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2006 Brisbane

INTENSIFIED INFRASTRUCTURE Christina Tung + Rodrigo Prieto

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Exploring the monetary and political systems that harness and distribute natural resources, we considered not only the situations in Austin and Bolivia (at difference scales and time) but also examined work in films: Syriana (2005), Lessons of Darkness (1992), Emerald Forest (1985), and Repo Man (1984). From these examples of consequences resulting from the symbiotic relationship between big business and big government, we then abstracted this nature to a set of rules and modeled it using Maya software with parameters of growth and constraint. We understand the nature of these systems to be viruslike, depleting an area’s resources and moving to another. In our approach, we have accepted capitalism as our new global theology, affording a particular lifestyle vis-àvis the efficient reallocation of natural resources. Commodities exchanges provide an efficient method for reallocating the capital and cash across global markets, according to the forces of supply and demand. These exchanges build on the infrastructure, credit, and settlement networks already established by global industries in order to provide liquidity to all types of products (from tangible products such as food goods to intangibles such as stocks and derivatives). Products and services have been traded on markets of varying scale and with varying degrees of success. Issues that present major difficulty for creators of such institutions are standardization (products must be standardized, parceled, and sold as specific unit types) and delivery (trading commodities is no different than trading any other physical 1 Structure and Silos UlTRAFIlTRATIoN

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LAndsCAPEs of WATER Paola Viganò The projects I will discuss are related to several research and design experiences concerning water infrastructure. Led in different contexts, they have been the occasion to bring together ideas, positions, topics, key issues, and design approaches that slowly construct a common experience of Europe’s physical landscape as a research field. This first statement seems banal but it requires taking a step back to reconsider the actual condition of the European city and territory.

A second common idea is that we, architects, urbanists, and landscape architects, have to respond to changes with pragmatic and operable solutions. This research takes some risks in considering the existence of Europe’s landscape over time, which is crucial in reading and working at the scale of the territory and also crucial when reflecting on the deep mutations of its basic infrastructural support. The effort shows that time is not working against design activity but is one of its most important components, and that we cannot think of actualizing such transformations without broadening not only our spatial but also our temporal horizon.

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A third quite diffused idea, related to the former one, is that to provide solutions is an activity that does not require an elaborate theoretical approach and that design operations in particular are only the application of knowledge formulated and established in other contexts. The design approach reveals to what extent, when working on the water theme, we are confronted with concepts, ideas, and scientific and technical paradigms, and finally with ideologies, political projects that are historically and culturally based. To confront them, we need to take a critical distance and reread them from a new, contemporary theoretical perspective, with the understanding that changes in paradigms are occurring in other disciplines: hydraulic and environmental engineers, for example, are today thinking

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PROPOSAL CU 63

One common idea is that European urban and territorial fabrics are almost concluded, after a long story of progressive densification and networking. These projects explore, on the contrary, the great changes that will affect European territory in the future, starting with problems related to water management, agricultural reduction, and structural evolution. The themes are not any easier to handle in the Italian state of Veneto than they are in Holland or in other parts of Europe, and many researchers are currently observing them from different points of view. What is sure is that Europe’s landscape is drastically changing and is in need of new concepts and visions.


2006 Brisbane

INTENSIFIED INFRASTRUCTURE Christina Tung + Rodrigo Prieto product, and goods must be ultimately delivered safely and on time). This project proposes an urban strategy that ties together the dependent synergies of various global industries into a single water network. By having one industry’s waste output become another industry’s productive input, we challenged the traditional water paradigm through a stratification of water purity and an intensification of infrastructure.

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In determining a site, the proximity of the port and airport were considered for their existing infrastructures. In response to the decreasing amounts of rainfall on Brisbane, we considered future cloud-seeding locations that could work in conjunction with the airport. Where the optimal heights and velocities of planes took place around the site, we calculated the major forces of the wind in the area. Because much of Brisbane’s park and preserved land has been taken over by industry, we focused on the borders between industry and recreation to determine how our proposal could change the urban morphology at the local and urban scales. Our site was a constant negotiation between park, water, industry, topology, and climate. At the thresholds, we hoped to discover a place for an opportunity for change. We envision bringing to Brisbane’s harbor everything from a semiconductor chip manufacturing plant, pharmaceutical, synthetic gas, food and beverage, and metals finishing, to a single site where water types are sorted, shared among opportunistically driven partners and integrated back into the urban fabric, sharing waters with adjacent commercial, agricultural, and public spaces. The impact of our design in the face of today’s water scarcity and driving technologies will gradually emerge a new modality of metropolitan order.

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and acting differently than in the past, and a new alliance is possible. About Dispersion The projects presented here deal with the theme of requalification of a part of the Veneto Region —diffused, fragmented, and contaminated—starting with the complex system of its water resources. The territory of Veneto, like many contemporary locations, is a place of paratactic combinations of a great number of paradoxes. It is a mutating territory, like many European territories of dispersion, where significant causes of crisis come to light that are modifying the character traits of the diffused city. I am referring to the specific mix of housing and industry in an extended territory, usually involving people living in a single detached house and working in a small enterprise. This model of diffusion and of “development without fractures” (Fuà, Zacchia, 1983) has been described in Italy both by economists, sociologists, geographers, and urbanists starting from the end of the 1970s and especially during the last 20 years (Indovina, 1990, Secchi, 1991 and 2005).

PROPOSAL CU 65

The different paradoxes and elements of crisis are deeply linked to the distinctive features of settlement dispersion, a long-term phenomenon that has invested a great part of the Veneto territory, within which specific infrastructural configurations were defined: for instance, the diffused networks of waterways and roads. Isotropy is among the most intriguing feature: an almost utopian, egalitarian condition that is at the same time individualist, in which resources and opportunities are uniformly and regularly distributed. Nevertheless, the isotropic territory reveals unsuspected rigidity, with themes of hierarchy and difference. The same functional mix of small productive complexes and housing, which is typical of the incremental growth of the widely dispersed micro-industries in Veneto, enters into crisis when new mobility infrastructures must be inserted: There the conflict with the waters and the lower “sponge” of roads and built fragments explodes.

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A paradox of void spaces also emerges in this territory, particularly the paradox of the still vast agricultural lands, which, except for a few instances, remain marginal from an economic viewpoint. Differently from other areas of settlement dispersion like Flanders, where the built areas reach percentages close to 60%, the Veneto plains cover important agricultural extensions that still represent the largest part of the territory. Despite this, and with the exception of some strongly specialized agricultural areas like those for chicory crops or vineyards, the functional and symbolic role of the agricultural landscape remains limited.

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W2: Intensified Infrastructure