Trenches
BJG 2 - 20 - 2010

Well, we're in it now boys: the fight, the trenches. But this one is to be quick and ruthless. Halfway into this trip and our designs are to start rolling at this point. Concepts now, detail next, develop, finalize. The structured design process has led me to a couple main design concept ideas that I'm developing. At this point, the scope of the project should allow for most of them to fit together by the end. Concept 1 [image 1, right]: Study of cultural beliefs towards the (human) life cycle and how this relates to site planning. In Egyptian and Asian culture, the life cycle plays an important role in how a site is planned. The sun's movement acts as a guiding metaphor for the transition from birth to death and graveyards/temples are laid out accordingly in town/village sites. Altering this concept to a scripted pathway through my hometown's project site, I can begin to incorporate narrative aspects within the circulation. This allows for design opportunities relating to recycling (which then acts as a double metaphor for the life cycle of a product and demonstrates the differences between single-use or cradle-to-grave processes, and multi-use or cradle-to-cradle processes). Concept 2 [image 2, below]: Our stint in Egypt was full of literal narrative but the idea that stuck me as most valuable deals with an abstract biomimicry study of the scarab beetle. Egyptian belief holds this insect as a symbol of eternal life and rebirth. This relates to my hometown project's program of a recycling plant being a center for a town-wide initiative towards sustainable recycling/reuse. For final design methodology, this speaks of using site-specific (rammed-earth, earth-berming, and "earth-ship" construction) and recycled materials for structural design. The trick seems to be incorporating this into an over-arching concept that speaks to the user/inhabitant of the site in a narrative sense. Man your post boys and dig in. (Dung beetle pun intended).

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