Friday, March 30, 2007

Studio Update

Next week is the beginning of the final two weeks of school; things are moving smoothly. My studio space has become a gallery with the accumulation of this semester's projects.

So the Oasis project has began to more seriously engage the systems it promised earlier in the semester. The enclosure is being designed as a hydroponic system. Over one hundred individual plants are grown in these nodes connected by pipes that feed the network.

We are interested in designing the connections and perhaps allowing the user to use his own "nodes" as containers to grow. This experiment shows this Recycle Version section of the wall. The model is missing a couple pumps, so I'm curious to know whether or not these plants ( from left to right, lettuce, beans, and tomatoes) will survive. I will manually change the water/food every couple days to substitute the water pumps; as for the oxygen and sunlight issues, I will just pray hard.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Power Walking

During this past week I chose Boyle Heights as the site for my thesis semester (fall 07); I briefly worked with this location last fall and have found a few things I like:

First of all, it is located just east of d
owntown on the other side of the river. Before the river structure was built the river used to overflow on to the land; the Heights used to produce all the food for the Los Angeles area during the 1800s with agriculture. The city feels like an oasis within its surroundings.

Second, the
Golden State (I-5), Hollywood (U.S. Route 101), Pomona (CA-60), San Bernardino (I-10), Santa Ana (I-5), and Santa Monica (I-10) freeways all meet here, you can see it in the map. The gold line will be running through First St. in the Heights by the end of 2009.

Third. Boyle Heights has always been a starting point for migrants, land has always been cheap here and families move out when they can afford to. Large populations of Jewish, Japanese, Russians, Armenians, Yugoslav have all stayed in Boyle Heights, now 95% of the 100,000 inhabitants are Mexican.

And Last for now, the suburb has a strong sense of community, hardly found anywhere else in LA. Activities and use of space is super dynamic, houses are lots of times occupied by more than one family, structures are always evolving to conform to these situations.

And now to the subject of the blog, while looking for ways to design a community that begins to integrate production and work into everyday life and activities, these shoes harvest the power generated by your walking into energy, here they power a wireless device. The city's lights are powered by your beat.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hanging Out

my two awesome rats

Monday, March 19, 2007

Studio Midterm

in collaboration with Yuki

From the Urban Nomad metaphor we carried on the idea of an unexpected object in the city, Los Angeles is a desert so we focused on the oasis.

These next images were topics for designing.






Alley: The perfect home for a ninja. This "bridge" is only accessible by someone who knows how to get on rooftops, the entrance is from above. Ivy grows on the exterior and stitches itself to the surrounding buildings as camouflage. Like in all three scenarios: solar panels above provide the energy to power the living machine's pumps, a system of mini-ecosystems that decompose human waste into reusable water for irrigation of the stealth vegetation and the hydroponic garden for crops.

Rooftop: A 150 sq. ft. self sustainable garden; can be placed in public spaces.

Side: This can be packaged as a backyard for people who live in buildings with no backyards. Just pop out of your now shaded and protected window into an oasis that filters the air from the traffic below.

A rats world

... is a completely different experience. This website has some really nice articles that go deep (visual stimulation) into how a rat sees the world it lives in.

"A rat perceives its immediate surroundings through its whiskers: long, sensitive hairs growing from the rat's cheeks, eyebrows, and chin, more sensitive than our fingertips. They rapidly whisk back and forth, brushing everything close to the rat, detecting every tiny detail and irregularity. The rat lives in a world of textures. He can navigate largely by touch."

"Adult male and female rats leave drops of pee everywhere to advertise their sexual availability. Pee contains a lot of information about the rat who made it! It's like a personal resumé. It tells another rat one's species, sex, age, social status, reproductive status, and individual."

"A rat lives in a galaxy of smells. Every object, every surface, every breath of air contains different smells and information for a rat. His nose is unbelievably sensitive. Their smells are as varied as their colors and their textures, but we can barely detect them and cannot name them. Yet this is the perceptual world the rats live in, an enormous, rich world we can only faintly detect. "

My rat (Rats):

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pears and Beans

This summer I'll be enjoying pears and green beans; I planted this tree about a month ago and the peas a couple weeks ago. Below are some other images of the spaces that wrap around my house, from front to back.

Spaces Around my House