Dynamic catalog of patterns, structures, experiments, reflections and digital explorations on built and natural environment by Ignacio López Busón resulting from the London Architectural Association Landscape Urbanism Master's Programme (AALU) since academic year 2011/12, with the collaboration of the AALU students and my teaching colleagues, Giancarlo Torpiano and Vincenzo Reale.
"Cheetah_the CONFIGURBANIST is a plugin for configurational analysis in urban design projects, made as an add on for grasshopper; Cheetah is to be a proof of concept for a larger package named as Configurbanist. Cheetah has been developed by Pirouz Nourian and Samaneh Rezvani, at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology, Chair of Design Informatics, led by Prof. dr. ir. Sevil Sariyildiz."
This updated edition continues to present an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the subject, exploring the world’s landforms from a broad systems perspective. It covers the basics of Earth surface forms and processes, while reflecting on the latest developments in the field. Fundamentals of Geomorphology begins with a consideration of the nature of geomorphology, process and form, history, and geomorphic systems, and moves on to discuss:
structure: structural landforms associated with plate tectonics and those associated with volcanoes, impact craters, and folds, faults, and jointsprocess and form: landforms resulting from, or influenced by, the exogenic agencies of weathering, running water, flowing ice and meltwater, ground ice and frost, the wind, and the sea; landforms developed on limestone; and landscape evolution, a discussion of ancient landforms, including palaeosurfaces, stagnant landscape features, and evolutionary aspects of landscape change.
Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet.
The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas. There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit (33.11 oC) instead of the current 58 (14.44 oC) .
First 30 pages of Frei Otto's "Occupying and Connecting: Thoughts on Territories and Spheres of Influence with Particular Reference to Human Settlement", written in the context of special research into »natural constructions« by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Frei Otto is one of the 20th-century’s most important architectural visionaries. He is a technician, artist and philosopher in one, and his central concern is for a new and all-embracing link with nature in building.
"Cities, estates and routing systems develop, change constantly and fundamentally cannot be planned. Claims to ownership, land and building regulations, planning decisions and political interventions make it difficult for settlement structures to adapt to constantly changing requirements to such an extent that meaningful and totally ecological use of the surface of the earth is becoming increasingly difficult, although new techniques and flexible planning models mean that a connection could be found with the self-designing processes of urban-development history. [...] Human settlements are organisms, but they are not hereditarily anchored in their form like corals, sponges or beehives. They often grow and shrink at the same time. Their form can almost never be called chaotic. Typical self-formation processes lead to astonishing genetic optimization in the course of time. Processes of change have become so rapid today that current urban-planning theories have been overtaken. But high effectiveness of self-created, in other words unplanned settlements in terms of energy and biology is totally achievable today in »natural« town and transport planning and leads to ecologically
meaningful solutions that are also full of beauty."
More information about the book in the Landscape Urbanism Library:
"Although 75% of the planet is a relatively unchanging ocean of blue, the remaining 25% of Earth's surface is a dynamic green. Data from the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite is able to detect these subtle differences in greenness. The resources on this page highlight our ever-changing planet, using highly detailed vegetation index data from the satellite, developed by scientists at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The darkest green areas are the lushest in vegetation, while the pale colors are sparse in vegetation cover either due to snow, drought, rock, or urban areas. Satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013 was used to generate these animations and images."
"The legacy of the world’s conflicts can be seen in the scores of camps for refugees around the world. This story profiles the 50 most populous settlements administered by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Contrary to popular belief, many of these settlements are far from temporary, and most of the largest ones are in Africa and South Asia. In total, these camps are home to over 1.9 million uprooted people. The massive Dadaab complex in Kenya (which includes the Hagadera, Dagahaley, and Ifo camps) has existed for years, even decades. As the imagery in these views shows, many refugee settlements are located on arid or marginal lands. With scarce local resources from which to draw, most residents of these facilities depend on external aid for survival."
"Since 2003 Michael Marten has travelled to different parts of the British coast to photograph identical views at high and low tide, six or eighteen hours apart. His beautiful and surprising photographs reveal how the twice daily rhythm of ebb and flood can dramatically transform the landscape. From holiday beaches to industrial estuaries, the photographs record two moments in time, two states of nature. One aspect of what makes these photographs so compelling is the fascination of comparing each pair of pictures, spotting what has or hasn't changed. The contrasting views play with our sense of depth and perspective, and show how subjective is our perception of landscape. The result is a substantial document capturing the variety of the British coastline, a portrait of the maritime landscape that makes visible in a dramatic new way the ebb and flow of tidal waters."
