Issue's articles | The Plan Journal
 Open Access
Essay

2 in 1 – A Playful Approach to the Sustainable Use of Building Materials

by: Angie Müller-Puch , Erik Hegre , Michael Innerarity VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 2 [The Good Material], Pages: 323 - 336 published: 2022-01-12

To the observer, the building industry strives to develop the most optimized construction materials to build faster, better and cheaper, which has created an expanding pallet of increasingly complex, highly specific product systems. As a result, it is assumed that buildings are comprised of an established collection of parts, selected from a catalogue, and have the consequence of a one-time useful lifespan. This does not suggest that we have abandoned technological development; however, we suspect this approach will stall in its ability to address environmental challenges and create healthy, quality spaces because the sum is not greater than its parts. What if we use and assemble materials in a way that they can serve multiple functions at one time? The 2 in 1 – design strategy is a playful process that assembles materials so one material can incorporate several functions at a time. By finding synergies between well-known, standardized construction elements we can create a positive effect on the quality of building and reduce the carbon footprint.

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SUSTAINABILITY
Article

Cut|Fill: Technofossil Waste Narratives of Brick and Dredged Sediments

by: Catherine De Almeida VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 163 - 196 published: 2021-05-11

Today’s waste landscapes derive from nineteenth-twentieth century materials extraction, processing, and disposal practices by which certain landscapes are sacrificed for the construction of others. Long term impacts of material byproducts from these industries may be understood as technofossils—new materials shaped into artifacts that will likely be preserved as geological deposits. This article explores shifts in cultural attitudes and approaches towards waste materials and landscapes by focusing on two types of extraction-based industries that create technofossils: brick, in which desired materials such as sands and clays are extracted and manipulated, and dredged sediment, in which undesirable materials, such as sands, clays, and soils, are extracted from shipping channels and stored in landfills of land. The tension between these industries reveals opportunities for rethinking linear models of materials extraction, processing, and disposal as cyclical and integrative. Historiographic, archival, and case study research are used to investigate these industries. Speculative mapping and a design research studio explore these material legacies, and their potential ecological, socio-economic, and cultural values.

 Open Access
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Article

Architecture and Soft Kinetics: Scale and Performance

by: Vera Parlac VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 69 - 86 published: 2021-06-14

Traditionally buildings are not designed to adapt to the dynamics of fluctuating environmental conditions or changing user needs. Even though today’s technical capabilities for kinetics have advanced significantly, the integration of stable and kinetic elements still presents challenges. The project described in this article integrates “soft” and “hard” elements to produce a dynamic material system that is self-supporting, pliable, and kinetic. It explores a kinetic and formal potential of integrating custom-made soft robotic muscles into a component-based surface. The developed prototype is a light modular construct, with components and patterns of aggregation that work in unison with the silicone muscles to produce a dynamic structure. The proposed material system can be used to construct a kinetic and “programmable” architectural skin that can be integrated with existing or new façade systems. The project is informed by 

a history of pneumatic structures, the technology of soft robotics, and a kit-of-parts design strategy. 

 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

An Urgent Task Ahead

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 157 - 159 published: 2018-02-08
 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2019]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2019-09-05
 Open Access
Position Paper

Human Time as a Resource: Twelve Strategies for Re-thinking Urban Materiality

by: Anupama Kundoo VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 2 [The Good Material], Pages: 305 - 322 published: 2021-11-30
 Open Access
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2021]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2021-06-21
 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

Beyond What Is Right

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 2 [GENDER MATTERS], Pages: 269 - 271 published: 2020-02-07
 Open Access
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2022]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2022-07-22
 Open Access
CROSS-DISCIPLINARY STUDIES
Opinion

Baukultur in a Cybernetic Age: A Conversation

by: Michael A. Arbib , Meredith Banasiak , Bob Condia , Colin Ellard , Jonathan Enns , Melissa Farling , Robert Lamb Hart , Richard Hassell , Eduardo Macagno , Harry Mallgrave , Fred Marks , Juhani Pallasmaa , Sarah Robinson VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 7 - 28 published: 2021-05-14

