Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
critic: chris PERRY
sP: Describe your project.
kieran MARTIN: Detroit is the quintessential car city. The lack of public transportation has gained exposure recently and there is currently funding and a design in place for an elevated rail line along Woodward Ave. bigNATURE re-envisions the Woodward corridor through the lens of 1960’s Megastructuralists, challenging popular notions of Ecological Urbanism with drastic urban translations of exotic natural environments.
bigNATURE revitalizes Woodward Ave on both the street level, through a greenbelt of waterfall parks, and above, through a bundled cable-car transportation system and a forest of glowing bio-mass fuel. Taking stock in the Megastructural ideal of a “plug-in” architecture, bigNATURE is a series of impermanent elements which plug-into the existing urban fabric structurally and through the grid. The result is a drastically altered, yet profoundly exciting, public axis for the city.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
kM: Archigram, Frei Otto, Yona Friedman, Daniel Piker, Olafur Eliasson.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
kM: Lots of Reyner Banham, Villa Incognito, Stop Making Sense, Deep Cuts, Discovery.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
kM: Barkow Leibinger, Marc Fornes, Achim Menges, Neri Oxman, Jan Knippers.