Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Referencing References

Courtesy of Don, the following comes from a remarkably good little guide to citing sources:

Checkmate pocket guide
By Joanne Buckley
Available from Thompson/Nelson


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

White One


White One:
Stanley Sun
Stephanie Fleming
Iggy So
Megan Baker
Sam Eby
Nathan Tung
Desiree Geib

If the world were a village of 100 people, 50 of us would be malnourished, and one would be dying of starvation. There is a constant struggle to try to make the food industry meet the needs of the world population. Our culture’s large energy consumption and use of fossil fuels has reduced international food production as well as the part of the economy tied to the food industry. The processes used in the food industry have also contributed to the effects fossil fuels have on our environment. We need to find methods to decrease the amount of energy consumed by the growth, production, and transportation of food, thereby protecting our economy and the food industry.

Source: http://www.familycare.org

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Three


"Examining water, agriculture, and wet waste"

In the year 2050 it is projected that there will be 9.1 billion human beings on the planet, each person requiring 13.2 gallons of water a day to assure survival and meet basic needs; sanitation, bathing, cooking. Currently 884 million people lack access to safe water, mostly in developing countries. These countries lack the large scale infrastructure necessary to distribute water adequately and will be burdened with almost all of the projected population increases. These countries also lack infrastructure systems adequate to deal with wet waste disposal and to support agriculture. Large scale infrastructure is expensive and it is extremely unlikely that it will see significant developments. For this reason a move to on site methods of water and wet waste treatment will be necessary to support the growing population, in terms of sanitation, availability of potable water, and agriculture. This group blog will identify strategies for water conservation and reuse as well as how theses systems and methods can be combined with more effective wet waste disposal and efficient agricultural practices. Irrigation practices are evaluated and compared to real world irrigational issues in Jordan. Water reuse and wet waste disposal issues are also studied providing methods of effectively treating waste water for reuse agriculturally; real world applications in Peru are discussed. Additionally, Biogas digesters are an alternative waste treatement method that is investigated illustrating opportunities to dispose and reuse waste efficiently, applicable once again agriculturally. Finally, water supply and agricultural issues in mexico city are evaluated and possible solutions are investigated.

Red Two

Our group is...


We're discussing shelter, transportation, and water.

An urban area is a place with high population density. Rather obviously, a skyline made up of tall, closely-spaced buildings usually marks the nucleus of urbanity. Housing is densely arranged, and as infrastructure is built, there is little land left for construction. Essentially, urban areas are characterized by their unique shelters, and the people that occupy them. This gathering of people in a centralized area is driven by basic life-instincts. Why do we move or migrate? We move to seek a better life, whether through more rewarding careers, better education, improved services or a more stable and safer environment.

Water is an important symbol for urbanization and life. After all, early settlers built their homes near water for survival. The transition from agriculture to urban dwelling is closely tied to essential resources, and the ways we access them. Developments in transportation enabled this change from small communities, to large cities, to metropolitan areas. Without any of these factors, development comes to a halt, and people cannot come together to live as one. We depend on each other to survive and in this exercise - Urban Survival Kit: The File - we will examine how shelter, water and transportation are needed to survive in subsistence urbanity.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Red One Group


Check out our posts on:

Agriculture, Wet Waste Disposal, and Food

This blog looks at the technology and theory of agriculture, food, and wet-waste disposal in an urban context. It is a consideration and reconsideration of how these systems, essential to survival of urbanism, are constructed.

The Hierarchy of Help

  1. Read the course outline (if you don't have this, skip to step 5, make a copy, return to step 1)
  2. Read hand-outs from class (ditto)
  3. Read e-mails (and attachments) from your prof
  4. Read e-mails (and attachments) from your TA
  5. Ask your friends
  6. Ask someone else from the class who seems to know what's going on
  7. Ask your TA
  8. Ask your prof

White 3

White Three Group Blog: http://arch100w3.blogspot.com/

Centering around the topic of shelter, innovations in water and agriculture technology have forged a new path in architecture. With populations increasing worldwide, we've been forced to deal with emerging slums which can't be viably sustained in the face of increasing global warming and rising water levels. Urban design has taken on a new goal: that of balancing overpopulation with our environment.

White Two

White Two Group Blog: http://arch100-w2.blogspot.com/

Welcome to White 2's Weblog - a compilation of our team's research into the role of energy and its relationship to food and shelter in subsistence urbanity.


Blue 2 Group Blog: http://blue2arch100.blogspot.com/

Subtopics: Water, Shelter

Aristotle's Four Causes

Aristotle, in his Physics, describes the causes of a form, the factors responsible for the form of an object. In order to know a thing, four questions must be asked of it:
What is it made from? (material cause);
What is its form or essence? (formal cause);
What produced it? (efficient cause);
For what purpose? (final cause).
This thesis (or perhaps doctrine) can be stretched (often metaphorically) to apply itself to complex states, organizations, ways of being, but it is most at home when it is used in the discussion of biological objects and artifacts. Even then, because the boundaries between animate and inanimate things are blurred in an epistemology that sees all things in a dynamic state, a state of change (even intrinsically alive) the causes are not formulaic. 
(ie. keep reading!)

Plato tried to resolve the problem of a changing world by postulating that, “behind” or “inside” every (imperfect) thing (no matter what that thing) there was an essentially pure idealization of the thing, a static, enduring essence. Aristotle, on the other hand, worked to describe that dynamic world without resort to a parallel, perfect, one. Aristotle questioned the causes of changes in order to understand the nature of things in a dynamic world: What is responsible for this change? What brought this thing into being? What will take it away? Matter takes on, or looses, form. This is change, change comes about causally. Aristotle saw a dense, perhaps endless web of causality, and sought the means to describe it, by describing the causal relationships among the objects, large or small, from which the world is made.

