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THESIS


FRAMEWORK 5 INVESTIGATION 9 SURVEY 11 PROPOSAL 15 DEFINITION OF TERMS 20


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F R A M E W O R K

Early Greek philosophy was often

a moving arrow’s direction implies the

concerned with how an object could

movement it is about to experience.

be defined over time. Zeno of Elea

With this reasoning, he figured that

was the first to ‘prove’ that movement

“you cannot step twice into the same

was an illusion, purely a composite of

stream, for as you step in, other waters

still moments that together provide the

are ever flowing onto you”. With this

illusion of motion . If time is structured,

providing an overarching mantra in

he said, then motion is impossible.

our work, we were concerned with

Heraclitus later argued that this

the way in which we can continuously

temporal permanence is relative, and

track water over time, building an

any moment is in fact an expression

ever-clearer understanding of how it

of the change that is about to happen:

behaves in relation to other factors,


'you cannot step twice into the same stream, for as you step in, other waters are ever flowing onto you'


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and expressing this interrelationship

merchants of light, are sent out into the

via a systematic account of the being

world to draw and collect information

of the river. Throughout our work,

that is then brought back to the centre

and through every stage, we have an

the operation, Salomon’s House; “the

awareness of the shortcomings in

noblest foundation that was ever on

our methodology, yet aspire towards

this earth, and the lanthorn of [the]

a

the

kingdom”. At this house, compliers

river. Ptolomey, in his Geographica,

“draw the experiments … into titles

says that it is the “most sublime

and tables, to give better light for the

contemplation

to

drawing of observations and axioms

mathematical

out of them”, while lamps “consider

theorem an understanding of the

of the former labours and collections

heavenly firmament … of the Earth

[to] direct new experiments, of a higher

itself which, since it cannot be

light, more penetrating into nature

physically encompassed … can at

than the former”. Drawing parallels

least be moulded into an image of

between this and our elevated island

itself.” Our intention is then to survey

site, we aim to create a new Salomon’s

the river in as much as we can and,

House for the better understanding

to the best of our ability, capture the

of the fluid conditions of the river.

essence of the fluid state of the river.

In

In these essences we can find, by the

were concerned with the flow of

application of wisdom, the true state of

water

perfect

demonstrate

representation

of by

of

mankind

the entire river. In Francis Bacon’s New

Atlantis, a utopian island community of scientists and researchers work tirelessly to “find the true nature of things”. From this, researchers, or

our

initial across

investigations, different

we

surfaces.


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I N V E S T I G A T I O N

Our ontological model allowed us to

of the river represented. Recording

experiment with the effect of water

and documenting the results of the

running over surfaces of varying

experiments, our findings were drawn

texture and gradient. Using OS map

up into an initial taxonomy by identifying

data, we measured the gradients

certain

of several rivers on Rum at several

of the water: speed, aeratedness,

points, and then identified the geology

purity, gradient, and interaction with

particular to those points. Each

texture. Allowing us to classify our

gradient was then tested across our

results according to their outcome, our

model, while the geology informed

taxonomy could, to a point, predict the

the texture of the plates, which were

outcome of a similar set of conditions

laser-etched with simplified textures

(ie. the plate texture and gradient).

of the rocks across which each point

measurable

characteristics


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S U R V E Y

Building on the findings of the

eight conditions overall, we separated

ontological testings, we developed a

these into two groups of four: container

set of survey instruments to use on

conditions (bed texture, gradient, width

Rum. Each was engineered to register

and depth), and fluid conditions (surface

a certain condition, as per those

texture, purity, speed and the deviation

we had identified in the taxonomy,

from the mean flow of the river). To

along

suspected

transport these instruments along the

would be helpful to measure on site,

river, we constructed a backpack,

but had not been able to do on our

tailored to fit each piece in as light

ontological model; a sectional survey

and space-efficient a way as possible.

with

some

we

that addressed the atemporality of the 12x40cm plates we used. With


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Our survey on Rum was conducted at eight sites we felt typified the stages of the river: source, dam, confluence, ford, meander, bridge, estuary and mouth. At each point, we used our instruments to measure four points across the river, in order to build an accurate sectional picture. From this information, we built up a picture, albeit a flawed picture, of the river by extrapolating our data across the length of a river by way of a second taxonomy.

Though

produced

a

posteriori, this taxonomy was in effect our ninth instrument and allowed us to speculate as to the condition of the river between our measuring sites.


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P R O P O S A L

Understanding that we could infer the

Heraclitus, infinite. With this in mind, four

complete state of the river from only

survey buildings will act as instruments

a few points of empirical data, our

themselves, each registering a single

strategy and program is to complete

fluid condition. While each providing

our survey of the river. This survey

a visual register of the state of each

and compilation will happen at three

condition, they will also provide a

scales. These three scales take into

physical record of their condition.

account the timescales at which each of their corresponding processes

An instrument surveying the water

operate; the container conditions

speed is the highest, and is composed

play out on a geological timescale,

of a series of horizontal spines that,

while the fluid conditions are, as per

actuated by a pressure tube that


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sits in the water, slides along a

towards the surface of the water, over

rail, translating the speed of the

which sits a pin-hole camera, which is

water into a kinetic articulation.

triggered manually to take negatives

Meanwhile, the instrument can be

which can be brought back to the macro

fitted with a scroll, on which the

building for developing. Finally, the

moving arms inscribe a graphical

instrument registering purity is situated

representation of the speed, which

towards the estuary of the river, and

can be taken to the macro building

is composed of four counterweighted

for analysis. The instrument surveying

arms, which contract when raised, and

deviation will be the next furthest from

open when lowered, holding a folding

the source, and, similarly to the speed

sheet which collects sediment, and

register, is composed of multiple arms

directs larger particulates towards

which are turned by rudders sitting

a filter at the end. When raised, the

in the water, rotating paddles fixed

sheet collapses into a cassette that

above in a single smooth expression

can then be brought back to the macro

of the water direction. Likewise,

building for analysis and archiving.

a scroll may also be attached to the instrument, onto which data is

Mobile, micro-scale instrument packs

inscribed to be later analysed at the

will be provided at each of these stations

laboratory. Further down the river will

to facilitate a more complete survey of

be the instrument surveying surface

the container conditions between the

texture. Composed of several light

instrument locations. Used by volunteer

wells, this instrument is able to direct

merchants of light, they will provide a

their apertures towards the sun,

better understanding of the topography

opening and closing to accommodate

of the river, and will contribute towards

light changes throughout the day and

a long-running process of survey and

season. These channel light down

documentation. In order to highlight


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areas which have not recently been

for storing and interpreting it. By way

surveyed,

stations

of the micro survey, this taxonomy

will be positioned at 160 points

would be constantly adjusted, as

along the river, and will include a

it is refined towards an ever-more-

socket into which a light bulb can

accurate definition of the river. This

be placed once the survey has been

macro building will be a base for the

completed, signifying the sectional

building and repairing of the instrument

enlightenment of that river portion.

components, with a fully equipped

Over a period of a few months, each

workshop on the ground floor, with

bulb will burn out, indicating the need

access to the river for the cleaning of

to re-survey the river, thus reflecting

the instrument parts. In addition the

the

which

building will serve as an archive for the

changes in the container take place.

artefacts of data collected from each

micro

slower

docking

timescale

at

of the instrument sites, and will serve as These stations will draw power from

a reference base for each of these for

a hydroelectric generator at the

up to a year, until they are ejected from

macro building, which will collate

the building into the skin as a phisical

the data taken along the river, thus

articulation of the accumulation of

building a picture of the river as it

knowledge. Adjacent to the archive,

is, a Kantian noumenal image which

there will be accommodation for

is based purely on the data of the

a fulltime caretaker, a lamp, who

survey, as processed by a taxonomy.

is responsible for overseeing the

In effect, this macro building would

archiving and interpretation of the data.

be

of

Temporary accommodation will be

the taxonomy; a Salomon’s House

provided for four volunteer merchants

equipped with a laboratory for analysis

of light, who will assist with the micro

of the data, and a computer system

strategy and the collection of the data.

a

physical

manifestation


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Building Typologies macro-tecture, n. /ˈmæk.rəәʊ.tek.tʃəә/ 1.

2. 3.

An intermediate scale of architecture; itself an instrument for measuring one of four fluid conditions along the river A temporary shelter for participants in river-survey A container for micro-tecture and in dialogue with macro-tecture.

micro-tecture, n. /ˈmaɪ.krəәʊ.tek.tʃəә/ 1.

A small scale set of portable instruments, used for measuring container conditions along the river; relates to a greater architecture hierarchy as smallest component

midi-tecture, n. /ˈmɪd.i.tek.tʃəә/ 1. 2.

A large scale of architecture; a manifestation of the taxonomy in that it models the information supplied by both micro-tecture and macro-tecture A permanent shelter for a river caretaker

Exchanges fluid condition, n. /ˈfluː.ɪd_kəәnˈdɪʃ.əәn/ 1.

A state of the water that is either: i. deviation the difference in direction of water flow from the general direction of the river at a particular point ii. purity the dilution of sediment within a sample of water iii. speed the rate of flow of water iv. surface texture disturbances on the surfaces of the water eg. waves, bubbles

container condition, n. /kəәnˈteɪ.nəәr_kəәnˈdɪʃ.əәn/ 1.

the state of the geology and topography within which the river flows, that is either: i. bed texture the surface across which the water flows eg. boulders, sand ii. depth the metric difference between the surface of the water and the riverbed iii. gradient the rate of descent of the river iv. width the distance between either bank of the river


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Other taxonomy, n. /tækˈsɒn.əә.mi/ 1.

2.

a system for naming and organising moments in the river, categorised in according to; stage (ie. youth, intermediate, event, maturity) and container/fluid conditions applied to similar stages in the river in order to extrapolate known conditions in order to make an informed judgement about the state of the entire river

River Stages youth, n. /juːθ/ 1.

the early stages of the river; i. source the earliest stage of the river; where it starts ii. dam a deliberate manipulation of the rivers trajectory; perhaps to generate electricity

intermediate, n. /ˌɪn.təәˈmiː.di.əәt/ 1.

middle stages of the river; i. confluence where two rivers merge ii. meander the bend in the river due to erosion

event, n. /ɪˈvent/ 1.

a specific happening in the course of the river; i. ford a point where the river is shallow enough to cross easily by foot ii. bridge a man-made crossing over the river; usually restricting the flow of water between foundations

maturity, n. /məәˈtjʊəә.rɪ.ti/ 1. stages towards the end of the river i.

ii.

estuary where the river widens to meet the sea mouth where the river meets the sea

THESIS  

Thesis outlining the ambitions of the project on the Isle of Rum