brkt: chat on project outline nov 20

November 23, 2008

9:25 AMRob: word on the fog towers.
i had missed that.
9:27 AM obviously we would want to find a way to do fog farming so differently that its not biting that project, but i think its a great starting point (not necessarily the only starting point, but definitely a very promising one… i def. like the combination desert/farming — i instantly think of the old roman shit in the sahara that we talked about a while ago)

9 minutes
9:37 AM Rob: a bit more added to post on betamammoth:
While I love the way the fog tower develops mammoth structure out of the process intended to work on its surface, it feels like structural overkill to me — I think the fogharvesting linking suggests a more likely avenue for producing a methodology of fog harvesting in developing countries. Something lightweight, tensile, inspired more by spider webs than skyscrapers, deployed more like Christo than Corbusier. The beauty of which might come as much from the pattern it instigates on the land as from the architecture of the intervention itself.
9:39 AM image:
http://www.brentstirton.com/projects/nepal_fog/images/03.jpg

52 minutes
10:32 AM me: yeah i couldn’t agree more with your point on mammoth-structure vs mammoth-infestation
10:33 AM i actually only found that architecture project last night, but i first became aware of the tensile structures a few yeas ago
10:34 AM had i more time, a first collage i would have done would have been to make some sort of fog harvest web between the cranes in the dubai image, or spanning the burj dubai to another building like a massive city-scaled cobweb’
10:36 AM Rob: mmm… urban fog harvesting… for whatever reason, despite you putting up the dubai images, i didn’t make that connection… i was thinking arizona or something
but now that you say it, yeah
and i think there would need to be thinking about pollution, as well, in urban fog harvesting
me: or lagos
Rob: because you’d necessarily be harvesting a lot of chemicals people don’t want to drink
10:37 AM me: true, but a big enough harvesting operation acting as a massive air filter wouldn’t be so bad either
(ie, the point of the operation is to filter air and provide grey water for some hardy species of plant, etc)
10:38 AM Rob: right; or it would be a benefit that would justify going to the trouble of making the water drinkable
me: also true
10:39 AM Rob: (fog harvesting + green roof = air filter + drinking water + reducing cooling costs?)
me: quite possibly
10:40 AM im more drawn to the idea of doing something urban, or at leat somethign which regularly interacts with people, than the equivalent of a massive solar array in the desert
Rob: it might not be green roof… it might be a bit more mechanical if you plan on drinking it (i.e. algae?)
10:41 AM me: do you remember that project with the algae tubes
Rob: or maybe its both, in differing degrees
me: i love that project
Rob: yeah – mos
interestingly, somebody showed up on the internets claiming mos stole the idea
me: well , that one too
Rob: which other one?
me: lemme find it
10:44 AM http://pruned.blogspot.com/2008/02/some-proposals-for-venice-lagoon-park.html
that beatuty
beauty*
10:46 AM though ive always though they could have pushed it way more, particularly in the phenomenal / affective qualities of the overhead piping, and how that plus perhaps an undulating ground plane could induce variated programmatic novelties
that + fog harvesting + urban; am i am pleased as punch
10:48 AM Rob: oh right of course
10:50 AM you can never have too much shade in dubai…
10:51 AM me: or too much algae
or water
or city, apparently
Rob: i’m with you: infecting dubai with a network of fog farms, algae, and green roofs could be deliriously fun
10:52 AM me: yeah… i don’t kno about you, but im smelling what the rock is cookin
10:53 AM there is something fundamentally lovely about farming water in the desert
10:54 AM Rob: i would find it particularly interesting if we were able to tie it to addressing the stark inequalities produced by dubai’s capitalism gone wild (itinerant laborers without good food/water/power sources seem like obvious beneficiaries of this sort of public works structures)
10:56 AM me: yeah i agree
10:57 AM it vcould be as simple as focusing the public spaces in lower income areas, or it could be that the deposit points/ownership rights are somehow distributed toward them
before we get caught up in dubai, we should carefully consider the location for this
dubai is very 2005
10:58 AM china is very 1998
im only half-joking
10:59 AM we could go bold and try baghdad
or kabul
or houston
i don’t know if they have much fog though
11:01 AM Rob: kabul is banging as is… i’m not sure it needs our loving touch:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=kabul&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ll=34.547517,69.215369&spn=0.011594,0.023389&t=h&z=16
11:02 AM me: what, no street view?
google is laggin
(yeah from the air, that city is gorgeous)
but!
you know what i was looking at yesterday…
11:03 AM Rob: throw some other places out there:
chile
peru
mauritania
morocco
algeria
phoenix (much more direly in need of water than houston, in my opinion)
me: http://www.geoeye.com/CorpSite/gallery/detail.aspx?iid=60&gid=43
Rob: egypt
iran
me: burning man
11:04 AM Rob: western/northern china
me: i think its a matter of finding which of those places has fog
Rob: yeah — i think you may be right
11:05 AM i do think dubai remains a prime candidate, because the tensions of late capitalism are so manifest there (and are among the essential problems of our day)
me: right
11:06 AM but it would be great to find the next instant city, and speculate as to what affect an infrastructure which provides free, renewable water and fuel supplies could have on a growing city
and track how the two may evolve together
11:07 AM the generative qualities creating public spaces, mitigating against the worst effects of poverty, and helping drive the economy
11:08 AM im thinking, lagos 15-20 years ago
11:09 AM the government keeps profits from the fuel, but allots a certain amount to the citizens, and the citizens get to keep the water, or something
11:10 AM Rob: that’s optimistic
(which doesn’t mean its wrong)
me: isn’t all architecture an act of optimism?
11:11 AM Rob: i think you’re right — finding the next instant city and inserting infrastructure to affect its course is (generically) what i am all about.
me: (im quoting tod williams and billie tsien there)
11:14 AM Rob: i don’t mean to suggest there’s anything wrong with being optimistic
me: yeah i know
im just sayin
this is good
11:15 AM we’re making good progress here
11:20 AM Rob: yeah. i think we have some goals: (1) research potential locations
me: (2) research some technologies
and case studies
Rob: and some good thoughts on what is being farmed, how, what the processes we want to include are
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