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2 entries

Robert Cha (M)
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Mar 16, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3

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  • Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    As a globalized corporate state Dubai is dependent on a foreign workforce to sustain itself. In 2008, 85% of the population in Dubai were expatriates, and this figure is predicted to rise in the future. Of this population, approximately 35% could be considered low-income. These are the construction workers building the new city and the service workers who will replace them as the city is completed.

    To house the 6.5 million people who will be living in Dubai by the year 2015, hordes of luxury residential projects are currently under construction, but no provisions are being made for the lower income workers who will service and maintain that luxury. Conservative estimates identify a looming need for one million low income guest worker units, yet within a market defined by luxury and speculative development there is no incentive for private industry to address this need. Typically the government would be expected to step in at such point, but as the Capital of Capitalism Dubai is not likely to indulge in such social housing practices. Further, since it is obsessed with projecting an image of luxury and exclusiveness, the mere presence of all this low-income housing would be…awkward. It is hard to imagine inserting 1 million units of low-cost housing into Dubai without creating an overwhelming visual effect. The present solution, in which large camps are built “outside” the city, works only until those areas become absorbed by continuing growth. And while the construction workers who are housed there may be able to be bussed to their jobs en masse, the future service workers will find employment scattered throughout the emirate so such isolation would make their necessarily more individual commutes impossible—not to mention adding to the already extreme traffic burden. Finally, by concentrating the lower-income residents in the conventional way, their visibility is unavoidable and slums are almost guaranteed, however impressive the original construction.

    Instead of a conventional, governmentally sponsored low-income housing strategy, KDG’s proposes a scheme based on an idea of integrated separation—1000 ultra-inexpensive highrise buildings of 1000 units each, tactically dispersed throughout the emirate to provide the residents with efficient proximity to their work and/or public transport, with each tower discreetly integrated into the urban fabric in such a way that it offers privacy and security for both the residents and the surrounding neighbors. To achieve this state of invisible omni-presence, KDG will rely on a form of visual and programmatic camouflage.

    A core of inward-facing low-rent units surrounding a full height light- and air-well will be completely hidden from the adjacent context by a sheath of outward-facing, high rent mixed-use occupancy. A complementary system of cross ventilation, dessicant systems and chilled walls will maintain livable conditions at low environmental cost within the relatively isolated interior setting. The outer shielding, or camouflaging, layer of program will generate the profits for the development to offset the costs of the less profitable guest worker units at the core. While this development is clearly not intended as social housing or a worker’s paradise, it is committed to serving the worker’s actual needs and aspires to ennoble their humble station. It could even be said that the scheme dramatizes the workers true position at the center of this emerging nomadic society.

    The exterior of the building exhibits no sign of the worker’s presence within; sheathed in its market-rate camouflage, the building will fit into any of the high-rent sections of the city without comment. The program of this exterior “cladding” will consequently differ from building to building with the variation in context. By such measures the scheme avoids banishing the workers to the outskirts of the city and at the same time prevents them from being on display for the patronizing pity of the more fortunate expats. In fact, the design ensures that the two worlds remain ignorant of each other by providing separate circulation systems and entries on opposite sides of each building.
    Fri, Apr 18, 2008  Permanent link

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    This is a mediation between technology and technique. This room inherently not seamless as it is full of seams which negotiates the organization of tectonic elements.
    Renderings shown here are endemic of the digitally generated forms with variation in technique and style that may only be readily visible to those following the current trends. With Catia being taught at architecture schools and 3D Printers in MIT being printing out a small dwellings in concrete, such forms may all readily be built in the next decades.

    However, can a room like this be a promotion for what's to materialize in the future? Once people and furniture are present inside -the space is compromised. The seams are obscured and the scaleless quality is erased. The walls to the ends may be revealed as windows, or the windows as a promise are broken. The tension in confusion are too quickly erased for them to matter.
    In conclusion, it's the multiple possibilities of interpretations that makes certain digitally created spaces alluring, and once they are placed outside of the digital and rendered physically, their allure vanishes. This room is not meant to be experienced in a physical spatial navigation.

    The purveyors of such spaces should not be looking towards fabrication, but more towards experience without physical presence to create an affect.

    Mon, Mar 17, 2008  Permanent link

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