I would like to share with you my personal experience in a ‘Design-Analyse-Build’ way of design. Some of you might think, that it sounds not so innovative and most of the architects work in that way, that’s probably could be the truth, BUT there are some specific tips that make this experience unique.
In this post I will refer to the workshop that I shared in IED Torino Master SUS with the main coordinators ARCò and MCArchitects studio, about designing an off-grid sustainable school for Palestine, Gaza_Rafah.
Firstly, I want to meet you with a work plan, that we were followed:
1. Climate analysis of an area
2. Analysis of the state conditions and local features of the area
3. Understanding the type of users and their needs
4. Environmental strategies selection
5. Concept creation
6. Design process
7. Shadow, daylight and glare analysis using Ecotect
8. Model 1:1 scale prototype
The first step was to analyse the climate of the area to understand the possible environmental strategies we can use and make a list of parameters that is better to avoid or conversely exploit during design process. The most tricky stuff was to find the weather data for Palestine, because nowadays all the information about it is classified, due to the war. Finally we had to use weather data of Beer Sheeva that located nearby in territory of Egypt.
The result of a Climate analysis using Weather Tool, Autodesk 2011
During most of the year temperature is above the comfort zone.. The winter is short, but is noticed with a humid winds. The summer period lasts almost 7 months and accompanied with high temperature of the air and wind.The difference between the highest and lowest temperature during the day is about 10°.With this climate is important to orient building to protect it from the direct sun during summer and to capture it during winter. Also the building should be covered from strong winter wind,but use the summer ones.
The second step was to find out the location of Rafah city and underline the main function of that place. One of the most important thing was to see the actual state of the construction site, that was almost impossible due to the hostilities.
Site location. Palestine. GazaStrip, Rafah
Rafah is situated in the southern part of the GazaStrip in Palestine, at the border with Egypt. According to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel at Camp in 1982, Rafah was divided into two parts. One part was assigned to Egypt, the other part to the Gaza Strip. Nowadays Rafah is the only point of importance in the country.
The third step was to ‘meet’ the users. In this case we had to try being in their shoes, imagining lifestyle of a kid who was born and had been living all of his life in a war situation, always surrounded with fences and swaying wire in a lack of green safety spaces and entertainments.
The site is located in the central empty area of Rafah. It is surrounded with residential houses and a big warehouse.In the real-time the site is full of excavated earth, because of the erasion of the previous construction, after the bombing.
From 1948 the population of Palestine live in the war situation.. So the country has problems in many different fields, one of it belongs to children and it is lack of schools and areas for children activities
The fourth step was to choose the environmental strategies to follow to reach the off-grid building. This phase is strongly related to the climate analysis. In this case, is very helpful to see the vernacular architecture of a place to choose the right strategies.
Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli|">Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli|
workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino
The fifth step is a sort of summary of all the strategies we chose for the building – concept creation. Concept is the phase right before the design process, so it was important to choose the right orientation, shape, functional zones etc. We were also advice to make a simple symbol or logo that would describe our project in few seconds, that finally could become sort of a brend.
‘The Earth is our school, so let’s make the school with earth!’
Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli | workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino
One of the most important steps was analysis of the building with Ecotect, Autodesk 2011. For this project we had to make several calculations, such as: solar, shadow, daylight and glare analysis.
Usually shadow analysis is calculated for the longest and shortest day in the year, such as 21st of December and 21st of June. In this case we also did computings for 21st of march to get proper results and see if the overhangs are useful during al the year.
Solar analysis shows us the amount of sun hours that building surfaces receive during the day. It gives us the idea of facade protection from the direct sun. It also could be very useful to see the best position for the PV panels to let them produce the maximum energy.
Daylight factor analysis is the ratio of internal light level to external light level.A low asks for classrooms a 5% daylight factor. For art, craft, technological laboratories thatratio is even higher. Daylight can be used to offset the need for artificial lighting and hence reduce dependency and consumption on electricity and the greenhouse gas emitted. Effective daylight distribution must be achieved in a manner that brings visual satisfaction to the occupants.