Material cause: “that from which, (as a constituent) present in it, a thing comes to be … e.g., the bronze and silver, and their genera, are causes of the statue and the bowl.”
Formal cause: “the form, i.e., the pattern … the form is the account of the essence … and the parts of the account.”

Efficient cause: “the source of the primary principle of change or stability,” e.g., the man who gives advice, the father (of the child). “The producer is a cause of the product, and the initiator of the change is a cause of what is changed.”

Final cause: “something’s end (telos)—i.e., what it is for—is its cause, as health is (the cause) of walking.”
Of all of these, it could be said that Aristotle set purpose, the final cause as the pre-eminent cause for change, the first of the four causes to give an object form. In this exercise, use Aristotle’s causes as a framework to consider the factor you have chosen.

(an additional excerpt from Physics (Book II, Part 3) is included in the Assignment 3 Supplement - reading it carefully will help you better understand Aristotle's Four Causes and apply them effectively to this assignment)

The Point, The Line, and The Plane in Subsistence Urbanity

Exercise 3 (a group collaboration)

Urban Survival Kit – The File
Working individually, and in a team, gather and edit and organize dependable research material on one of the factors of CHART III: The Point, The Line and The Plane in a Subsistence Urbanity and relate that factor to two others on the list, in order to begin to develop an architect’s version of an Urban Survival Kit.

This obsessive classification makes an assumption [Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof], and, in a world where the urban populations of the developing world are doubling, it is a naive assumption. The assumption: Civilization (the culture of cities) will gravitate to larger, more coordinated urban orders, requiring greater scale in each part, even as the coordinating grid that underlies it becomes substantially finer in grain and ever-more dependant on ever-greater degrees of precision. In a world where we depend for our day-to-day life on telecommunications satellites, coordinated by private corporations and governments powerful enough to launch them, we tend to take the underlying network for granted, because – even if we hold its evidence in our hands – we do not see it.

It would be a mistake to assume that urbanism has to become thicker and more hierarchic, more systematic (as we understand systems – as physical infrastructures) over time, in order for it to mature. We understand that cities that rival New York in size now exist, cities where there has been no effective power grid, water supply, or waste management system for a half-decade or more, and we see those cities continue to grow. That is, the network of lines has degenerated significantly, yet life goes on. What we begin to see is a city, not of points in a network of regulating lines over a plane of unregulated existence kept deep in the background, but rather a city of points on a plane, a plane ordered, if at all, by nothing more than the rotting vestiges of a net, a net that no longer serves to mediate the plane. Across vast scales, local knowledge rules.

Water, waste, trade, communications, training... all these go on in an entirely different milieu. These are subsistence settlements on a vast scale, almost unanticipated, and likely to house one in six of the world’s people within thirty years, IF energy shortages and drought do not force much of the population out of the equatorial countries. Add that possibility into the equation, and the numbers will be much higher. Urbanism, for these people, becomes a matter of subsistence, of survival, and not a matter of the coordination of vast technical systems.

What distinguishes these emerging cities from slums of the past is this: they may never have the central infrastructure we expect of cities, and they may be able, over time, to do without it. This may be possible, and it might be successful, because, in place of a physical infrastructure, they can reach a super-infrastructure, a communications infrastructure that could organize the settlement, the community, more fluidly.

We already know of those places in the world where cellular telephone systems have been providing telephone service where no wired service existed, or where it was a failure. We know of semi-rural communities in developing countries that have been able to pick their best market days because the village has a cell telephone and receives text messages of the market prices for their produce; in those places, it becomes possible to bid up the supply, and organize growers. We also know now about microcredit banking systems that have been changing economies in urban, semi-rural, and rural societies (which are becoming, in practice, a continuum, rather than distinct zones of density.)

Informal Urban Settlements

Portraits From Above: Hong Kong's Informal Rooftop Communities
Rufina Wu and Stefan Canham

“You have to be careful. It is very dangerous up there.
Those places are filled with thieves and drug addicts. It
is easy for them to hide from the police on a rooftop –
if you don’t know the place, you’d get lost for sure…”

 photograph by Stefan Canham

 photograph by Stefan Canham

CHART III: The Point, The Line, and The Plane in a Subsistence Urbanity

A. Water
supply and conservation
B. Wet Waste Disposal

C. Garbage Disposal

D. Energy
supply, production, and conservation
E. Agriculture
animal and plant husbandry
F. Food
production and supply,
G. Shelter
land tenure, settlement pattern
building technique
H. Economies
labour and employment
trade & exchange
I. Transport

J. Learning, training, skill exchange, knowledge work

Blue One

Blue One's blog is here: http://arch100-b1.blogspot.com/

We are exploring the concept of shelter (including land tenure, settlement patterns, and building techniques) in subsistent urbanity. To further explore subsistent urbanism, small investigations are made into water supply and conservation, and wet-waste disposal. In an urban subsistent existence, particularly in informal settlements, how do humans learn to cope? What methods can be used? And what, essentially, is needed to survive?

When the traditional systems, that we have come to take for granted, fail which new systems will develop? It is not only through subsistence urbanity but also through regulated aims at sustainability that we must adapt in order to survive. Researching current projects and ideas regarding informal settlements and settlement networks will provide a better understanding of what techniques and technologies should be included in an architect's toolkit.

-Blue One