“The 2013 Human Development Report -The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World- looks at the evolving geopolitics of our times, examining emerging issues and trends and also the new actors which are shaping the development landscape.The Report argues that the striking transformation of a large number of developing countries into dynamic major economies with growing political influence is having a significant impact on human development progress. […] By 2020, according to projections developed for this Report, the combined economic output of three leading developing countries alone—Brazil, China and India—will surpass the aggregate production of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Much of this expansion is being driven by new trade and technology partnerships within the South itself, as this Report also shows.[…] A key message contained in this and previous Human Development Reports, however, is that economic growth alone does not automatically translate into human development progress. Pro-poor policies and significant investments in people’s capabilities—through a focus on education, nutrition and health, and employment skills—can expand access to decent work and provide for sustained progress.”
Relevant collection of essays from the ESRI’s library on how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are pushing the boundaries of Geography sciences and critically changing the way we deal with the built and natural environment.
“By understanding geography and people's relationship to location, we can make informed decisions about the way we live on our planet. A geographic information system (GIS) is a technological tool for comprehending geography and making intelligent decisions. GIS organizes geographic data so that a person reading a map can select data necessary for a specific project or task. A good GIS program is able to process geographic data from a variety of sources and integrate it into a map project. From routinely performing work-related tasks to scientifically exploring the complexities of our world, GIS gives people the geographic advantage to become more productive, more aware, and more responsive citizens of planet Earth.”
"Airports are known for rules and regulations, a reputation that applies to the runways as well. Almost all airport designs are governed by regulations established by the International Civil Aviation Organization to ensure pilots circling Toledo or Timbuktu remain properly oriented and deliver passengers and cargo safely. Lauren O’Neil turns those strictures into art, with the help of Google Earth. The Brooklyn-based designer has made a meticulous study of airport runways and logged the results on a Tumblr called Holding Pattern. These views reveal beautiful compositions at airports that are nothing special at ground level." - Wired.com
"We are excited to share the world’s first commercial, high-resolution, HD video of Earth from space. The following montage showcases several of the first videos captured by SkySat-1 since early December and these videos are untuned and not yet calibrated. In this video, you will see a selection of views including Tokyo, Bangkok, Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Aleppo, Syria. SkySat-1 captures up to 90-second video clips at 30 frames per second. The resolution is high enough to observe objects that impact the global economy like shipping containers, but not close enough to view or identify human activity."
Motivating and scary at the same time, watch the video in 1080p HD resolution. For more information about Sybox Imaging's work, click here:
"According to the United Nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the south. In this brilliant and ambitious book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. He traces the global trajectory of informal settlement from the 1960s slums of hope , through urban poverty s big bang during the debt decades of the 1970s and 1980s, down to today s unprecedented megaslums like Cono Sur, Sadr City and the Cape Flats. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila, urbanization has been disconnected from industrialization, even economic growth."
Geographer Stephen Young and a biologist Paul Kelly team up to curate the exhibition “Macro or Micro?" at Salem State University, featuring confounding views from both satellites and microscopes
"Through the intermingling of earth imagery generated via both satellite and microscope this body of work by Paul Kelly and Stephen Young reveals patterns and similarities in the natural world that are undetectable by the naked eye. This exciting, collaborative work bridges art and science, raising questions about how we interpret various points-of-view, the broader universe and our place in it. Paul Kelly has been a Professor of Biology at Salem State University since 1997. He is a herpetologist who specializes in the study of snakes. Stephen Young is a former chair of the Geography Department at Salem State where he focuses on remote sensing, vegetation change and the geography of Asia."
"Seen from a satellite, an industrial feedlot has a sort of abstract beauty. The washes of colors, the juxtaposition of organic and rigid geometries, initially obscure the subject. Then comes the realization:That’s where our food comes from. Such is the power of “Feedlots,” a new series of images crafted by British artist Mishka Henner from publicly available satellite photographs."
"What is the impact of digital technologies on the design and analysis of cities? For the last 15 years, the profound impact of computer–aided techniques on architecture has been well charted. From the use of standard drafting packages to the more experimental use of generative design tools and parametric modelling, digital technologies have come to play a major role in architectural production. But how are they helping architects and designers to operate at the urban scale? And how might they be changing the way in which we perceive and understand our cities?"
The AD issue "Digital Cities" was guest–edited by Neil Leach and published in 2009. It included the present article "Parametricism: A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design" written by Patrik Schumacher, where he defends the suitability of parametric design for large-scale urbanism.
Although more focused on architecture and technology, it's worth having a look at "A History of Parametric", written by Daniel Davis and published in 2013, where he thoroughly covers the origins and development of parametricism applied to design.
