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Toxic lands as ecological hotspots

"UK industrial badlands are surprise ecology hotspots"

This article is strange and brings up several good questions. Consider this quote:

Paradoxically, it is the very features that would seem to make the sites hostile to wildlife – chemical pollution, abandoned buildings, thin soils – that create a multitude of ecological niches ripe for colonization.”

Toxicity, perceived danger, and ugliness can actually be a positive- they discourage certain species and especially certain forms of human habitation which tend to crowd out biodiversity. 

Let’s make more toxic landscapes…

Physicists Bummed That Physics Is Pretty Much What They Expected

Be adventurous and exploratory.  Look for surprises and errors.  Examine your representations for what they tell you.

read this super short news clip for inspiration.

Some ideas and some considerations regarding industrial futures of the Depot.

Some ideas and some considerations regarding industrial futures of the Depot.

…attention needs to be turned away from the socially homogenous enclosed spaces in which knowledges like pure mathematics and natural and experimental philosophy were formed, to the ‘open air’, where natural history and medicine, surveying and map-making, and linguistics and administrative sciences were developed… These practices are fundamentally different from ‘field’ sciences where practitioners simply take the world outside the confines of the laboratory to be an inanimate space for collecting data, which is then centralized and processed in the secluded calm of the laboratory.
Relocating Modern Science:  Circulation and the Construction of Knowledge in South Asia and Europe, 1650-1900, Kapil Raj
Cutting yourself completely clear of the traditions of Europe and of the East and shaping your course in details by no rigorously predetermined design, but as you find from year to year that nature is leading you on, you will, I feel sure, be able to give San Francisco a pleasure ground adapted to the peculiar wants of the people with a scenery as unusual in parks as the conditions social, climatic, and of the soil, to which your design is required to be accommodated.
Olmsted's materialism.

extra reading on materialism

Read “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape” (labeled Smithson-Olmsted on blackboard) for further discussion.

Manuel Delanda on Deleuze and the use of the genetic algorithm in design.  Pay special attention to the first 15:00 for the discussion of idealist and materialist approaches.

Topography 101: honeycomb with beeswax caps over filled cells.

Topography 101: honeycomb with beeswax caps over filled cells.

models are the intellectual tools that help us understand phenomena and build bits and pieces of experimental technology. They enable us to intervene in processes and to create new and hitherto unimagined phenomena.
– Ian Hacking, Representing and Intervening:  Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science
"if there were no difference between essence and appearance there would be no need for science." (Marx)
instrument table
This diagram allows me to be specific about a certain triad that defines a landscape instrument:  form, effect, and activity something takes part in.  When used with a drawing- a section for instance- this diagram type allows me to encompass all three aspects of an instrument as they occur in a landscape.  In addition, when multiple tables are used for the various instruments in a landscape it allows the designer to understand and choreograph certain patterns that occur in a landscape of instruments.

instrument table

This diagram allows me to be specific about a certain triad that defines a landscape instrument:  form, effect, and activity something takes part in.  When used with a drawing- a section for instance- this diagram type allows me to encompass all three aspects of an instrument as they occur in a landscape.  In addition, when multiple tables are used for the various instruments in a landscape it allows the designer to understand and choreograph certain patterns that occur in a landscape of instruments.

correlation wheel
This diagramming technique allows me to correlate different cyclical landscape processes through time.  Each activity is indexed in the key and then played out across a year for a specific place.  This allows me to zero on the specific activities and their relative levels of intensity at a given moment in time.  This technique could be used for any activity and at any specified temporal scale.  It enables the designer to attempt a landscape choreography in a specific way, and when tied to a spatial representation it makes clear the relations between objects and processes.
Limitations of this technique are that it is general- it assumes all activity occur along a similar rhythm and scale.  For instance, this diagram shows that sedimentation and soccer games are occurring in a similar way, whereas sediment deposition is constant but soccer games are singular events occurring along a schedule.

correlation wheel

This diagramming technique allows me to correlate different cyclical landscape processes through time.  Each activity is indexed in the key and then played out across a year for a specific place.  This allows me to zero on the specific activities and their relative levels of intensity at a given moment in time.  This technique could be used for any activity and at any specified temporal scale.  It enables the designer to attempt a landscape choreography in a specific way, and when tied to a spatial representation it makes clear the relations between objects and processes.