We received and we gladly publish this conversation among distinguished theorists and scholars on an important topic, also aligned with the cross-disciplinary mission of our journal. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The article offers a multi-author conversation charting the future of architecture in light of the apparent tension between Baukultur, which combines the culture of building and the building of this culture, and the rapid changes brought about by digital technology, embracing cybernetics and artificial intelligence. The article builds on a discussion of Baukultur to debate in what sense buildings are “machines for living in,” then examines neuromorphic architecture wherein cybernetic mechanisms help buildings sense the needs of their occupants. It closes with an example of a building complex, Kampung Admiralty, that combines cybernetic opportunities with a pioneering approach to building “community and biophilia” into our cities. This article interleaves an abridged version of Michael Arbib’s (2019) article “Baukultur in a Cybernetic Age,” 1 with extensive comments by the co-authors.

 Open Access
Position Paper

Gender Matters. The Grand Architectural Revolution

by: Dörte Kuhlmann, Guest-Editor VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 2 [GENDER MATTERS], Pages: 273 - 279 published: 2020-02-07
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CRITICISM
Essay

Japanese Architecture Returns to Nature: Sou Fujimoto in Context

by: Botond Bognar VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 1 , Pages: 7 - 36 published: 2022-05-16

We received and we gladly publish a contribution by distinguished author Prof. Botond Bognar. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The essay introduces the development of Sou Fujimoto’s architecture as it has been influenced by various sources and experiences leading to his recently completed and highly recognized major project, the  House of Hungarian Music in Budapest. Among these influences the contemporary economic and political conditions in Japan and beyond, as well as the nature-inspired work of prominent Japanese designers are discussed. Touching upon the seminal work by Tadao Ando and Toyo Ito, the essay also highlights the contrasts and occasional similarities between the so-called “White School” and “Red School” in contemporary Japanese architecture, in referencing nature as the primary source of their designs. Today, these “schools” are best represented, respectively, by the activities of SANAA and Kengo Kuma. Although Fujimoto’s architecture is clearly derivative and part of the radically minimalist White School, the House of Hungarian Music reveals an intimacy and richness 

in articulating its relationship to the surrounding natural environment, which quality, if perhaps momentarily, points beyond the minimalism of the “Whites.”

 Open Access
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
Project

Levitas

by: Ian Ritchie , Marco Imperadori , Marco Clozza VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 29 - 46 published: 2021-05-10

We received and we gladly publish this contribution by distinguished designer and theorist Ian Ritchie, as an example of that bridging research and practice which our journal intends to promote and disseminate. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The design and engineering development of two apex connected square woven flat surfaces, each constrained at ground level by three anchors and lifted to form a 3D gridshell whose theoretical geometry is modified by the small sectional profile of the rectangular members made of wood. The warp and weft of the weave are of identical section and made from Italian red oak. The process of artistic investigation is explained and then taken into theoretical designs, computed, and is then tested iteratively through choice of wood, a 33% physical model which is laser surveyed and fed back into the computer model and FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis, and finally followed by a partial full scale mock up, before realising the sculpture at the Arte Sella environmental art park.

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THEORY
Essay

Urban Autophagy. A New Imaginary for Twenty-First Century Urban Growth

by: Hannibal Newsom VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 1 , Pages: 37 - 55 published: 2022-06-06

The human, environmental, and political impact of raw material resourcing throughout the global supply chain is a critical facet of any plan to confront accelerating climate change in the twenty-first century. Invoking the work of biologist Dr. Rhonda Patrick on autophagy, a mechanism through which mammalian bodies consume their own dead and dying cells to promote health and longevity, this essay explores the imaginary of Urban Autophagy as a mechanism through which the city can consume itself in order to grow. This essay presents a novel understanding of the limits of our natural resources and proposes a major shift in how we conceive of standard practices for sustainable development. First, this essay defines the model of Urban Autophagy; second, it surveys already-existing practices that support the model of Urban Autophagy; third, it presents a methodology that can be developed and expanded in order to introduce Urban Autophagy into standard practice; and finally, this essay argues for the implications of this approach toward a more ambitious stewardship of the environment and the health and longevity of our cities.

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