Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Progress....

Dear Reader,
Among many things, here's something I'm currently working on- a painting/collage for my Major Design Project.

In this I'm having a dry run with textures, toning, settings, etc...I'm adding more layers, and there definitely will be people, birds, plants, more textures, text, leaders, and accreting mud. The painting is meant to portray the layering of systems which are existing and proposed on the project Site, which I'm still struggling to name (maybe "Lea Valley Gateway Park, or the Lea Valley Regional Park Junction...).

The existing elements are the overpasses, the canalized river, the mud, the pylons, cranes, and railway tracks. My intervention is the idea of "stitching" these systems horizontally in the site using boardwalks; it is to re-connect the pedestrian paths on both sides of the river. It's also vertically "stitching" the layers, using the structural supports of the boardwalks which are equipped with light pylons. The vertical structures function in two other ways. They act as agents, encouraging the growth and regeneration of the salt marsh habitat which existed prior to the River Lea's canalization. The pylons are also equipped with audio, video, motion sensors, and free wireless internet for security and research purposes. As part of the package, there are outlets and frames on which experimental interactive technology can be attached and plugged in. The site exists within the Thames Digital Gateway (like the Silicon Valley), as well as the Green Enterprise District (where renewable energy research is encouraged). Therefore, these two other systems (IT and renewable energy) can work simultaneously on site.
When all of these systems interact with each other, there is a richness of transportation and pedestrian movement, biodiversity, and information transfer. Since the site is well integrated in the urban context, which is promised for continued growth, the Site will become what Bill Hillier (professor and researcher of urban morphology in Cambridge) calls a 'Multiplier Effect'. It will also become a data landscape where information can be extracted for research and improvement of planning and building industries. The ultimate goal is for digital/green technology to advance to the point where researchers can develop a method to communicate with Nature (literally). If this is possible, there is certain to be a bounty of information which can be extracted from the Earth.

In the end, it is a platform on which all these stories can take place. It will become prototype for a new type of landscape.

So that's my brief, so far. I'm re-writing it so that it's easier to understand; there definitely be more maps and diagrams to accompany it. I'm quite slow at doing my work because this is something new for me. I'll have more for you later. Take care!

Like a Bowl of Oranges,
Lesley Ann

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