News & Updates
Taman Urbanism [14.04.06] URL currently in Surabaya (Land of Sharks & Crocodiles) researching market systems, open space flooding techniques and plant propagation programs across the region, with City Mayor Tri Rismaharini, "Indonesia's best kept secret."
The Future of the Slufter [14.04.03] Models and scenarios for the world's largest sludge disposal facility located in the Netherlands, en route to the 6th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (IABR), curated by Dirk Sijmons, to be exhibited at the Kunsthal.
Mission Map [14.03.12] Progress work by Alexander S. Arroyo on the Landscape of Defense book dealing with a 5-hour ISR (Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance) Mission case study, mapped with a 15-Foot long diagram, that requires 5 hours to read. Publication news to follow in coming weeks...
From the Field [14.01.19] Preliminary field work in the Artibonite Region of Haiti, by Laurent Corroyer, documenting how livelihoods, environments and economic security are tightly bound by a sophisticated system of market women, farmers, and distributors, forming a distinctive logistical system of micro-elements, micro-strategies, and micro-infrastructures. Field Report and new collaborative project coming next month...
East to West [14.02.05] Three new publications feature work on landscape, infrastructure, and ecology: in Chinese ("The New Geographic Landscape" in Landscape Architecture Frontiers Magazine), in Italian ("Paesaggio Infrastrutture" in A22 Nuove Ecologie per Infrastrutture), and in English ("Sprawl, a Strategy?" in Holcim Foundation's Economy of Sustainable Construction).
Pedagogical Plan-Libre [13.12.11] "The University, in order to bring the Humanities, Sciences, and Arts closer together, needs to learn how to cultivate the Studio as pedagogical hybrid of Lab, Lecture, and Seminar. To transact (not territorialize) knowledge thus entails a disruption of the floor plan of disciplinary bureaucracies to create workshops out of offices, kitchens out of classes, labs out of libraries, clubs out of cafeterias, and think tanks out of schools. The workshopping of ideas will rely on the conception of new models, and un-learning of old ones, positioning the studio—the counter laboratory space—as proving ground for concepts and applications, craft and technique, mind and field, in the open learning system that is the next generation school of urbanism of the future." (Experimental exhibition of student work from the Master of Landscape Architecture Program—3rd Semester Core, in the Piper Auditorium of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A simple test was performed by removing the convention of vertical panels used in design presentations. The result: a pedagogical plan libre and wall-less laboratory of horizontal and free-floating exhibits, open and accessible to the public, inviting inquiry, interaction, and engagement...as an attempt to end the tyranny of the vertical rolling panel and binary vertical presentation format of student vs. critic, an unquestioned format and furnishing found in almost every school of design in the world.
Learning Landscape: The Multimedia Language of Models [13.12.07] While we spend much of our time making models and scaling realities in the worlds of design and engineering at large, little attention is given to the genesis of modeling—the process of generating abstract, conceptual, graphic, quantitative, or material representations. What are models used for? Why do we make them? Who else builds them? How are they conditioned? What are they based on? As measures of our own methodologies, the model is a heuristic medium, an analogous measure, and a collaborative, cognitive medium of communication. Recent contribution in the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Annual Publication, Platform 6.