Glare analysis is a calculation about number of direct sun or reflection coming from a very bright source outside the field of view. The reflection may cause discomfort as well as the additional annoyance of veiling or masking out the information which is being sought within that view.Ecotect Tool, Autodesk 2011">The result of analysis usingEcotect Tool, Autodesk 2011
The final step was a model in 1:1 scale that we built-in one of the parks in Turin city. It was a great chance to ‘feel’ the construction and understand the weak and strong points of it. In my personal opinion, it was one the best parts of design, when you make the proof to your ideas and drawings, so you can be sure that the techniques you had chosen is stable and can answer to your expectations.
Unpackaged is one of the shops with interesting, environmental friendly, and ethical concepts. Their philosophy is simple and they are describing it with this statement: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Buckminster Fuller)
photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition
The model of “world with less wasteful packaging” was created in 2006 by Catherine Conwayin, and company is achieving it one customer at a time. Unpackaged was set because Catherine wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. She set up shop that made it really easy for customers to come and refill all their daily essentials. The products they sell are usually seasonal and from local production, with minimal transportation, mostly certified organic, and fair trade. In Unpackaged shop in London you can buy the exact amount you need or want so you don’t waste anything and also save money. And in the end going packaging-free means also that less waste will end in landfills.
How It Works? They are giving us some instructions:
- Remember to bring your containers* from home (if you forget, you can buy reusable containers here)
- Come to Unpackaged & say hello
– Weigh your containers at the counter then choose the product & amount you want
– Take your goods home & enjoy
– When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!
*Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.
photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition
Chaos unceasingly invents lives never imagined
Let’s accept the crisis. Personally, I accept it convinced that it has an important systemic character and that it urges us to act because we are still far from seeing signs of the crisis bottoming out.
As a society, we have neglected all the signs that forecasted the collapse of the economic system for decades, and we have insisted in pursuing till the end a development model that, besides being deeply unfair and unbalanced, has shown itself to be exquisitely hypocritical, in particular for those of us who have tasted it to a greater extent.
The population of the so called developed countries have placidly flown with the tide of the promise of individual happiness, of the illusion of personal fulfilment, of the glare of the American dream….
The blindness caused by the flashes of the consumer society has driven us to an individualized existence, to the point that we have forgotten every social or environmental compromise with our environment. Meanwhile, we were begging to establish economic links with external powers we don’t even know, nor understand, and, of course we don’t control. These links have made us accomplices of this human devastation and environmental pillaging our mortgaged planet is suffering.
The event will take place in four main public areas that need to be re-designed around the citizens.
Public Design Festival is also get-together, exchange and occasion to create new opportunities for young designers to show up their ideas and projects. For that reason the festival is organizing.
PUBLIC MARKET is a marketplace entirely dedicated to self produced design pieces, processed crafts, limited edition objects.
PUBLIC MARKET is the chance to present new design ideas and sell them directly.
PUBLIC MARKET is the place where young designers can presents their works, in the contest of the design week.
PUBLIC MARKET is a market of ideas, experiences and stories from all over the world
PUBLIC MARKET will take place on Saturday 16th at Parco Esposizioni Novegro and will be the main content of Public Design Party event, the traditional closing party of the design week.
For more information: www.publicdesignfestival.org
produced by Esterni.
2012Architecten were recently featured in my ecological design fundamentals post for their ¨superuse¨ of building materials. Rather than an afterthought, material usage plays a central role in the design processes of these dutch architects. Approaching each project with the unique mindset that local discarded materials will shape their final design, the creations of 2012Architecten are not only examples of sustainable architecture practice, they are also fun, exciting examples of urban creativity at it´s best. 2012Architechiten are ahead of thier time and, fittingly, thier projects tend to have a futuristic feel. The three projects featured below utilize, for example, rotor blades, cable reels, sinks and steel beams that once held a textile factory together.
