systems that are inherently out of control. We are striving for in depth understanding of the behaviour of form and material systems that form our physical environment in relationship to natural phenomena that cannot be reduced to singular systems or self-similarity."
the first thing i thought:
Bjorn Leines, Terje Haakonsen, and Jamie Lynn freeriding. credit: Chris Owen
i might have been away for a bit too long...