Thursday 14th May Cross-Crit and Future Cities

Some images of our final cross-crit of the year! Our students presented their Brief03:FutureCities. Have a look at how the next generation of architects envision the future of our cities.

Thank you to Andrei Jipa, Kester Rattenbury and Lindsay Bremner. Final sprint to the portfolio submission and end of year!

Eva Ciocyte - Aral City - As the earth gets too polluted to allow the growth of any edible crop, Aral City attempts to purify the soil progressively by building giant evaporative and inhabitable greenhouses.
Eva Ciocyte – Aral City – As the earth gets too polluted to allow the growth of any edible crop, Aral City attempts to purify the soil progressively by building giant evaporative and inhabitable greenhouses.
Alex Berciu, The Algorithmic City, In the presented scenario, the natural environment in which human beings live today will no longer exist, having been replaced by fully computer generated habitation. As the Earth’s surface will have been largely damaged by pollution and natural disasters, the only  solution for living pushed human society upwards in suspended structures developed through the  technique of extruding concrete and drone assembly. Based on a growth algorithm that evolves with  relation to continuous feedback gathered from climate data, structural qualities and population needs,  the system can perform in any given location. in the generated structure, the algorithm places accordingly a selection of 8 typologies considered  suitable for the needs of the future human society. These are: aliment production/farming, aliment  storage, housing, education hubs, culture hubs, spiritual hubs, places of sin and production  laboratories. Each typology is designed to fit within the modular grid and is placed according to  density and distance rules. The ratio between the 8 typologies is also adaptable, responding to  possible changes in societal needs.
Alex Berciu, The Algorithmic City, In the presented scenario, the natural environment in which human beings live today will no longer exist, having been replaced by fully computer generated habitation. As the Earth’s surface will have been largely damaged by pollution and natural disasters, the only solution for living pushed human society upwards in suspended structures developed through the technique of extruding concrete and drone assembly. Based on a growth algorithm that evolves with relation to continuous feedback gathered from climate data, structural qualities and population needs, the system can perform in any given location. in the generated structure, the algorithm places accordingly a selection of 8 typologies considered suitable for the needs of the future human society. These are: aliment production/farming, aliment storage, housing, education hubs, culture hubs, spiritual hubs, places of sin and production laboratories. Each typology is designed to fit within the modular grid and is placed according to density and distance rules. The ratio between the 8 typologies is also adaptable, responding to possible changes in societal needs.
Marine Pollution has become a growing plaque as plastics are accumulated into patches within the gyres around the world, damaging the marine ecosystem and entering the marine food web. As these plastics are not biodegradable, they continue to pose a threat to the marine wildlife as well as humanity. Centuries into the future, people have begun to seek for ocean colonization in an attempt to tackle marine pollution and the rising sea level. The Fluas is a self-sufficient city that realises the potential of ocean plastics as a source of reusable material. Situated within the North Pacific Gyre and consisting of clusters of floating platforms, the city is centred on the collection and recycling of these materials into elements of the city - in the form of pneumatic structures. As plastics are salvaged from the gyre, the inflated city continues to grow while its inhabitants live a seaborne lifestyle.
Garis Iu – The Inflated City – Marine Pollution has become a growing plaque as plastics are accumulated into patches within the gyres around the world, damaging the marine ecosystem and entering the marine food web. As these plastics are not biodegradable, they continue to pose a threat to the marine wildlife as well as humanity. Centuries into the future, people have begun to seek for ocean colonization in an attempt to tackle marine pollution and the rising sea level. The Fluas is a self-sufficient city that realises the potential of ocean plastics as a source of reusable material. Situated within the North Pacific Gyre and consisting of clusters of floating platforms, the city is centred on the collection and recycling of these materials into elements of the city – in the form of pneumatic structures. As plastics are salvaged from the gyre, the inflated city continues to grow while its inhabitants live a seaborne lifestyle.
Garis Iu The Inflated City
Cidade de Árvores The Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil has long been viewed as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by small river outposts. The surging population growth has seen these remote settlements transform this ancient rural vision to an expansive city scale. Cidade de Árvores (City of Trees) envisions an environment where both the city’s infrastructure and its inhabitants maintain a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding natural environment.  Built entirely from locally grown timber, the Cidade de Árvores exists as a network of steam bent beams, joined to form a structural space frame.  Like the forest, the frame is allowed to grow and develop organically over time with inhabitants adding to structure to meet their requirements. The city is powered through the use of micro wind turbine electricity generation which manifests as a series of towers scattered throughout the forest. For the city and the environment to function in harmony, the city access routes manifest as elevated walkways around large courtyards, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor.
Joe Leach – Cidade de Árvores
The Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil has long been viewed as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by small river outposts. The surging population growth has seen these remote settlements transform this ancient rural vision to an expansive city scale. Cidade de Árvores (City of Trees) envisions an environment where both the city’s infrastructure and its inhabitants maintain a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding natural environment. Built entirely from locally grown timber, the Cidade de Árvores exists as a network of steam bent beams, joined to form a structural space frame. Like the forest, the frame is allowed to grow and develop organically over time with inhabitants adding to structure to meet their requirements. The city is powered through the use of micro wind turbine electricity generation which manifests as a series of towers scattered throughout the forest. For the city and the environment to function in harmony, the city access routes manifest as elevated walkways around large courtyards, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor.
Tobias Power's Infinity Tree for Burning Man development
Tobias Power’s Infinity Tree for Burning Man development
The Infinity Tree - Updated structure with the help of Format Engineers and Ramboll
The Infinity Tree – Updated structure with the help of Format Engineers and Ramboll
This project seeks to develop a response to the combined challenges of natural disasters, the aging population and  over-fishing. All three are closely connected in Japan. In Japan, where life expectancy is one of the highest in the  world, 1 in 3 people will be over 60 by 2050. Unfortunately, Japan is also a country that has been hit by major natural  disasters such as tsunamis, during which the vulnerable elderly suffered the most. Finally, in Japan fish is the main  food source and over fishing may become a major issue in the future. Moreover, Japan has one of the highest  percentages of labour force of people aged 60 and over within the fishing industry. I am proposing a self-sufficient,  resilient city for the super-aging Japanese fishing community along the coast, as a response to these future scenarios.  The structure of the proposal would not only act as a vertical evacuation point, and accommodation for the elderly and  their families, but would also be used as sustainable fish-farming.
The Origami City – Naomi Danos – This project seeks to develop a response to the combined challenges of natural disasters, the aging population and over-fishing. All three are closely connected in Japan. In Japan, where life expectancy is one of the highest in the world, 1 in 3 people will be over 60 by 2050. Unfortunately, Japan is also a country that has been hit by major natural disasters such as tsunamis, during which the vulnerable elderly suffered the most. Finally, in Japan fish is the main food source and over fishing may become a major issue in the future. Moreover, Japan has one of the highest percentages of labour force of people aged 60 and over within the fishing industry. I am proposing a self-sufficient, resilient city for the super-aging Japanese fishing community along the coast, as a response to these future scenarios. The structure of the proposal would not only act as a vertical evacuation point, and accommodation for the elderly and their families, but would also be used as sustainable fish-farming.
Naomi Danos, The Origami City
Naomi Danos, The Origami City
Lorna Jackson presenting her Burning Man proposal and future city for women only.
Lorna Jackson presenting her Burning Man proposal and future city for women only.
Fractal BreakCity will act as defence and breakwater structures against tsunamis and floods.  Benefiting of internalised creation of food, resources and objects, a trade based economy will  emerge, while the cult of product marketing will shrink to its essential.  The city is based on recursive aggregation: one geometry is repeated in a self-similar way to create a  complex looking aggregation, following a fractal pattern. The system consists of one module, with structures of different scales according to their function, so that the bathroom will be the smallest box unit, the bedroom slightly larger and so on. The largest box unit at the center of an aggregated module, will consist of the communal and production based spaces. Cellulose mixed with water, can be 3D printed to create structures stronger than steel and will become structural elements for the city, while aerogel wall components (made of silica, which is found in sand, across the world) will clad each unit’s sides.
Diana Raican – Fractal BreakCity will act as defence and breakwater structures against tsunamis and floods. Benefiting of internalised creation of food, resources and objects, a trade based economy will emerge, while the cult of product marketing will shrink to its essential. The city is based on recursive aggregation: one geometry is repeated in a self-similar way to create a complex looking aggregation, following a fractal pattern. The system consists of one module, with structures of different scales according to their function, so that the bathroom will be the smallest box unit, the bedroom slightly larger and so on. The largest box unit at the center of an aggregated module, will consist of the communal and production based spaces. Cellulose mixed with water, can be 3D printed to create structures stronger than steel and will become structural elements for the city, while aerogel wall components (made of silica, which is found in sand, across the world) will clad each unit’s sides.
Jon Leung's developments on the Bismuth Bivouac for Burning Man
Jon Leung’s developments on the Bismuth Bivouac for Burning Man
Jon Leung's Bismuth Bivouac updated render with latest development with the help of format engineers.
Jon Leung’s Bismuth Bivouac updated render with latest development with the help of format engineers.
John Koning's power generating Ron Resch origami city
John Koning’s power generating Ron Resch origami city
Irina Ghuizan's flying city
Irina Ghuizan’s flying city
Toby Plunket's Silent City in China
Toby Plunket’s Silent City in China

