Restoration sedimentology and synthetic Bayou Urbanism

As illustrated here by a hypothetical diversion of the Mississippi River, growth rate of land in the domain is determined by the balance of sources and sinks, including contributions from organic and inorganic processes and the interactions between them.

Over at Nature Geoscience Douglas A Edmonds, reviewed the topic of Restoration sedimentology.

Specifically, how “River regulation and sea-level rise have damaged deltaic ecosystems as well as the sedimentological processes that support them“. He then argues “rapid advances in the developing field of restoration sedimentology are crucial to protecting the world’s river deltas“.

On a related, note Brian Davis speculated on the possibilities of ‘Land Making Machines‘ in the recent publication Making the Geologic Now, available digitally here.

He proposes a future synthetic Bayou Urbanism, characterized by a New Orleans in which “new urban landforms-constructed from timber pilings harvested from the provisional urban forest and sediments deposited in the Bonnet Carre Spillways would provide high ground where social, economic, and educational resources could be clustered. The cellular nature of the constructions would allow them to spread and agglomerate over time as more forest matures and the Land Making Machine deposits more sediment“.

Regarding imagined cities…

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, July 9th, 2012, Impossible Cities was written by Darran Anderson, an Irish writer. In the essay Mr. Anderson reflects on the varied fictional cities found throughout history, whether in the arts, architecture; poetry, or fiction. He concludes “A lasting consequence of these imagined cities is their effect on the way we view real-life cities…Today, we largely deal with the cities we actually possess (or possess us) but the great fictional cities have not disappeared…In recording and editing our own view of a city, however real it is, are we producing a fictionalised version, warped by our preferences and prejudices…Imaginary cities need not necessarily be invented then. We already inhabit them“.


Made Up: Design’s Fictions at the Art Center College of Design

Louis Lucero II covers the event for the LA Times (here). In the interview Bruce Sterling had this to say:

The thing that interests me about design fiction, which is a young and not yet very well-defined idea, is that on the Internet you can bring all kinds of things to the process of design that make a prototype look a lot more convincing than it used to be

For more info visit MADe UP: MAKING UP EVENT which was billed thusly “Fiona Raby and Bruce Sterling, two of the world’s most influential voices at the intersection of fiction and design, will join MADE UP curator Tim Durfee to discuss tactical anachronisms, designing for ambiguous reality, and the re-emergence of speculative practice in the 21st century.

Via Bruce Sterling’s Flickr stream I encountered this image, presumably with text by Dunne & Raby.

Critical Design the Dunne and Raby way

Additionally, see this image wherein Julian Bleecker makes the argument that Props Make the Future.



On Istanbul and the relationships between Sci-Fi culture and Design

Via Bruce Sterling I now know that I can look forward to reading Pico Iyer on Istanbul in National Geographic”s October issue. And since I actually get the magazine i will not have to settle for the digital version.Reflecting on why Istanbul is such a contemporary but yet ancient city he writes; “To go to Istanbul today is to see in bold strokes the conundrum that confronts all the fast-growing old cities in the world as they try to remain simultaneously global and themselves.

Also, via Bruce Sterling came across this presentation by Nicholas Nova of Lift lab gave at Swiss Design Network 2010 in Basel. It is about the relationships between Sci-Fi and Design, entitled From Neuromancer to the Internet: The role of Science Fiction Culture in Design . In it he asks the provocative question of whether or not speculative design aka design fiction is the new Sci-Fi? He also lists three design lessons or tactics from Sci-Fi for designers: 1) implications not just applications 2) Process; play with constraints 3) Recombine metaphors


“The first thing we would tell you is that it is very sustainable. “

The folks at M.O.S. Office, describe their piece 2010_InstantUntitled

Is it utopian? Is it micro-? Is it urban? Is it domestic, what is it? Is this even architecture?” (Unfortunately, we can’t answer that last question. This type of project is like diet-architecture, a copy without the calories. It’s got a sort of bitter aftertaste that you might grow accustomed to, or you might not. That’s ok. We like fake architecture.) We’ve been wondering, what kind of architecture would Haruki Murakami make?

Also, I must say I like their website…