Saturday, October 10, 2009

If John were an urban planner

Imagine there's no disconnection,

it's easy if you try

you can see beginning and end

of the systems that maintain life

Imagine all the people,

living for a cyclical urbanism,

ahhaa ahhhh

chicken tractors

" Chickens & Permaculture

Animals are often a component of a permaculture garden and backyard chickens are one of the best examples. Thinking about chickens is also an opportunity to think about some very important core permaculture ideas … let’s do some chicken analysis! [image courtesy of Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison]

As with any element in permaculture, we must think not just about the element itself, but its relationship to and connection with other elements! Think of it as the Theory of Relative Location: place every element in relationship to others so that they assist and support each other. In other words, each element supports the entire system so the value of the whole is greatly enhanced. As Bill Mollison says, “The core of permaculture is design. Design is a connection between things. It’s not the human, or the chicken or the garden. It is how the human, the chicken and the garden are connected.”

Chickens require inputs:

  • Shelter
  • Grit
  • Dust
  • Water
  • Air
  • Food
  • Other Chickens
  • General husbandry

Chickens have the following products and/or behaviors:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Feathers
  • Manure
  • Methane
  • CO2
  • Scratching & Tillage
  • Foraging
  • Clucking
  • Flying
  • Fighting

We also consider the intrinsic characteristics:

  • Breed
  • Color
  • Climate tolerance
  • Breed-specific behaviors

With all of this taken into account, we can consider the optimal location for chickens in our permaculture garden so that we create the most beneficial relationships possible with the other elements. Tune in next time to learn about one of the best ways to do this: Chicken Tractors. "

Casey says,

"Permaculture is a good idea."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

persperation of brain. ( pre-flood)

Infrastructure which combines systems required for urban environments that are also made for human experience/occupation

Exposed systems as a means of maintaining awareness of our production, waste, and general cycle of materials.

The utilities of the city should not be removed from sight or touch. Rather than mono-infrastructure, the systems of the city should be wed to encompass waste managment, energy production, recreation and general civic participation.

Synthesis of the biological and the mechanical.

Localized closed cycles. ecology and technology are facilitated to maintain healthy, economical and cyclical systems.

Technology as a means of creating simpler, more cohesive lifestyles. Urbanism as a programatic concern for community development and visa versa.


Spaces that are not intellectualized. Spaces that are felt with the senses.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is the classic photo by David Ow of a transgenic plant expressing firefly luciferase. Basically, this is a glowing tobacco plant. This experiment was initially done in an attempt to visually display bio-engineered plants. The gene which fireflies contain to allow them to light up the sky was harvested and linked up a second gene. When that other gene is expressed, the plant glows.
Infrastructures are the systems that allow cities to maintain a pulse. Perhaps bio-engineering and more radical appropriation of plants, as well as permaculture and increased general awareness can lead our cities to have a healthier blood pressure and

Interstellar space stations have been discussed recently.
I was reminded of a story I read recently by Arthur C. Clark story called Rendezvous with Rama. Essentially a monolithic cylinder comes charging into our solar system one day, from the deep depths of space. This cylinder, 60 kilometers long, 16 wide, contains inside of it what seem to be cities, infrastructure, advanded technology and an ocean the shape of a gigantic ring.
Alien urbanism, floating through deep space.

plein air sound

Vision is undoubtedly our most dominant sense. Some of our most deep rooted cultural activities and media events are made possible almost exclusively by perception via the eye ball.
In the field of architecture alone, a large majority of critical theory, both in the past and present, has focused almost exclusively on the visual, placing importance on sight lines, visual corridors, the importance of framing views.

While this visual dominance certainly exists in part because of that particular sense's wide ranging and often extremely practical capabilities, this increasing focus on vision comes at a cost to the development and rewards associated with sound, touch, taste and smell.

While there are many examples of spaces designed specifically to please the eyes, besides concert halls (which also may kneel primarily to visual aesthetics), it is difficult to imagine a space that could be designed to primarily facilitate a non-visual experience.

But perhaps more important that attempting to conceive of an olfactory architecture, is to maintain a conscious effort to keep the other senses in mind; if for no other reason, for the sake of sense-diversity. Agricultural critics speak of mono-crops as problematic because they promote short sighted production rather than fostering a healthy, diverse and resistant ecosystem.