Limitations of this technique are that it is general- it assumes all activity occur along a similar rhythm and scale.  For instance, this diagram shows that sedimentation and soccer games are occurring in a similar way, whereas sediment deposition is constant but soccer games are singular events occurring along a schedule.

shape channel model
this model was developed to allow me to study pattern and shape.  I built it to be changeable, with a number of pits, basins, flushing canals, and dredge pits built in, and I could add smaller elements such as wing dams and pole fields throughout the canal.
The results were surprising and instructive, showing the effectiveness of combining certain elements such as clustering poles alongside wing dams to alter depositional patterns.
limitations of this tool are due primarily to the fact that sediment itself cannot be scaled.  Additionally, it takes a long time- the model was approximately 6’ long and needed to be run for approximately 8 hours to get a good distribution of bed load sediment.

shape channel model

this model was developed to allow me to study pattern and shape.  I built it to be changeable, with a number of pits, basins, flushing canals, and dredge pits built in, and I could add smaller elements such as wing dams and pole fields throughout the canal.

The results were surprising and instructive, showing the effectiveness of combining certain elements such as clustering poles alongside wing dams to alter depositional patterns.

limitations of this tool are due primarily to the fact that sediment itself cannot be scaled.  Additionally, it takes a long time- the model was approximately 6’ long and needed to be run for approximately 8 hours to get a good distribution of bed load sediment.

Matlab Scripting
I worked with Dr. Rosati, Director of the Coastal Inlets Research Program US Army Corps of Engineers, to adapt and apply this script to function as a sediment and shoaling calculator that can be localized along a given section of a navigable waterway.
This tool allows be to be highly specific about the amount of sedimentation that will occur in a given place over a specific period of time, as well as the amount of sediment that bypasses that specific zone.  This has enabled me to establish a dredging period for each of the main deposition points along the canal.  The Euler method uses simple algorithmic scripting which accounts for change over time- sediment that is deposited effects the rate at which future sediment will be deposited.
Limitations to this tool include the inability to dealt with shape, both changes in shape of the channel as well as the effects on currents, such as the formation of helical currents around bends in the channel.

Matlab Scripting

I worked with Dr. Rosati, Director of the Coastal Inlets Research Program US Army Corps of Engineers, to adapt and apply this script to function as a sediment and shoaling calculator that can be localized along a given section of a navigable waterway.

This tool allows be to be highly specific about the amount of sedimentation that will occur in a given place over a specific period of time, as well as the amount of sediment that bypasses that specific zone.  This has enabled me to establish a dredging period for each of the main deposition points along the canal.  The Euler method uses simple algorithmic scripting which accounts for change over time- sediment that is deposited effects the rate at which future sediment will be deposited.

Limitations to this tool include the inability to dealt with shape, both changes in shape of the channel as well as the effects on currents, such as the formation of helical currents around bends in the channel.

Integrated Environmental System
I used IES as a more comprehensive testing of the effects of specific design elements on the hydrodynamics of the canal.  IES is three dimensional and so allows me to consider the effect of the dredge pit, dredge trough, and settling basin at specified depths on the flow dynamics of the canal.
This allows me to get highly specific about effects of design elements on flow rate over time which correlates to sedimentation.
Limitations include not accounting for sediment in any way- IES is essentially testing air moving through a form.  This is useful for understanding the effects in plan and section over time, but does not allow me to approximate sediment deposition in any way.

Integrated Environmental System

I used IES as a more comprehensive testing of the effects of specific design elements on the hydrodynamics of the canal.  IES is three dimensional and so allows me to consider the effect of the dredge pit, dredge trough, and settling basin at specified depths on the flow dynamics of the canal.

This allows me to get highly specific about effects of design elements on flow rate over time which correlates to sedimentation.

Limitations include not accounting for sediment in any way- IES is essentially testing air moving through a form.  This is useful for understanding the effects in plan and section over time, but does not allow me to approximate sediment deposition in any way.

Toxic lands as ecological hotspots

"UK industrial badlands are surprise ecology hotspots"

This article is strange and brings up several good questions. Consider this quote:

Paradoxically, it is the very features that would seem to make the sites hostile to wildlife – chemical pollution, abandoned buildings, thin soils – that create a multitude of ecological niches ripe for colonization.”

Toxicity, perceived danger, and ugliness can actually be a positive- they discourage certain species and especially certain forms of human habitation which tend to crowd out biodiversity. 

Let’s make more toxic landscapes…

Physicists Bummed That Physics Is Pretty Much What They Expected

Be adventurous and exploratory.  Look for surprises and errors.  Examine your representations for what they tell you.

read this super short news clip for inspiration.