With Local River, french designer Mathieu Lehanneur has introduced a whole new dimension of conscious eating for fish-eating locavores. His freshwater aquarium-refrigerator design allows conscious foodies to raise their own fish and grow a vegetable patch in their living room. The system is supported by the natural exchange and interdependence between fish and plants: The plants extract the nutrient-rich water for growth while simultaneously acting as a natural filter, purifying the water to provide a healthy environment in which the fish can grow themselves. This process mimics natural pond ecology and maintains the vital balance for the ecosystem in which the fish live. It also allows fish eaters to better trace their culinary footprint, which, in an age of fish-decline due to extreme overfishing, is something worth acknowledging.
Innovation, creativity power fresh thinking at Harvard
The heart pacemaker. Surgical anesthesia. Facebook. Even breathable chocolate.
Harvard’s combination of questing minds, passionate spirits, and intellectual seekers tackling society’s toughest problems fosters a creativity that has produced a stream of innovations, from novel inventions to history-making devices that provide profound benefits to the public.
Creative thinking is a key component of Harvard’s Schools, centers, and institutes. Many innovations have come from looking at old problems in new ways, from recognizing the importance of serendipitous results, and from understanding that failures are steps to success. That innovative spirit has long been part of Harvard’s DNA, leading to the first use of anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 and the development of the pacemaker by Paul Zoll in the 1950s.
President Drew Faust highlighted this University role when she took office, noting that an institution of higher education has an “accountability to the future.”
“One of the most significant things about our research universities,” she told a gathering of civic and higher education leaders in Boston, “is that they are engines that also produce the fuel — the scientists, physicians, and engineers, the thinkers and ideas … that spur the new products, new jobs, and new companies that will help renew our economy.”
Today we present [im]possible living: an interesting project made by Daniela Galvani and Andrea Sesta.
“Abandoned buildings are everywhere: in city centers, suburbs, countrysides, mountains, seasides, everywhere! They are left there, day after day, night after night.
They don’t scream, they don’t bleed, they just loose a little piece everyday, so you don’t really realize that a certain place is falling down, until one day it’s impossible to recover it and the only thing that is possible to do is … breaking it down!!
How is our society managing those buildings? Most of the time it’s ignoring them, preferring to leave them behind and build new buildings instead! This approach it’s cheaper in the short term, but definitely it is not in the long run.
Photo courtesy of the American Repertory Theater
Harvard gave R. Buckminster Fuller a gift beyond academics, his biographers say: a lifelong preoccupation with human welfare, and the social, technical, and economic problems that vex the modern age. “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe,” a two-act monologue performed by A.R.T. veteran Thomas Derrah, explores the life and ideas of the inventor and futurist.
R. Buckminster Fuller, the self-taught architect, inventor, and futurist who coined the term “Spaceship Earth,” entered Harvard College in the fall of 1913. But by 1915, he had been thrown out twice — he preferred the term “fired” — and never returned for a degree.
Public Design Festival edition n° 3 will be held in Milan from 12 to 17 april 2011 with a new formula: site specific projects scattered all over Milan from the city centre to the outskirts of town (Lambrate, Cadorna, Porta Romana, Garibaldi). Young designers, architects and projects makers can submit their projects to realise interventions, services, installations and public design projects.
Deadline January 31.
Public Design Festival is made of a constant research that brings to Milan selected projects from all over the world with the aim of giving space to public space in building future cities. Cities shall be citizen-friendly, they shall be built on people and relations, cities to live in, not to survive in. The winning projects for this edition will be presented in a urban course that will be visible for the whole city and ready to be experienced from the citizens and visitors of Public Design Festival.
The aim of this project is to make people aware of the increasing amount of rubbish we throw away and choices for its disposal. How many times have we thought to ourselves “What a pity to throw this away!”. It just shows how often people throw away items which can still be used. RCA wants to change our attitude towards these objects and offer them a second life: if we throw away something “with love”, then someone else may “love it again”. What has become useless to someone, can become useful to someone else.
RCA enables the public to think twice before getting rid of unnecessary belongings and points out the importance of “wasting” in a critical and conscious way.
[ecosistema urbano] open calls for admission of candidates for a vacancy with fellow European mobility program Leonardo da Vinci.
Each year we support one or two trainees, and this year we have decided to make the call through the blog.