The drawings below are part of a series of auditory records of particular places, at a particular time. They are made by covering the eyes, and asking the hand to move in correspondence with surrounding sounds. These sonic events can then be re-imagined by a subjective interpretation of the visual record.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Glimpses of the primary factory, located on the eastern edge of
the site. While this space is wonderfully empty in this depiction,
it would presumably be filled with assembly line equipment,
trucks, ect..


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the end of the beginning

Below are a few of the images depicting the last round of representation I was able achieved while in Korea. A few days before leaving, I was asked to produce a site plan that had 3 factories, an office building and an R and D buildings. I had previously been working toward a plan that included 2 factories and the office head quarters. Because the land is being leased by the city, and plots are becoming more and more scarce, Invicx needed/needs to show that they are going to be using the 11 acres efficiently and economically.
Prior to the addition of one more factory and the R and D building, there was a lot of open space, which I thought to be a major advantage. So basically, we giving the city a proposal for what the site may look like far into the future, but as far as the near futures is concerned, there should still be ample space to breath. ( that assuming there will be anything built at all in the near future)
So, while the reason for adding two more buildings is reasonable, they late notice was trouble some, and the rest of the design is probably suffering because of it.
I may have a chance to continue to develop these plans thoughout the summer....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

feng shui

The Switch

The factory and the office buildings had more or less been placed on the site. Then, one of the owners decided that he should have a friend of his, who is a Feng Shui expert, take a look at the site to give us the perspective of Asian cultural history.
We drove to the site to meet this man. He stepped out of the car, holding a Feng Shui compass and imediatly began to give his assessment on the where the most ideal place to put the buildings is.
He was dressed in traditional garb, and was the only person I have seen here that had the long, pointed, graying beard.
While he only spoke Korean, thus I did not hear this from the horses mouth, but rather from a rough, and I'm sure generalized translation. But basically, he says the office must face either east or south ( he assumes all buildings have a single directionality). The Factory should be on the other side of the site. There should be two entrances on the north side, one for the factory, one for the office.
Later when I asked why this was, I got a half hearted, and very generic answer basically say that there are certain rules in feng shui that have been followed for thousands of years, and that it has to do with aligning with the positive energy of the earth, and turning from the bad.
Initially, skepticism was full on. Im not down with designing around arbitrary superstition and rules that have the pseudo-scientfic feel of astroglogy. The owners of course where completely down with designing around such.
But, trying to be culturally considerate, I calmed down a bit and realized that most of my decisions up till that point had fallen in line with those rules, except the buildings needed to be mirrored. While mirroring everything is obviously a big deal, it was not nearly as drastic as I anticipated. While doing this would thrown off some things with the layout, it actually solved some of the problems I was having. So, only a partitial step back.
Also, I have decided that I am down with aligning with the earths energy, weather you call in fung shui or not. and being culturally conscience is also a good thing I suppose. ( even though pretty much none of the contemporary buildings here are.)

The Switch

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the beginning of buildings

The site is located is a small, but growing industrial
complex on the northern edge of Gwangju.

The initial conceptual mock-ups. Undoubtedly many
changes in ensue, but the basic idea is present.

move below, ascend up into the belly of the beast.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Many different bowls of fermented
or sauce soaked vegetables and lit-
tle fishes. Large bowls of noodles
with chucks of beef still attched to
the bone.

The roof garden that tops of our of-
fice building. There are a suprising
amount of roof gardens on the buil-
ings here, and the city seems to be
farely conscious of maintaining gre-
en space in the midths of what see-
ms to be on going rapid infill. The
city of Gwangju is apparently mar-
keting itself as a cultural hub and
in thus attempting to build a " Cultural Economy"
as well as be a sort of Asian Silicon

35.12 degrees N, 126.8 degrees E

Somehow, Casey is now in Gwangju. Working on the top floor of a 14th story office building in S. Korea. Here with an interdisciplinary group of 10 of my fellow students ( some have graduated), we are working for a start-up electronics company called Invicx. We have more than doubled their staff upon landing, and have more or less taken over their office.
The first 9 are working on various projects, ranging from the housing for an stereo amp with surprisingly progressive technology to a electronic language teaching device. The 10th, myself, is designing 3 bu
ildings for a 11 acre blank slate site located in a generic industrial complex. One office building, one temporary factory and one permanent factory.