Some ideas and some considerations regarding industrial futures of the Depot.

Some ideas and some considerations regarding industrial futures of the Depot.

…attention needs to be turned away from the socially homogenous enclosed spaces in which knowledges like pure mathematics and natural and experimental philosophy were formed, to the ‘open air’, where natural history and medicine, surveying and map-making, and linguistics and administrative sciences were developed… These practices are fundamentally different from ‘field’ sciences where practitioners simply take the world outside the confines of the laboratory to be an inanimate space for collecting data, which is then centralized and processed in the secluded calm of the laboratory.
Relocating Modern Science:  Circulation and the Construction of Knowledge in South Asia and Europe, 1650-1900, Kapil Raj
Cutting yourself completely clear of the traditions of Europe and of the East and shaping your course in details by no rigorously predetermined design, but as you find from year to year that nature is leading you on, you will, I feel sure, be able to give San Francisco a pleasure ground adapted to the peculiar wants of the people with a scenery as unusual in parks as the conditions social, climatic, and of the soil, to which your design is required to be accommodated.
Olmsted's materialism.

extra reading on materialism

Read “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape” (labeled Smithson-Olmsted on blackboard) for further discussion.

Manuel Delanda on Deleuze and the use of the genetic algorithm in design.  Pay special attention to the first 15:00 for the discussion of idealist and materialist approaches.

Topography 101: honeycomb with beeswax caps over filled cells.

Topography 101: honeycomb with beeswax caps over filled cells.

models are the intellectual tools that help us understand phenomena and build bits and pieces of experimental technology. They enable us to intervene in processes and to create new and hitherto unimagined phenomena.
– Ian Hacking, Representing and Intervening:  Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science
"if there were no difference between essence and appearance there would be no need for science." (Marx)
instrument table
This diagram allows me to be specific about a certain triad that defines a landscape instrument:  form, effect, and activity something takes part in.  When used with a drawing- a section for instance- this diagram type allows me to encompass all three aspects of an instrument as they occur in a landscape.  In addition, when multiple tables are used for the various instruments in a landscape it allows the designer to understand and choreograph certain patterns that occur in a landscape of instruments.

instrument table

This diagram allows me to be specific about a certain triad that defines a landscape instrument:  form, effect, and activity something takes part in.  When used with a drawing- a section for instance- this diagram type allows me to encompass all three aspects of an instrument as they occur in a landscape.  In addition, when multiple tables are used for the various instruments in a landscape it allows the designer to understand and choreograph certain patterns that occur in a landscape of instruments.

correlation wheel
This diagramming technique allows me to correlate different cyclical landscape processes through time.  Each activity is indexed in the key and then played out across a year for a specific place.  This allows me to zero on the specific activities and their relative levels of intensity at a given moment in time.  This technique could be used for any activity and at any specified temporal scale.  It enables the designer to attempt a landscape choreography in a specific way, and when tied to a spatial representation it makes clear the relations between objects and processes.
Limitations of this technique are that it is general- it assumes all activity occur along a similar rhythm and scale.  For instance, this diagram shows that sedimentation and soccer games are occurring in a similar way, whereas sediment deposition is constant but soccer games are singular events occurring along a schedule.

correlation wheel

This diagramming technique allows me to correlate different cyclical landscape processes through time.  Each activity is indexed in the key and then played out across a year for a specific place.  This allows me to zero on the specific activities and their relative levels of intensity at a given moment in time.  This technique could be used for any activity and at any specified temporal scale.  It enables the designer to attempt a landscape choreography in a specific way, and when tied to a spatial representation it makes clear the relations between objects and processes.

Limitations of this technique are that it is general- it assumes all activity occur along a similar rhythm and scale.  For instance, this diagram shows that sedimentation and soccer games are occurring in a similar way, whereas sediment deposition is constant but soccer games are singular events occurring along a schedule.

shape channel model
this model was developed to allow me to study pattern and shape.  I built it to be changeable, with a number of pits, basins, flushing canals, and dredge pits built in, and I could add smaller elements such as wing dams and pole fields throughout the canal.
The results were surprising and instructive, showing the effectiveness of combining certain elements such as clustering poles alongside wing dams to alter depositional patterns.
limitations of this tool are due primarily to the fact that sediment itself cannot be scaled.  Additionally, it takes a long time- the model was approximately 6’ long and needed to be run for approximately 8 hours to get a good distribution of bed load sediment.

shape channel model

this model was developed to allow me to study pattern and shape.  I built it to be changeable, with a number of pits, basins, flushing canals, and dredge pits built in, and I could add smaller elements such as wing dams and pole fields throughout the canal.

