Architecture, Energy, Matter 3:

Designing with Emergent Energies in a Coral Archipelago - 2015/16
Lindsay Bremner & Roberto Bottazzi

In 2015/16, DS18 based its design investigations into architecture, energy and matter in the Maldives, the coral archipelago running down the centre of the Indian Ocean. Since the underwater cabinet meeting held by former President Nasheed in 2009 to sign a document calling for global cuts in carbon emissions, the Maldives has been associated in the global imaginary with low-lying nations threatened by sea level rise. We investigated this and other emergent energies in the archipelago as grounds for design. We did so, in part to critique a model of archipelago urbanism promo ted by architectural theorists since the I 970's, of architecture as a collection of value laden fragments floating in a value-less metropolitan sea. Instead, we thought and made architecture as an element of (rather than in opposition to) the emergent, non-linear dynamics of the archipelagic ocean.

The studio interrogated how and what to design in such highly dynamic and fragile conditions. This involved analysing various material flows – geophysical and socio-political – at work on the Maldives and proposing a series of architectural and urban interventions able to adapt, evolve and proliferate in them. In the first semester, students modelled physical elements like waves, sea levels, winds and sand at a local scale, and other no less material flows of things - capital, tourists, building materials etc. - that move through the Maldives, but stretch across the scale of the globe. The first were computationally simulated, whereas the second resulted in data-driven maps and visualisations. In the second semester, students developed design proposals at the inter section of the two orders of flows they had modelled.

Guest Critiques
Adam Holloway. Andrew Baker-Falkner (Tate Harmer Architects), Jed Baron (East), Stefania Boccaletti, David Chandler. John Cook (Birds Portchmouth RussumArchitects), Anthony Engi-Meacock (Assemble), Annette Fierro, Chris Green, Kostas Grigoriadis, Susannah Hagan, Julie Hagopain, Luke Heslop, Karin Jaschke, Hseng Tai Lintner, Michael O'Hanlon (Gianni Botsford Architects), Isis Nunez Ferrera, John Palmesino, Ana Pia Catala, Douglas Spencer; Roberte Trempe, Filip Visnjic, Alex Watt (Eric Parry Architects), Fiona Zisch

Thanks to:
Christos Antonopolous (Foster and Partners), Jeg Dudley (AKT II), Lorraine Leeson, Ghaanim Mohamed. Mark Pelling, Next Limit Technologies