Ground-to-Air: Aerial Investigations from the Orbital to the Intertidal [13.12.01] Airbases produce urban geographies and altitudinal ecologies. Whether military or civilian, active or closed, these infrastructures emerge from the technological development of aerial mobility and the contemporary growth of air power amidst the complexities of political, economic growth. Across the spectrum of military and civilian airbases lies a field of urban influence, whereby strategies of defense and projections of power are imprinted in the location, distribution, and reach of airbases as well as their related operations. Not only do they shape how we move through different geographies or how we access different altitudes, these aerial infrastructures open a lens through which we see the ground and ground conditions from above, and alternatively, how we shape air and airspace from below. Profiling nearly 5 years of Design Research by students in the Landscape Architecture Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, these investigations explore aerial infrastructures as a landscape of spatial, ecological relevance and as temporal territory of geopolitical influence. From the historic rise of the military airbase worldwide to the current closure of postwar airfields in growing population concentrations domestically, these investigations reveal the inseparability of the airfield from the complex, technological, geo-political, socio-economic, bio-physical environments in which they are located. By “re-basing” the contemporary airbase and redrawing the contours of contemporary urbanization beyond the spatial footprint of cities, these investigations propose how these aerial infrastructures form a vast ecological web across different altitudes, that bear considerable influence on the processes and patterns of contemporary urban life in the 21st century. On display at the Harvard Graduate School of Design as part of the Airport Landscape: Urban Ecologies of Aerial Age Exhibition.
Altitudes of Urbanization [13.11.05] From 10,000 metres below the sea, to 35,000 kilometers in orbit above the surface of the earth, the infrastructure that supports urban life has reached unimaginable extents below ground, in the water, and across outer space. Currently on display at the Harvard Graduate School of Design as part of the Airport Landscape: Urban Ecologies of Aerial Age Exhibition, the project re-profiles the conventional contours of the cities we live and the spaces we travel through, this diagram illustrates the range of depths and dimensions that we have reached and explored over the course of the past 3000 years. Referencing John McHale's canonical drafting of Vertical Mobility in his 1969 The Future of the Future and Patrick Geddes’ 1909 Valley Section of Civilization, this visualization shifts our predominantly static and technological view of the world from above, to open a longitudinal lens on the processes and patterns of contemporary urbanization across three horizons: the orbital, the subterranean, the submarine. Across time, this deep sectional view brings to a light the inseparability of environmental forces and flows, climates and temperatures, pressures and atmospheres that regulate a range of senses, sites, systems and infrastructures. Here, in this field of motion and landscape information, multiple grounds are revealed as index and interface: a registration of existing temporalities, shifting territories and emerging agencies. This longitudinal landscape provides an augmented understanding of where we live in relationship to thermodynamic exchanges, latitudinal variations and hydrological ranges that are associated with vectors of movement—from logistics to communications, policies to legislations, planetary processes to intertidal cycles, climatic differences to barometric pressures, to better understand the live, dynamic ecologies under the influence of, and exerting pressure on, the altitudes of contemporary urban life.
The New, New York [13.01.03] Moving beyond New York City, a new year proposal for New York's coasts & climates will be released soon, featuring a 2-year statewide strategy that focuses on urban risks and potentials ranging from coastal infrastructure, alternative energy systems, and regional mobility networks. Watch Governor Andrew M. Cuomo present the NYCoast project during his annual State of the State Address to the NYS Legislature on January 9, 2013.
Military-Logistical Landscape [12.10.01] "Logistics Islands: The Global Supply Archipelago & the Topologics of Defense", a collaborative article is featured in this month's issue of the Journal PRISM 3.4 (September 2012), published by the National Defense University Press, the first of five chapters to come in the production of The Landscape of Defense book planned for 2013/2014.
Return [12.07.01] Sanriku project, an initiative by Miho Mazereeuw's Urban Risk Lab, and funded by the Japan Disaster Relief Fund with Harvard's Reischauer Institute, currently under way in Minami-Sanriku (Northern Japan), following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in April 2011.
Infrastructural Ecologies [12.03.26] Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism beyond Engineering chapter published as part of a new book "Infrastructure Sustainability & Design" from Routledge, edited by Spiro Pollalis, Andreas Georgoulias, Stephen Ramos, and Daniel Schodek, on the design and planning of contemporary infrastructures.
Valley Urbanization [11.11.13] Dübenholz project receives First Prize from Denkallmend, the Bristol Foundation, University of Zurich, Hamburg University of Architecture and Metropolitan Development, and Zurich University of the Arts for the Dübendorf Airport Competition in the suburban valley region of Zurich.