Date: From February to August 2010
Deadline for submissions: 03/02/10
Format: original presentation in pdf (no more than 5MB).
Send documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 1 January 2007 the Leonardo da Vinci is part of the Lifelong Learning Program, in conjunction with the Comenius, Erasmus and Grundtvig. Will be addressing the needs of teaching and learning of all participants in education and training, excluding tertiary level.
These are grants for placements in enterprises or in training institutions in other European Union country. They are addressed to students of Middle Level Training Cycles and people in the labour market (people who follow vocational training courses, recent graduates: college or vocational training background and degree courses, etc.).
The Leonardo da Vinci provides financial assistance to organizations that promote mobility projects.
To obtain a scholarship within the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci, you should contact one of these organizations witch have approved mobility projects (the Ministry of Education of your community, your University, your Institute, Chamber of Commerce, City Councils. ..).
“Now, the first thing we need to recognize is that this is not just a time of challenge for America’s cities; it’s also a time of great change. Even as we’ve seen many of our central cities continuing to grow in recent years, we’ve seen their suburbs and exurbs grow roughly twice as fast — that spreads homes and jobs and businesses to a broader geographic area. And this transformation is creating new pressures and problems”.
“So what’s needed now is a new, imaginative, bold vision tailored to this reality that brings opportunity to every corner of our growing metropolitan areas” (Obama)
L’Aquila – Italy, earthquake
Yes, we camp! It’s the cry to denounce the crazy conduct of the after earthquake emergency.
For the first time in the recent history of earthquakes, after three months, people are still living under tents and they will have to stay there for a long time, according to the Government’s plans.
The Clinton Climate Initiative, from the William J. Clinton Foundation, has decided to promote 16 good practices in sustainable urban growth. Everybody is making list, as Forbes, but they don’t present very well the meaning of thist list. Through the website, we can see that the Initiative push the urban regeneration and the improvement of green energy as goals to reach better cities and better life’s. From this first post, our aim is communicate information about those projects, receive comments from our community and in two weeks offer a critical overview and some strategic keys to understand why some of the presented projects are in this list, and why some have no reasons. I hope we will generate some group of discussion on the present of our cities and some positive criticism on the ways to improve them.
This is our last daily playlist at the office, from now on we’ll post weekly or monthly playlists, so the first music brain-storming ends up here… the bright side is that weekly or monthly playlists are smoother and rested, and we have more time to select tracks for everyday work…
Surfing the web I’ve discovered that number of colormagazine dedicated to the effects of climate changing and sustenible development in the island of Vörland, in the year 2057.
“In this innovative animation, filmmaker Laura Hanna, writer Gavin Browning and video artists Dana Schechter and Molly Schwartz examine the concept of The Commons as a means to achieve a society of justice and equality.
I’d like to present this curious group all composed by young women who invaded London’s streets with cakes.
Glorieta de Bilbao [Madrid]
-fisheye view from top-
Quite often grand cultural events, as the Architecture Biennale is, cross the city of Venice in a such imposing manner, rarely interacting with what stays out of the exhibition path. This applies to the citizens (inhabitants, students, workers) and also to the professionals and the artists officially invited.
Jacinto Benavente Square, Madrid [Top view]
Photos © Danny Bright, text © Lot-Ek
“Twenty-four shipping containers are retrofitted and transformed into PUMA CITY, a transportable retail and event building that is traveling around the world along with the 70-foot long Puma sailing boat – il Mostro – during the one-year long 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, just started in Alicante, Spain in early October.
The building is fully dismountable and travels on a cargo ship along with the sail boats; it will be assembled and disassembled a number of times once it reaches the different international harbors.
Festival of Creativity is an “open” platform for projects and languages of contemporaneity, a dynamic crossover in which everyone can discover the key to access the world of creativity.
The Festival promotes the multiple expressions of creativity and addresses the theme of innovation from an original and participative viewpoint that instils the aspects of exposition with performance events. Now in its third year, the Festival is confirmed as an event of international standing, showing an unedited image of contemporary Florence and putting forward Tuscany as a campus
enthused with creativity.