Posts Tagged ‘Ecology’
Description: In Frank Herbert’s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel” and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.
Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.
Sietch Nevada projects waterbanking as the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life. Inverting the stereotypical Southwest urban patterns of dispersed programs open to the sky, the Sietch is a dense, underground community. A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. The caverns brim with dense, urban life: an underground Venice. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.
Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Benjamin Barragan (Model)
Location: Jardins de Metis, Canada
Description: Resonant Field is a self-organizing incubator for local ecologies, and a super soil generator. The Field celebrates the life of the garden and it’s ecological context, seen and unseen, by appealing to all of the senses. It will evolve and change through time, providing a visceral panorama of experience. The Field embodies and celebrates the natural cycles of life and death, growth and decomposition.
The Field will be composed of the gardens pure constituent parts: soil, sand, manure, organic debris, etc. Each material constituent will be randomly piled in the allotted space, approximately 10m by 30m, varying in height from 1m to 3m. The field of material cones will then be hydro-seeded with a mix of native seeds, selected from the many ecologies that surround the site: woodland, meadow, grassland, and ripairian.
A sequence of varied compost core-areas will be established within the field of material piles, which will receive constant material generated by the Redford Garden campus and beyond. A gravel pathway system will connect the composting cores. Native species will become established, through a process of facilitated succession, and will express themselves according to the varied slopes and exposures of the Resonant Field. The field will become a generator of biomass and a seed bank. Fauna will feast on the nectar, seeds, and nuts which will be spread to revegetate the local ecologies with native species. Upon the projects completion, plant materials can be harvested and redistributed, and the entire garden will be mixed and piled to provide fertile substrate for future gardens and ecologies, extending it’s life in the form of future fruits and flowers.
Credits: Joint submission by Andrew Kudless (Matsys) and David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio)