Ontario College of Art and Design



Sep '06 - Jul '07

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    Phylogenesis of a built ecosystem.

    By Arnaud M.
    Sep 17, '06 8:45 PM EST

    It started to get a bit more serious this week and our first deadlines are next week: after deciding on a site for the project (which I didn't do so far) we have to produce measure drawings. Which means going to the city hall records services and ask them to do a research for the plans. If they have them, which is not guaranteed, we have to ask the owner for the permission to get a copy of the drawings and if possible accessing the site to measure what's missing on the them. This is what our teacher Natasha calls the "thesis grunt work". Besides that, there is the "enlightened work". Right now, it consists in building an "Icon" we get to present next week in class. The Icon is a conceptual three dimensional contraption that is supposed to express the conceptual idea behind our thesis project.

    After struggling for about a week I eventually found how I'm going to build this Icon, since my thesis is about ecosystems, growth/evolution/phylogenesis, quality of the built environment and adaptable spaces; I drew what I consider a diagram picturing an ecosystem and I'm using it as a point of departure. The Icon Is going to be a box in which I will sow grass and other fast-growing plants, on top of which there will be a few layers of chunks of different materials held by wire attached to a frame. This is meant to symbolise the environment in which the project will sit, growth and depict conceptually how a building can be built as an ecosystem. (pictures of the Icon to come soon...)

    As for the site choice, my heart definitely leans towards the silos on the lake Ontario shore (see previous post), although my other teacher, Jeremy, told me it would a bit of a challenge. I think he's afraid that the project becomes too architectural (fyi, I'm in an environmental design major) and too complicated for me. Since I have a background in architecture, I don't think it's a big deal and that I can totally handle this level of complexity. My only concern is that it might be hard to get the owner's permission, but I don't want to refrain myself because of stupid bureaucratic matters.

    I'll end this post with a paragraph I wrote to summarize the thesis in 3 sentences and the picture of the ecosystem diagram I drew today.

    "The built environments we are used to, tend to seclude individuals, little relates the various human activities together that we””as human organisms””perform everyday. What if we lived in an ecosystem designed for, and specifically-suited to relating human activities, where organisms would cooperate, trade and interact together? Adaptable to different needs, these built environments would include all the necessities of community life designed to include rather than seclude, integrate rather than isolate."


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