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*Frei Otto’s proposed “Arctic City,” a kind of polar Brasilia covered by an insulated, polyester tent.   “The future of that period wasn’t mistaken, but defeated.”
http://www.iconeye.com/news/architecture-latest-stories/frei-otto-s-arctic-city
words Douglas Murphy
The beginning of the 1970s was a heady time for architecture. The oil and energy crises were still to hit, postmodernism was still a marginal heresy practiced by cranks and, despite maybe a sense of boredom at the same old concrete, the tide was yet to fully turn against state architecture. The overwhelming impression was one of accelerating development: humans were on the moon; new technologies such as computing and new materials such as plastics were forging ahead; and desire for social change was bubbling over. There was every reason to think that this new movement, in which governments planned and built entire new cities for thousands of people, would continue and progress.
Knowing what we now know, it’s tempting to laugh at the naivety of that generation. Nobody lives on the moon, we’ve never been to Mars and hundreds of thousands of people do not live in orbital space colonies. Back on Earth, we’re STILL 20 years from nuclear fusion; the leisurely three-day week for all, that shibboleth of technological progress, failed to materialise; and our governments are as stupid as ever. When we look at plans for Walking Cities dragging themselves over the landscape, or New Babylons, in which every citizen is a nomadic artist, it’s easy to get the impression that designers of that age were out of touch with reality, and drunk on the promises of technique.
But this is not really the case. To a large extent, the future of that period wasn’t mistaken, but defeated. Since the energy crisis, and the end of the Cold War, the notion of large-scale planning for specific outcomes has become quaint. But back then, for every ludicrous drawing depicting organic cities spreading over the landscape like crystals, there were proposals for architecture that took the urban forms and construction technologies of the time and tested them in new configurations. The Arctic City, a 1970 study conducted by Frei Otto with Ewald Bubner, Kenzo Tange and Arup, gives us a glimpse of what was genuinely just around the corner.
There were various reasons why the proposal made sense at the time. On the one hand, there was a new obsession with frontier conditions. The exhilaration of knowing that humanity was heading off into space and to the moon focused attention on other remote areas: expeditions were being mounted deep into the ocean, plans were made to industrialise the deserts and rainforests. On the other hand, the race for raw materials and resources, combined with emerging new technologies, meant it was becoming economically plausible to move into increasingly extreme environments. If design ingenuity meant humans could live comfortably in such inhospitable conditions, then all manner of industrial opportunities might present themselves.
(…)
The first stage of construction was to prepare the site by digging a set of external foundations in a 2km-wide ring. Then a grid of cables, formed from a newly developed high-strength polyester fibre rather than steel, would be laid across the site and fixed together. The double-layered translucent pillows that would create the skin would then be attached, before the entire dome was inflated to a height of 240m at its peak. By not building from steel, the roof could behave as a skin rather than a true dome, meaning that it would be less susceptible to wind, snow and changing loads.
Once the dome was inflated and the internal pressure was at the correct balance, the city inside could be built. There would be four main entrances and exits, and they would connect to the various external facilities (and, of course, the industrial area, which would be the city’s main purpose). A submerged ring-road in the dome would connect the housing (for a maximum of 40,000 people) with a central administration area and recreation district, while pathways and “moving sidewalks” at ground level would lead between the various functions….
via wolfliving

*Frei Otto’s proposed “Arctic City,” a kind of polar Brasilia covered by an insulated, polyester tent.   “The future of that period wasn’t mistaken, but defeated.”

http://www.iconeye.com/news/architecture-latest-stories/frei-otto-s-arctic-city

words Douglas Murphy

The beginning of the 1970s was a heady time for architecture. The oil and energy crises were still to hit, postmodernism was still a marginal heresy practiced by cranks and, despite maybe a sense of boredom at the same old concrete, the tide was yet to fully turn against state architecture. The overwhelming impression was one of accelerating development: humans were on the moon; new technologies such as computing and new materials such as plastics were forging ahead; and desire for social change was bubbling over. There was every reason to think that this new movement, in which governments planned and built entire new cities for thousands of people, would continue and progress.

Knowing what we now know, it’s tempting to laugh at the naivety of that generation. Nobody lives on the moon, we’ve never been to Mars and hundreds of thousands of people do not live in orbital space colonies. Back on Earth, we’re STILL 20 years from nuclear fusion; the leisurely three-day week for all, that shibboleth of technological progress, failed to materialise; and our governments are as stupid as ever. When we look at plans for Walking Cities dragging themselves over the landscape, or New Babylons, in which every citizen is a nomadic artist, it’s easy to get the impression that designers of that age were out of touch with reality, and drunk on the promises of technique.

