Proposal 4.00

As our built environment pushes out further into the terrestrial landscape, with over 70% over the Earth covered in oceans and human population increasing exponentially, populations may soon bulge outward to inhabit aquatic environments. Presently we see global climates changing the oceans natural barrier reefs, where human populations are stepping into infill these tidal zones–not only for atmospheric reasons, but also for pleasurable experiences of underwater diving. Already we see these artificial reefs playing into political boundary disputes, where reefs often mark the extent of a countries oceanic borders before entering international waters. As countries such as Japan build and rebuild their tidal zones, not only from temperature change but also from increased typhoons, are they able to further claim a greater expanse of oceanic territory? The debate goes further as countries are now disputing the last remaining open waters in the Arctic as the ice caps melt and valuable shipping routes and oil depositories are unearthed. To what extent will architecture and the construction of artificial reefs play in the expansion of national boundaries? As populations increase fueled by a desired for sprawl, what will happen when the sprawl reaches maximum capacity on the landscape and is left only with an option of aquatic construction? Given further increases in the atmospheric temperatures the seas are simultaneously becoming more turbulent threatening the mainlands. It is possible, according to researchers at MIT, for structures to be constructed which divert and dissipate oncoming hurricanes by reducing the temperature of the atmosphere through cool jets of air. In what ways will architecture and engineering projects such as this become further intertwined with atmospheric conditions? Already buildings are a major producer of carbon emissions and have drastically changed the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. In what ways will architecture attempt to further manipulate atmospheric conditions, for both environment and pleasure?

Excerpt from BLDG BLOG BOOK:
“When cities run out of ways to attract new residents, perhaps they’ll turn to weather control: producing storms on demand or clearing the skies of clouds. Rain will be as easy to schedule as a weekend football game. Vast dehumidifiers on the roofs of Manhattan high-rises will turn even muggy summer nights into pleasant evenings out. In an attempt to emulate Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot, perhaps some rogue adventure tourism firm will set up a series of re-purposed airplane engines and will come from all over the world. If we can have designer landscapes and designer buildings–not to mention designer clothes and designer cuisines and designer prosthetic organs–then how far away can we be from designer climates? It’s often said in architectural circles that the space between buildings is too quickly overlooked; that those spaces are disregarded as mere landscapes, best left to urban design. But the space between buildings is also the weather. The space between buildings is where climate takes place. Climate is thus open to architectural design.

For your 50th birthday, your finally appreciative children hire the hottest thing in town: a climatologist. He takes ten days to set up, but then there you are, grilling red meat and peppers on the back patio, while patented cloud forms take shape int he sky above you. The climatologist stands in front of what appears to be a theremin, waving his hands around as if to hypnotize something–and suddenly there is snow falling on your hamburger buns. You laugh–and say, stop it, that’s good bread, and you should remember who’s paying you.

We saw this in Beijing, for instance, when the 2008 Olympics took on the character of a Gesamtkunstwerk–a total work of art in which even the television commentators joked that every minute of good weather and sunlight had been brought to you by the Chinese government. We can already change the weather–sometimes intentionally, though mostly accidentally and with disastrous results. But perhaps all weather will soon be planned. Perhaps we will formally declare war on the atmosphere, like some long-lost Greek Myth. Perhaps we might even win…” – Geoff Manaugh, BLDG BLOG BOOK, 2009, p 119.

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Categories: Theory

Author:jonbailey

studying: architecture design

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