Diploma 16 is continuing its exploration of emerging design and fabrication techniques capable of addressing the complexity of adaptation to new environmental contingencies. The unit firmly harbours the idea that experimentation in the design and material manifestation of our physical environment is critical to sustaining our world.
We believe in a ‘no fear of failure’ ethos through a vigorous experimental design culture that exploits the projective capacity of both architecture and planning. We are pursuing grand architectural and urban visions with the intent to engender a fertile ground for invention in relation to regenerative development. The work continues to explore of our changing environmental, social, economic and cultural conditions as a springboard for innovative production models, ecological urban and architectural design, and visionary tectonics.
The Super Order agenda experiments with the city as a design project. The brief proposes the establishment of new socio-economic, environmental and cultural orders as primers for resilient and self-generating urban morphology. This prototypical urban form and structure, intended for tabula rasa conditions, is underpinned by the belief that new forms emerge from the discovery of new materials coupled with the development of design, fabrication and production tools. We deploy new material in the pursuit of cultural and biome-specific public space and urban fabric, where morphology and a time-based metabolism (in)form an urban ecology.
Despite the current economic climate bordering on a global depression, new model cities are being designed and constructed around the world. The unit is searching for a detailed understanding of how these projects impact the environment. How can questions pertaining to technology, nature and human factors be balanced in the formation of an overall architectural ecology? How can architecture and planning give more back to our natural environment than it takes? To answer these questions Diploma 16 produces work that is given a material and tectonic expression focusing on the new form of civic (social) space, carbon-neutral (technology) performance, biome (environment) specificities, and the new architectonic (design) order.
Andrew Wai-Tat Yau
Special thanks to
Brett Steele, Marilyn Dyer, Belinda Flaherty and all the other members of the AA community who have supported us throughout the year. Also special thanks to the Technical Studies team and our guest critics for their invaluable contribution.
The Project describes an elevated city extending along the Suez Canal in Egypt. This Architectural apparatus consists of a continuous structure of ultra Light weight urban masonries, Cantilever and canopies.The Suez Canal is an important geographical check point, as it is an alternative
route that connects far Asia to Europe Directly, eliminating the need of navigating around the African continent to traverse from one point to another. The canal lies on the border of the African and Asian continents and it divides the region into two dissonant ecological conditions. The western aspect of the region (Africa) mimics the Nile River biome and has been cultivated for five thousand years. The Canal However, interrupts the migration of populace from one side to the other, as well as the development of agriculture on the Asian side of this domain. Therefore a large portion of this territory has been left in an arid and unused condition.
This fertile area on the banks of the suez canal is reclaimed territory. According to the Egyptian environmental affairs agency (EEAE) land reclamation in this region has decreased massively. This coupled with the low availability of Drinking
Water in this region due to pollution and high salt contamination has created vast tracts of land devoid of local economies, and crippled by limited settlement and agriculture.
This project proposes a vertical land reclamation. This land reclamation takes advantage of the local availability of sand as the material primer for the vertical construction of the city. The solidification of the sand brick is achieved by introducing latex as a binding agent. Latex can be either be produced locally as a petroleum by-product or it can be shipped by sea on container ships that have preexisting routes to the area, thus incurring a limited to almost no carbon foot-print for the production of this brick.