The results were surprising and instructive, showing the effectiveness of combining certain elements such as clustering poles alongside wing dams to alter depositional patterns.

limitations of this tool are due primarily to the fact that sediment itself cannot be scaled.  Additionally, it takes a long time- the model was approximately 6’ long and needed to be run for approximately 8 hours to get a good distribution of bed load sediment.

Matlab Scripting
I worked with Dr. Rosati, Director of the Coastal Inlets Research Program US Army Corps of Engineers, to adapt and apply this script to function as a sediment and shoaling calculator that can be localized along a given section of a navigable waterway.
This tool allows be to be highly specific about the amount of sedimentation that will occur in a given place over a specific period of time, as well as the amount of sediment that bypasses that specific zone.  This has enabled me to establish a dredging period for each of the main deposition points along the canal.  The Euler method uses simple algorithmic scripting which accounts for change over time- sediment that is deposited effects the rate at which future sediment will be deposited.
Limitations to this tool include the inability to dealt with shape, both changes in shape of the channel as well as the effects on currents, such as the formation of helical currents around bends in the channel.

Matlab Scripting

I worked with Dr. Rosati, Director of the Coastal Inlets Research Program US Army Corps of Engineers, to adapt and apply this script to function as a sediment and shoaling calculator that can be localized along a given section of a navigable waterway.

This tool allows be to be highly specific about the amount of sedimentation that will occur in a given place over a specific period of time, as well as the amount of sediment that bypasses that specific zone.  This has enabled me to establish a dredging period for each of the main deposition points along the canal.  The Euler method uses simple algorithmic scripting which accounts for change over time- sediment that is deposited effects the rate at which future sediment will be deposited.

Limitations to this tool include the inability to dealt with shape, both changes in shape of the channel as well as the effects on currents, such as the formation of helical currents around bends in the channel.

Integrated Environmental System
I used IES as a more comprehensive testing of the effects of specific design elements on the hydrodynamics of the canal.  IES is three dimensional and so allows me to consider the effect of the dredge pit, dredge trough, and settling basin at specified depths on the flow dynamics of the canal.
This allows me to get highly specific about effects of design elements on flow rate over time which correlates to sedimentation.
Limitations include not accounting for sediment in any way- IES is essentially testing air moving through a form.  This is useful for understanding the effects in plan and section over time, but does not allow me to approximate sediment deposition in any way.

Integrated Environmental System

I used IES as a more comprehensive testing of the effects of specific design elements on the hydrodynamics of the canal.  IES is three dimensional and so allows me to consider the effect of the dredge pit, dredge trough, and settling basin at specified depths on the flow dynamics of the canal.

This allows me to get highly specific about effects of design elements on flow rate over time which correlates to sedimentation.

Limitations include not accounting for sediment in any way- IES is essentially testing air moving through a form.  This is useful for understanding the effects in plan and section over time, but does not allow me to approximate sediment deposition in any way.

Toxic lands as ecological hotspots
Physicists Bummed That Physics Is Pretty Much What They Expected
"…attention needs to be turned away from the socially homogenous enclosed spaces in which knowledges like pure mathematics and natural and experimental philosophy were formed, to the ‘open air’, where natural history and medicine, surveying and map-making, and linguistics and administrative sciences were developed… These practices are fundamentally different from ‘field’ sciences where practitioners simply take the world outside the confines of the laboratory to be an inanimate space for collecting data, which is then centralized and processed in the secluded calm of the laboratory."
"Cutting yourself completely clear of the traditions of Europe and of the East and shaping your course in details by no rigorously predetermined design, but as you find from year to year that nature is leading you on, you will, I feel sure, be able to give San Francisco a pleasure ground adapted to the peculiar wants of the people with a scenery as unusual in parks as the conditions social, climatic, and of the soil, to which your design is required to be accommodated."
extra reading on materialism
"models are the intellectual tools that help us understand phenomena and build bits and pieces of experimental technology. They enable us to intervene in processes and to create new and hitherto unimagined phenomena."
""if there were no difference between essence and appearance there would be no need for science." (Marx)"

About:

take a park. excavate a ragged trench in the middle of the pretty lawn. the rocks and pipes and mud that's left and the backhoe ripping in to them? that is landscape instrumentalism.