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The Open Workshop

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Pamphlet Architecture 30: COUPLING: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism

The 20th century was witness to both an infrastructure boom and bust. It is the 21st century that will need to project not only how to address crumbling, insufficient, and ineffective infrastructure, but also how to position new infrastructures that confront urgent issues of climate change, sustenance inequality, and environment degradation. The globe’s networked ecologies of food, water, energy, and waste require new infrastructures and forms of urbanism. Coupling strategizes new formats for the physical infrastructure required in the wake of these shifting conditions.

 

Coupling argues, through a body of design/research proposals, that infrastructures are in fact ecologies, or natural systems artificially maintained and calibrated. The opportunity for projecting a future infrastructure lies in embracing this condition in a more inclusive manner by bundling multiple processes with spatial experiences. The intention is to declare infrastructures as soft systems, adaptive and responsive to environments and use. Rather than a New Deal approach of massive engineering or iconic infrastructure, Coupling employs adaptable, responsive, small-scale interventions that operate at a massive territorial scale. Easily replaced or upgraded, these infrastructures double as landscape life support, creating new sites for production and recreation. The ambition is to supplement ecologies at risk rather than overhaul them. The included projects meld existing landscapes with emergent systems to catalyze a network of ecologies and economies for a new public realm.

Featuring Contributions by: Charles Waldheim, Keller Easterling, David Gissen and Christopher Hight.

 
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Status: Built
My Role: Co-Author
Additional Credits: Authors: Neeraj Bhatia, Maya Przybylski, Lola Sheppard & Mason White
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Graphic Designer: InfraNet Lab
Paperback, 80 pages, 2011

 

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