makeLab™ blog


Mapping intergration by Jim Stevens
June 5, 2010, 8:25 pm
Filed under: makeLab @Large

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The Mapping projects are starting to become integrated with the other design projects.  We are attempting to merge the micro and macro of the city.

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We have named our investigation: Hydro[logic]al Hierarchy: Urban System + Typology [toward rules and logic at an urban scale]. Our design process incorporates three steps: understand place [systemically, through the foundational element of water]; analyze place; and make place.
Our work was guided by the four studio verbs: collect, store, filter, release; with slight interpretation to describe water at an urban scale.
Our team first created mapping layers that represented data we had gathered about Shanghai (e.g. population density and water usage; rainfall, topography, etc.). We then created an analogue 3D installation of the water system at the scale of the entire city of Shanghai, beginning with its origins at Dianshan Lake and progressing west and north to the Yangtze River. The installation emphasized the notion of datum and the natural and man made manifestation of water within, above and below that datum. We then created a digital version of the installation to further define the five elements of our system:
1_datum (shu ju | ji zhun) – mesh representing the ground plane [land] – the natural collection vessel that mitigates between the environment and the human.
2_water [shed/table]– for natural storage [below] :
Dianshan Lake [hu]
Rivers that hit the source [Dianshan Lake] – Huangpu [the yellow river that hits the ocean)– piercing the datum
Rivers/Creeks that create a finer grain network
Surface Water within the datum – wetlands (filter [tration])
3_man made water infrastructure/grid above [imposed] for collection, storage, filtration, release [dispersion]:
Canals
Irrigation
Flood Control
Reservoirs
Filtration + Water Treatment Plants
4_confluence points – primary represents intersection with Huaungpu River; secondary represents intersection of natural + man made; Tertiary represents intersection of like types (natural/natural; manmade manmade); a “classification for” release [use] – above and below:
creates opportunities for future program.
5_place typology – Chinese words are all about form. Names related to types of water + types of man-made water infrastructure that allow water use – release [use].

To begin to consider the implications of the system for architectural and urban form, we rotated the five elements of our system 90 degrees so that the elements traverse the datum and begin to describe built form both above and below the datum. The images of the system, superimposed on the city, and some of the formal images from the initial physical models, begin to express our intent for the system and future program: an armature, piercing a varied datum, with the translated “Huangpu” as the central vertical elements, supported by a finer grain network of horizontal and vertical branches and confluence points that imply future program for sustainable growth and change: filtration, inhabitation, production, etc.

Our next steps include:
+analyze place [employ diverse techniques to interpret data and inspire design]
+iterate the elements of the Hierarchy [datum, section, scale] translating them into parametric script and form;
+consider growth + contraction [the future city with and without water]
+represent Density in Shanghai focusing on temporal density [moving density]: movement of people (all modes), pace of building construction, use/flow of water, etc.

Comment by Constance Bodurow




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