"In today's complex, interrelated world, unique challenges impact the growth and health of cities in every country. For the first time ever, more than half the world's population lives in cities. By the year 2050, that figure will rise to nearly 70 percent. What does this mean for people living in those cities? And what does this mean for the government agencies and businesses providing services? […] We need data if we are to fully appreciate this phenomenon and its impact. Unfortunately, no two cities in the world collect information in the same way. The questions are not asked the same way, using a common language. Maps are drawn not to the same scale or use the same symbology. [...] The result—despite vast stores of data captured, collated, and stored, there is limited knowledge and understanding. There is no sense of comparative scale or complexity. The Urban Observatory seeks to provide understanding through comparison and contrast. Brought to you by Richard Saul Wurman, Jon Kamen of @radical.media, and Jack Dangermond of Esri, it provides context that gives way to meaning. The Urban Observatory experience addresses a need for a systematic method of data visualization and cohesion.”
"Yona Friedman was born in 1923 in Budapest (Hungary) and lives and works in Paris (France). Yona Friedman was trained as an architect and rose to prominence with his manifesto L’Architecture Mobile and his idea for a different approach to urban growth with the Ville Spatiale from 1956. Friedman aimed to provide maximum flexibility through huge "superstructures" over existing cities and other locations. Future inhabitants were free to construct their dwellings within these structures. In embracing the unpredictability of human behavior, he has always sought to provide people with the knowledge and structures to determine their own environment for living and to enhance their independence and self reliance, also in difficult situations like shanty towns. Among the means devised by Friedman were manuals that illustrate basic skills in the fields of architecture, urban planning and administration for the non-specialist. His many proposals for architectural projects are mainly intended to help and inspire people within the field and out; “to get people to think”.
Friedman’s ideas led him beyond architecture. His sphere of engagement broadened to include sociology, economics, mathematics, information science, planning, visual art and film-making. Although Friedman’s oeuvre would seem to encompass a wide field, all his life he has adhered to principles based on the requirement of individual freedom and responsible use of the environment."
"The World Bank published the Adjusted Net Savings (ANS) indicator for more than 200 countries in the Little Green Data Book, the World Bank’s annual compilation of environment data. Also known as genuine savings, ANS monitors whether depletion of natural capital, such as minerals or forests, is compensated for by investment in other assets, such as human capital or infrastructure. A positive ANS indicates that a country is adding to its overall wealth and that economic growth is on a sustainable path.
The Little Green Data Book 2013 is based on World Development Indicators 2013 and its online data base. It's the result of close collaboration between the staff of the Development Data Group of the Development Economics Vice Presidency and the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department of the Sustainable Development Vice Presidency."
Interactive global population density map, ranging from 5 to 500 people per square kilometer. According to its creator, Derek Watkins, "it’s an unabashedly generalized interactive population density map inspired/stolen from a map by William Bunge entitled “Islands of Mankind” that I came across on John Krygier‘s blog. I thought Bunge’s map was a novel way to look at population density, and I’ve tried to stay close to the spirit of the original."
Created by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari, Ladybug is a free and open source environmental plugin for Grasshopper to help designers create an environmentally-conscious architectural design. Ladybug allows you to: import and analyze standard weather data in Grasshopper; draw diagrams like Sun-path, wind-rose, radiation-rose, etc; customize the diagrams in several ways; run radiation analysis, shadow studies, and view analysis for your design inside Grasshopper!
Adaptative Flux Morphologies proposes strategies for urban morphological development based on computational simulation of urban flows. This Final Thesis is the result of the Emergent Technologies & Design MArch at the Architectural Association during the course 2011-2012 and was designed by Javier A. Cardós Elena, Dennis Goff, Goli Jalal and Mary Polites.
"The main objective of this research is to develop a system for generating transportation networks in growing urban area, and to couple the resulting flows within this network with built morphologies at the architectural scale. "Transportation and communication infrastructure systems have played a drammatic role in contributing to explosive urban growth, and therefore impact on its form", thus a system that is capable of linking large urban networks with urban morphologies is necessary in order to ensure the continued effectiveness of the city as a whole. Just as transportation networks can contribute to urban growth, they must also adapt to it. This research addresses the development of urbanism through network design, which aims to develop connections that are able to adapt to new requirements over time." AFM
At the 1997 ESRI User Conference, Jack Dangermond honored landscape architect Ian McHarg, author of Design with Nature, with the president’s award. Here is a video of McHarg’s acceptance speech, where with typical humor he reminisces about his seminal discoveries of overlays and chronology, the challenges of environmental planning, and the role that GIS can play.
"So then, I discovered this wonderful conception of layers. But the environment, of course, is not divided, say by language and science...but the divisions have fragmented the environment and so it has to be reconstituted using chronology as a device. Let's suppose about 30 or 40 years ago, I invented ecological planning and one thing we could say about it, having all these disparate scientists and so on, bringing them all together we were able to do really quite elegant ecological plans."