But this is not really the case. To a large extent, the future of that period wasn’t mistaken, but defeated. Since the energy crisis, and the end of the Cold War, the notion of large-scale planning for specific outcomes has become quaint. But back then, for every ludicrous drawing depicting organic cities spreading over the landscape like crystals, there were proposals for architecture that took the urban forms and construction technologies of the time and tested them in new configurations. The Arctic City, a 1970 study conducted by Frei Otto with Ewald Bubner, Kenzo Tange and Arup, gives us a glimpse of what was genuinely just around the corner.

There were various reasons why the proposal made sense at the time. On the one hand, there was a new obsession with frontier conditions. The exhilaration of knowing that humanity was heading off into space and to the moon focused attention on other remote areas: expeditions were being mounted deep into the ocean, plans were made to industrialise the deserts and rainforests. On the other hand, the race for raw materials and resources, combined with emerging new technologies, meant it was becoming economically plausible to move into increasingly extreme environments. If design ingenuity meant humans could live comfortably in such inhospitable conditions, then all manner of industrial opportunities might present themselves.

(…)

The first stage of construction was to prepare the site by digging a set of external foundations in a 2km-wide ring. Then a grid of cables, formed from a newly developed high-strength polyester fibre rather than steel, would be laid across the site and fixed together. The double-layered translucent pillows that would create the skin would then be attached, before the entire dome was inflated to a height of 240m at its peak. By not building from steel, the roof could behave as a skin rather than a true dome, meaning that it would be less susceptible to wind, snow and changing loads.

Once the dome was inflated and the internal pressure was at the correct balance, the city inside could be built. There would be four main entrances and exits, and they would connect to the various external facilities (and, of course, the industrial area, which would be the city’s main purpose). A submerged ring-road in the dome would connect the housing (for a maximum of 40,000 people) with a central administration area and recreation district, while pathways and “moving sidewalks” at ground level would lead between the various functions….

via wolfliving

(via m1k3y)

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JAN GEHL: Urban design and public space via urbangeographies

JAN GEHL: Urban design and public space via urbangeographies

(Source: taggedurban, via officefordesignoperations)

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zenhabits via designcrush
Photoset

anndesignnpossible greenland by quarsoq tegnestue, clement & carlsen architects and tegnestuen vandkunsten 

(via edificecomplex)

Link

The Satoyama Initiative aims to conserve sustainable human-influenced natural environments (Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes: SEPLS) through broader global recognition of their value.

Photoset

Apartment Gardening in Auburn Alabama. 507 West Glenn Ave. [alexanderpf.com]

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The time between my graduation in 2010 and when I started graduate school in ‘11 was a very productive and creative time for me. I worked at the university and had a lot of free time to learn about gardening, composting, aquaponics and permaculture. 

These days I’m working in California and don’t have nearly as much time. I ordered some hydroton and net-pots on eBay today and I’ve decided that I want to build another compact aquaponic system — this time with much more planning and documentation. 

Photoset

Well,  we have been transferring all of the grow-beds across to constant flood the past week or so, and it is progressing very well.

This bed however, (for reference, it is the first tomato bed in the center row closest to the fish tank) when I took apart the siphon it was choc-a-block full of tomato roots!.

We knew that the roots were replacing the grow media and even growing up the water delivery pipe but this was just getting silly!

Two feet into water return pipe they were growing!

via macedon-ranges-aquaponics

Photoset

Pages from my ‘Levels of Complexity’ project, in which I wanted to explore ways in which I could communicate biology and science-based information in a more accessible illustrative style. I hoped to inspire some amount of awe at just how much is going on ‘beneath the surface,’ such as cells, tissues, organs, processes, etc within our bodies and our environment. via vmartineau

(via laboratoryequipment)

Photoset

This week we were challenged with making the floor plan even tighter.  We have now gone from 860 square feet to 770.  Efficiency is quickly becoming the theme of this house.  We have been getting several comments about how the floor plan felt almost too spacious.  Because the two porches have such potential to give extension to the interior spaces, we feel that we can have the tightest floor plan without it feeling too tight.

Along with this, we have been looking at the orientation of the house on multiple sites.  Since these 20K Houses are being planned without sites, we want our house to be prepared for anything.  We would like for the long face of the house to always be the front, but would also like for the long faces to always face north and south so there are some environmental considerations we are keeping in mind.  Another benefit of the two porches is that no matter which side of the house faces the street, it will always look like a front.  We will be providing different options for stairs to the front porch so that the entry can face whichever way is needed.

We have stepped back from looking at the details so that we could see more about what our house is doing as a whole.  This has helped us to see several things which we had forgotten while trying to figure out how every little thing went together on the porches.  We are hoping the things we have looked back to will again speak to how these porches should be detailed.  This week has been a refresher for not only the design but for the team and we are excited to get back into the details we have put to the side.

via 20khouse