23rd January 2015 – Interim Portfolio Day

Here we are – we have reached the middle of the academic year at the University of Westminster. Time to assess and appreciate our students portfolios and hard work during a lively “interim cross-marking” with our colleagues. Here are couple examples of the most remarkable portfolios in our Diploma Studio 10. Very excited to start our new brief03 on future cities. We will soon announce the three winners in our studio which will get the opportunity to build installations at the new headquarters of Buro Happold and students will soon post their Burning Man proposals on this blog. Oh and we are also going to our unit trip to Copenhagen next week!! Pictures by Toby Burgess.

Our Studio Space at the University of Westminster
Our Studio Space at the University of Westminster
Sarah Stell's Inhabitable Geometric Transitions
Sarah Stell’s Inhabitable Geometric Transitions
Joe Leach's Flower of Life Curved Playful Truss
Joe Leach’s Flower of Life Curved Playful Truss
Jonathan Leung's Bismuth Bivouac
Jonathan Leung’s Bismuth Bivouac
Aslan Adnan's recusrsive explosion
Aslan Adnan’s recusrsive explosion
Lorna Jackson's Spirohedron Confessional
Lorna Jackson’s Spirohedron Confessional
Maria Vergopoulou's copper sulfate crystals and mirrors
Maria Vergopoulou’s copper sulfate crystals and mirrors

Diana Raican's Interlocking Wooden Fractals Toby Plunket's spatial study of sound

John Konings's Giant Wooden Miura-Ori  Origami
John Konings’s Giant Wooden Miura-Ori Origami

system development: crystal growth & mineral deposition

The investigation started by the examination of stalagmites and stalactites as a naturally growing system. Water carrying dissolved calcite is deposed gradually, creating layers of crystalissed mineral formations. This research resulted to the study of the geometry of crystal growth and the testing of mineral deposition in general.

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Experimenting with mineral deposition under different principles and mapping the results of each imprint was followed by the creation of a manually controlled 3D printer of minerals.

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Testing with different saturated solutions, crystal growth techniques and observing changes based on drop point and drop techniques of minerals, light, temperature and consistency of solutions led to the idea of creating a clever glass panel that follows the rules of crystallisation and can transform based on environmental changes.

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These panels can be used for the creation of a structure that is adaptable in extreme environmental changes of warm and cold temperature, such as those experienced in the Black Rock Dessert of Nevada where the Burning Man Festival is located.

22nd October Cross-crit

Below are couple pictures of our first cross-crit yesterday. We would like to thank the critiques, Kester Rattenbury, Lawrence Lek, Andrei Martin, Daniel Piker, Jack Munro and Adam Holloway for their helpful comments. Great work, keep it up guys!

Above: Marilu Valente showing her potato starch elastic columns

Above: Andrei Jipa’s crystal formation and soap interference.

Above: Thanasis Korras’ plywood fractal.

Quasicrystal Research paper

This is a Thesis project by Barbara Weinzierl which looks into Quasicrystals and their potential application within architecture. She has experimented taking the penrose tiling and raising it into a 3D geometry, analyzing its pattern morphology and the different combinations of rhomb found. One of the things I found most interesting is the potential of fractal patterning as shown below, this opens up great possibilies for the designer to play with scale.  I think this could be particularly appropriate for burning man as the warm baby girls were saying that scale can be difficult to gauge in the desert.  She explores their use in a single layered system as well as multidimensional crystals, creating some really interesting models.

You can read some of her research paper by following this link  to her facebook page. She has also had an article published in the Swedish design magazine “Arkitekten” this month.