December 15, 2008
December 14, 2008
1. from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, maps of all of Africa — very large (100 MB+) TIFs available; I think detail is pretty decent for making a fair sized country-wide map (at page size display).
(I believe the bottom one is actually in 3d if you have 3d glasses, the blue and red eyed kind)
2. FreeGIS, a list of links to downloadable GIS information, particularly global information. Could be of use if the above is insufficient.
3. NOAA maps, several at this link (below is a clipped and lower-res version of one of them):
4. Land and ocean topography, both in raster and GIS formats.
December 14, 2008
Angola: a country study (somewhat dated, but good for background information and history, particularly on pre-colonial, colonial, and early post-colonial periods) [link]
Angola in the CIA Factbook (current information, political status, economy, etc.) [link]
Angola on wikipedia (all wikipedia caveats apply) [link]
Sonangol, national oil company of Angola // link to a (rather attractive, actually) map of the oil concessions off the coast
AllAfrica.com Angola feed (seems to be something close to a feed of government press releases)
An extremely comprehensive compilation of links related to Angola, via Stanford [link]
Angola country analysis brief, US Department of Energy (likely of particular use in case we want to show the relationship between new energy production and current energy production) [link]
December 14, 2008
These are old, but fantastic (especially the map of industries, which I could see being altered to reflect current reality and future infrastructures, as a diagram).
Link to source (UT-Austin).
December 14, 2008
some quality information on ocean currents off the coast of angola. not terribly detailed, but probably enough to generate visualization of the detail we might require:
particularly like this one, which plots the raw data of buoy movement (which is then assembled into speed and trajectory information):
a couple more maps:
December 1, 2008
“Slum ‘upgrading’, as it is understood by municipalities across the world, is about infrastructure. Sao Paulo has been extremely aggresive in introducing electrical metering, road construction, sewage channeling and other infrastructural efforts to alleviate the ill-effects of overcrowding and unplanned growth. These efforts were highlighted in a recent ‘Global Dialogue’, which brought together representatives from governments in China, India (Mumbai), Egypt (Cairo), Kenya (Nairobi). Sao Paulo’s methodologies were hailed as the standard bearer for slum upgrading and each delegate seemed to suggest that it could serve as a template for urban remediation in their own locality.
But what about the space? Infrastructure upgrades invariably mean demolition, wich means relocation…
At the Slum Lab, we have identified three modalities of approaching the slum, each of which can be engaged in in parallel, continuing within the framework of opportunism. One can sense the need for preservation, albeit frustrated by the slum’s insistence on continual self-transformance. We have engaged in attempts to record the spatial characteristics of the favela, through photo, video, 3d models and data sets. You can approach the slum as a researcher and look to formulate hypothesis and construct models. That is our preferred modality at Proxy – we are foremost interested in architecture as an informational medium. Finding connections between emergent morphology and the myriad variables of sociability, financing, politics and physical circumstance is a deep project, which is made more substantial by the availability of new data and more capable software (software that speeks specifically to the ‘bottom-up’). Lastly, the slum is a place of architectural intervention and invention. It must not only act in unconventional ways, but it must do unconventional things. By necessity, infrastructure, community and sustainability invest projects with a moral compass while the challenges of geography frustrate normative designs. These are interesting places for creative minds to work and experiment – especially given the void of conventional practices – but it means coming to terms with ‘bottom up’, whether through grudging co-existance or synergistic opportunism.”
This is a challenge for our project. I think we have the outline of an ‘unconventional practice’, but the territory that we aim to act in is unstable; it has emergent intentions and immediate needs of its own. Because our project is a proposal, it will be our responsibility to allow the territory to imprint itself on the project. It would be easy to ignore the intentions and needs of the slum in favor of using the slums (to present ourselves as ‘sustainable’ or as ‘community-minded’ or even just ‘hip’); we will have to work to avoid that (though I think our preferred methodology, of intervention through the insertion of a flexible and responsive infrastructure, is a great starting point for accomplishing exactly that work).
A couple of news items that intersect with these concerns:
Angola’s government has been criticised for forcibly evicting thousands of people from their homes to free land for new housing projects in Luanda.
A report by Amnesty International also says the Catholic church has been involved in evictions in the capital.
According to Amnesty, homes have been demolished repeatedly in one district since September 2004 to make room for new public and private housing.
It says none of the affected residents has received compensation.
Neither have they been offered adequate alternative accommodation, the human rights group says.
The Angolan capital of Luanda is home to five million people, about a quarter of the country’s entire population, with most living in “musseques” or slums.
One of those used to be Lucas Kaxingadoes, who has lived in Bairro Cambamba on the southern outskirts of Luanda for several years and where some families occupied the land 30 years ago.
His family began by farming the land and built houses with whatever materials they could find.
But they also took manual jobs in the city, saving what they could and eventually building houses made of concrete.
Lucas, however, doesn’t have a house any longer.
His home, like many others, was cleared to make way for new property to house the country’s burgeoning middle class.
Lucas says policemen came and destroyed his home and those of his neighbours in an effort to clear the land to make way for new developments.
November 30, 2008
Explicating the method of fog farming and potential applications for water derived. I think this focuses on the enabling properties of the infrastructure, bracketing both the generative qualities (generative qualities I think would probably include the architectural qualities of the infrastructure, as well, as noted here with thoughts on tube perception) and strategies for deployment.
Components of the drawing, then:
1. the fog farm
2. uses of water
a. algae tubes
should include some indication of what the algae tubes are, as well as subuses.
i. algae create power
ii. cleaned water can be used for other (2) uses
b. growing plants
c. drinking water
diagram of the diagram [which is not intended to show graphic intent; nor is that sickly green color on the left something i was going for. cmyk-->rgb fail]:
[this page supersedes "the technique of fog farming", I think]
November 28, 2008
Some standouts from the google map I’d like to keep track of:
a couple more:
November 28, 2008
has HQ version @ youtube
great, but skip the first 3:40
awesome, and HQ version @ youtube
this is probably enough for now, there are a ton more – especially ones from windows of hotels, and on taxis.
November 24, 2008
potential vegetative uses for moisture generated by fog farming:
1. to grow green roofs
2. to grow food
3. to nourish plants which hold back the desert:
[images from The Sahara: An Ever Present Challenge, a document about using vegetation to halt or restrict the growth of desert.]
on primary succession on coastal dunes in England (a different problem, but related)
a book on coastal dunes that may or may not be worth tracking down, depending on whether this becomes part of the project or not.
an article from israel on the ecology of dunes. quite useful.