Ads
Ads

Ads

Ads

Ads

Ads

Ads

Ads

Ads




  • GEOFUTURES

    Poster image for the Geofutures Post-Professional Program in Arch. and Urbanism. Image: Rensselaer School of Architecture.
    troy NEW YORK

    Geofutures
    Post-Professional Program in Architecture and Urbanism
    Rensselaer School of Architecture
    program director: Chris PERRY

    Geofutures endeavors to convert crisis into opportunity by harnessing both the pressures of a planet at risk and the promise of emerging environmental technologies to generate a broad spectrum of possible, if not probable, urban and architectural futures for the twenty-first century.


    images, clockwise from top left: Rooftop rendering of “Biotic City” proposal by Bing BAI, Edgar GARCIA, & Jessica HERNANDEZ (Spring, 2013). Image: Geofutures / Bing BAI, Edgar GARCIA, & Jessica HERNANDEZ; Planimetric rendering of “Sea Garden” proposal by Huanyu GUO, Bhawya JOSHI, & Sisi QIAN (Spring, 2013). Image: Geofutures / Huanyu GUO, Bhawya JOSHI, & Sisi QIAN; Aerial rendering of “Cavern City” proposal by Zhen CHEN, Bingwen DU, & Prachi GADKARI (Spring, 2013). Image: Geofutures / Zhen CHEN, Bingwen DU, & Prachi GADKARI; Aerial rendering of “Coropolis” proposal by Sahar MIHANDOUST & Tazy MOMTAZ (Spring, 2013). Image: Geofutures / Sahar MIHANDOUST & Tazy MOMTAZ.

    Premised on the belief that the challenges of the contemporary city are far too complex for any one discipline to manage on its own, Geofutures brings together architects, landscape architects, and technologists to address a wide range of interdisciplinary problems, questions, and issues.

    The program places emphasis on theoretical speculation and design experimentation. In this respect, Geofutures situates itself within a long and rich history of urban futurism particular to the discipline of architecture. This history includes such visionary proposals as Antonio Sant’Elia’s La Citta Nuova (1914), a collection of drawings depicting the new industrial city of the twentieth century, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City (1932), a prescient image of what would be referred to sixty years later as landscape urbanism, and Kenzo Tange’s Plan for Tokyo (1960), a postwar reimagination of the city as infrastructural prosthetic.

    As such, the program challenges students to mine the daring and often prophetic urban visions of previous generations as a means of speculating on the future of the city in the twenty-first century. And in much the same way that the emerging literary genre climate fiction, or cli-fi, attempts to project a set of possible futures for the Anthropocenic Age, Geofutures aspires to a similar level of speculation by reconsidering the very idea of the city itself. In an age marked by the haunting effects of climate change, in which the needs of humans and those of the natural environment have become increasingly intertwined and the conventional distinctions between artificial and natural more and more ambiguous, the traditional conception of the city as an anthropomorphic artifact serving the exclusive desires of the human race must be reconsidered and ultimately reimagined. The Geofutures Post-Professional Program in Architecture and Urbanism at the Rensselaer School of Architecture endeavors to do precisely that.

    ///

    Biotic City
    Students: Bing BAI, Edgar GARCIA, & Jessica HERNANDEZ
    Faculty: Chris PERRY & Andrew SAUNDERS with Fleet HOWER (design studio); Ralph GHOCHE (urban futurism seminar).

    This design proposal references two twentieth century urban futurism precedents, Le Corbusier’s Plan Obus for Algiers (1933) and Paolo Soleri’s Novanoah (1969), and incorporates aspects of each while simultaneously proposing something entirely new; a large-scale, floating linear structure comprised of biodegradable materials harvested from the site itself.

    Located in the Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, an archipelago of remote islands that support a fragile ecology of marine wildlife, Biotic City aspires to bridge the indigenous practices of pre-industrial civilizations with the technological advancements of the industrial age. The project proposes a new post-industrial urbanism that forges intimate and ultimately reciprocal relationships with the natural environment, its complex climates and ecologies, while simultaneously engaging the needs and desires of human activity, achieving both through the application of new advancements in building technology and material science. In terms of programming, Biotic City proposes a remote form of research urbanism, a large-scale scientific complex that supports scientific observation as it relates to complex marine ecologies.

    Cavern City
    Students: Zhen CHEN, Bingwen DU, & Prachi GADKARI
    Faculty: Chris PERRY & Andrew SAUNDERS with Fleet HOWER (design studio); Ralph GHOCHE (urban futurism seminar).

    This design proposal references a highly influential urban futurism precedent from the mid-twentieth century, Kenzo Tange’s Clusters in the Air (1962). Similar to Tange’s project, Cavern City provides a large-scale superstructure for the gradual accumulation and distribution of smaller-scale programmatic elements over time. Whereas Tange’s project was premised on the machine, however, and with it the organizational logics of regularity, Cavern City takes its cue from geology and by extension qualities of differentiation.

    Located in the Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, an archipelago of remote islands that support a fragile ecology of marine wildlife, Cavern City proposes the gradual construction of large-scale geoform towers, which in addition to providing a superstructure for various forms of human and wildlife inhabitation, also work to absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide over long durations of time. If the industrial age and with it the fossil fuels industry initiated and accelerated the release of carbon dioxide from the earth and with it the larger effects of global warming, Cavern City proposes a new kind of geoform city, one which attempts to provide a counterweight to the effects of global warming by recapturing and restoring CO2 into the architecture itself.

    Coropolis
    Students: Sahar MIHANDOUST & Tazy MOMTAZ.
    Faculty: Chris PERRY & Andrew SAUNDERS with Fleet HOWER (design studio); Ralph GHOCHE (urban futurism seminar).

    This design proposal references two important urban futurism precedents from the postwar period of the 1960’s, Kenzo Tange’s Plan for Tokyo (1960) and Cedric Price’s Fun Palace (1964-72). Similar to Tange’s project, Coropolis provides a large-scale superstructure for the gradual accumulation and distribution of smaller-scale programmatic elements over time. Whereas Tange’s project was premised on the machine, however, and with it the organizational logics of regularity, Coropolis takes its cue from geology and by extension qualities of differentiation.

    Located in the Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, an archipelago of remote islands that support a fragile ecology of marine wildlife, Coropolis proposes a post-human city which privileges the needs and desires of the natural environment over those of humans. Comprised of a series of large-scale geoform towers or artificially constructed islands, Coropolis engages the global effects of climate change on wildlife depletion and extinction by proposing an incubator for a wide variety of endangered species, indigenous as well as non-indigenous. Forms of human occupation are limited to a series of observation towers, each of which commands a wildlife resource distribution and surveillance infrastructure that simultaneously supports and observes the island’s ecological growth patterns. These patterns are then broadcast via the Internet, allowing for a secondary form of voyeuristic occupation by humans. In this respect, the project incorporates aspects of Price’s Fun Palace project in terms of surveillance culture and responsive technologies.

    Sea Garden
    Students: Huanyu GUO, Bhawya JOSHI, & Sisi QIAN.
    Faculty: Chris Perry & Andrew Saunders with Fleet Hower (design studio); Ralph Ghoche (urban futurism seminar).

    This design proposal references two important urban futurism precedents, each of which addresses the relationship between urban fabric and landscape, Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City (1898) and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City (1932). Similar to both of these precedents, Sea Garden mixes urban fabric with a variety of landscape elements, including agricultural belts and salt-water filtration ponds, in the production of a self-contained, self-supporting city on the sea. Unlike Howard’s centralized plan and Wright’s rigid Jeffersonian grid, however, Sea Garden is decentralized and inherently elastic, capable of adjusting to a wide range of internal as well as external pressures, such as the fluctuation of population densities and complex weather patterns related to the ocean.

    Sea Garden is not fixed to a particular site, but offers a portable form of urbanism that migrates across the Earth’s oceans. Comprised of large-scale porous ring structures, each of which supports a population of human as well as non-human residents, such as itinerant birds and marine life, Sea Garden takes the form of a floating archipelago of artificial islands and wetlands, a new form of post-territory, post-national urbanism for the twenty-first century.

    , ,

  • Leave a Comment

    Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.