Preemptive Landscape [11.09.26] Research on a prototype for re-urbanization along the Pacific Ring of Fire in the tsunami-affected region of Sendai (Northern Japan), published in Topos Magazine, Issue 76, focusing on Crisis, Urbanism and Landscape.
Energy Forest [11.07.24] Competition project for the future of the Dübendorf Airport in the Zurich Valley Region selected as 1 of 4 shortlisted entries for the final stage in late October 2011.
Global Land Grab [11.07.12] Research on soil societies, plant empires and agrarian cities published in GAM - Graz Architecture Magazine, Issue 07.
RECON [11.06.06] Post-tsunami reconnaissance work in Northern Japan's Minami Sanriku-cho region in preparation for post-disaster reconstruction and pre-disaster planning work....update in late September.
EVAC [11.04.03] Coastal evacuation strategy and preventive urban scenarios presented to governmental delegation in earthquake-prone Chile.
Ag Timeline [11.02.15] Coming soon in GAM 07 with an opening exhibition in Graz, a brief 8,000-year timeline of soil & plants, techniques & technologies, crops & cultures, industries & ecologies, empires & urbanization.
Regionalization [10.11.15] On the cover of JOLA (Journal of Landscape Architecture), with a photo of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House flooding along the Fox River, and as a feature article of this Fall's edition of the European Journal.
Ten Years After [10.09.28] Tracking the development and expansion of a soil recycling facility built in 2000 through a series of timeline aerials.
Planning for the 22nd Century [10.09.17] In conjunction with the Netherlands Ministry of Spatial Planning, the Netherlands Architecture Fund supports design research on the long term future of the Dutch Delta Region, looking towards the next century. More to come....welovefloods.nl
Tropicalized [10.07.26] 1st Prize in Sydney's Sea Change 2030+ International Design Competition organized by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
Peak Dirt [10.06.21] 3000-year timeline of food production, pesticides, petro-chemicals and colonial power nearing completion.
Demilitarization [10.06.19] Research visualization in preliminary stages for next month's ESRI International Conference at the Environmental Systems Research Institute in San Diego, CA.
21st Century Infrastructure [10.06.07] German publisher Lars Müller releases the book, Ecological Urbanism, edited by Mohsen Mostafavi & Gareth Doherty, featuring an OPSYS essay on "Redefining Infrastructure".
Concrete Learning [10.05.31] New footage from Ellesmere skatepark in Toronto by Jim Barnum at Spectrum and Chris Walters at Pine Tree, a robo-dozing project from '08.
Spin This [10.04.29] Landscape Infrastructures DVD receives Honor Award in the Communications Category of the American Society of Landscape Architects 2010 Professional Awards.
Moving Buildings [10.01.12] In collaboration with structural building mover Gabriel Raymond Inc. from Baie-des-Sables, OPSYS demobilizes and remobilizes government service facilities in Québec to new intersection on A20 Highway, saving the City $1.25 million.
Exhibit Up [10.01.22] Research and design work from the Maasvlakte 2100 project up at the Harvard Graduate School of Design until beginning of March.
Aflsuitdijk Competition [09.12.11] Honorable mention in the public design competition for the World Sustainability Centre Competition during the unveiling of winning designs.
Peering into the Future [09.12.09] Interview with Joe Brown from EDAW|AECOM, the largest planning firm in the world.
Ecologies of Scale [09.11.16] Interview with Michael Hough on planning, preservation, pedagogy and public works.
Aflsuitdijk Competition [09.10.01] OPSYS nominated as finalist in the public design competition for the World Sustainability Centre along the Afsluitdijk, a 32-kilometre causeway in the Netherlands.
Becoming Dutch [09.09.30] OPSYS receives professional licensure from the Stichting Bureau Architectenregister to practice urban planning, landscape and architecture in the Netherlands.
DVD Release [09.08.27] Release and publication of the Landscape Infrastructures DVD edited by the Lab and published by the Canada National Research Council.