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(MArch Report)


UCL Bartlett School March of Architectural Design Tutor: Shaun Murray June, 2009 Word Count: 5104

the Introduction for the Ideas and Project The main idea of project is “the Mimesis for microwave�, and the nature of this project is creating a physical model to mimic the invisible change of the microwave radiation. The people cannot see the microwave radiation and also cannot feel it. But this microwave radiation is harmful for human body and also the radiation is a kind of energy. It is bad news for people who lived beside the park which is my site there is a very big microwave radiation maker in there since they do not know what time is good for take a walk in the park. Thus, the designer wants creating a physical model which can use the architectural movement and style to describe the microwave radiation in the aspects like the intensity, the main trend direction of radiation. The unit of intensity of radiation is mw/cm2 (1mw=106w) which means the quantity of energy across 1 cm2 space. So in the project the relative movement between frame and crossing part will shows the intensity of radiation at that time. In additional, it also can receive the energy of radiation for the movement. This is three main functions.

The whole project is using a kind of device to represent the change of the microwave radiation and receive it, and also show the effect of this change to the people who live beside the park. In addition, the device will also observe some other environment value which interrelated to human activities beside the intensity of microwave radiation. So the leading actor of the project is this





machines, and they cannot only observe and record the intensity the Mimesis for microwave

of microwave radiation in the site, but also they can represent

this value and change in their physical and architectural movement. This factory also will be used to improve the environment situation in the park by absorb some nocuous dust -1-

which made by power station in the air and offer the better habitats for animals and plants species and also can offer a interesting and architectural space to the people.

Actually, the aim of the project is creating a factory which mostly includes the different function device parts like the observation and recording device which used for collect the data of environment; the energy collection device which used to collect the energy, and it can be seen the power of this factory; the movement and change device which used to represent the change of the value of the environment; the storage device which used to store the energy collected by energy collection device; the central system which control the movement and the data. The entire devices of factory were made by metal, glass, rubber, wood and some compound. It will work automatic (Dunne, 2006).

the Process of the Thinking for the Work About the process of design and work, from the beginning of the first term, it is very interesting in the relationship of the human activities and the situation of

ecology environment (Bateson,

1972). Unfortunately, the effects of human activities to the environment are always very negative. Some people really want to change this situation.

The work in term 1

They now have to expiate their offence to the nature, because the human being is no longer the people in 18th century who only care about development. Now people have enough abilities like technologies and experience to change their attitude—be a friend of nature. Because of this idea, a sample


project was made which is a network in the forest which can observe the change of environment. It is not all of the idea and very general and simple. From the second term, the project is going forward.

At the beginning of the second term, a site was chosen for this project. It is unbefitting to

The work in term 2

use a beautiful and lovely park for the site. The idea is setting some devices on the industrial wasteland and they can change the environment, and also record this process. The idea also want to device receive the energy of radiation like nuclear radiation and microwave radiation for the power of device, so it is unforced focus on the wasteland beside the nuclear power station and Microwave Station.

In the final term, it is very fortunate the some main ideas are remain, but after thinking for a while, it is clear that some of ideas in term 2 is too general and cannot to come true in modern world like absorb water


CO2 to



compound. So the direction of forward was changed to this idea. Though it is do not a epic project, it is a interesting and architectural

Indefinite Divisibility, Yves Tanguy, 1942



important things is: it can work. -3-



In the aspects of the critical tools that are being used to develop the project and the methodologies employed in creation of the project. First of all, it is very interested in biomorphic mechanical device. Actually, it is clear to comprehend that the species in the world are all the especial machines, and they are on a unique way of evolution (Bateson, 1972). Thus the ideas are going to find the possibility of another way of development. Secondly, the architecture in the nature is an exciting event for people. The whole nature is complicated system, and it has its own order. The order is rule, which considered a show of perfection, complied by people. People can discover much architectural information in the nature, and also crate the new natural biologic architecture. Like the picture drawing by Yves Tanguy (1900-1955)( Wittrock and Hayter, 1976) who is crate a fantastic mechanical biology figure. The experience told the people that the architecture they learned is order like the nature, rule and restriction because they cannot abuse other’s freedom for our freedom. They have been painfully searched for the architecture of our hearts and the acceptable border of new order all the time. They fall on the way of searching for new order again and again, because they do not want to protect those old rules only. Finally someone found a new order, achieved his new architectures. This design is to express the process of searching for order (Pearson Richards, 1997). As for the new order, people have never seen it, but they see forms of different manifestations from a corner of the iceberg as if the thing that they are searching has not existed. They just see some complicated and out-of-order things. Chaos is complex, erratic, non-order. But sometimes they get to think if the creativity of nature is endless and if the erratic things can turn to be regular at the stage of deep rulelessness, which is similar to that it is suddenly discovered to be an unimaginably cycle recurring Decimal when it is calculated to a certain number. At this time, imbroglio and order can be unified. The project is try to found another order of the nature and another way of evolution ( Frazer, 1995).

Indefinite Divisibility, Yves Tanguy, 1942 -4-

the Background of the Site The site of the project is in east of London-- the Ripple Nature Reserve. This area is an

The overview map of the site industrial area, and there are very large power stations-- Barking Power Station—beside the site. The site covers about 25 acres and is managed by London Wildlife Trust. The site area was used for a dumping area for pulverized fuel ash made by nearby factory and power station. Now the nature reclaim industrial wasteland, and “hundreds of orchids, including the southern marsh and common spotted orchid, provide the major attraction of the site and can be seen dotted throughout the birch woodland floor between May and June. The silver birches stand next to a new meadow boasting a wide range of native wildflowers and grasses, attracting a range of butterflies, hoverflies and bees.” (The Ripple,

n.d.) The dumping of fuel ash has created a soil that is very alkaline and therefore different


to most soils in London (they are mostly acidic). This means some plant species can tolerate the soils of the site. After some observe and research, the main species in the site are some birds: Partridge, Magpie, goldfinch; bees and butterflies.

Around the park, there are a lot of living house on the west and north of the site, but there are very few people will go to this park to take a walk, it is not a good situation. One of the reason is this park is industrial wasteland, and the pollution is still in the earth and air. The other reason is there is a microwave station beside the site, and all the park was covered in the radiation. So it is perfect site to let the ideas of receiving the energy of radiation and the mimesis for microwave will come true. A main road was on the east of the park and living district. It is a boundary in this area, since there is a quite large green field plateau on the east, and on the west of road is the living district. A lot of aerogenerators was built on this green field for the plenteous wind energy here. Barking area is a traditional power center and base. It depletes a large number of fossil fuel in past decades years and also made many industrial wastelands like the site of the project. However, owing to the increase of the technology level and environment friendly mind in human society, the situations are changed. Plenty of the clean energy replaces the traditional energy like the wind energy.

the Details of the Methodology for the Project As mentioned above, the factory of the project will have some different function device parts. They are the energy collection device, observation and recording device, movement device, air cleaner device, the storage device and central system.

A. the Matters of the Microwave in the Site and the Research Methods for it

First of all, about the microwave radiation in the site, there is a big power station --Barking Power Station—in this area, however it is a group of power stations not a single one. Thus, there are many electric transformer substations there. Since the -6-

pressure in transformer substation is 40WV which is deathful for workers, it is always unmanned and remotely control by microwave signal. That is the reason for why the electric transformer substation and the microwave station join together near the site. The stronger microwave radiation which is harmful for human and animals if stay in the cover of microwave radiation for a long time. The main effects of damage for human and animals are on nerve system, gonad, retina and the content of the white blood cell (Electromagnetic fields and public health, 2005). When the microwave station works, all the site will be covered by this radiation, but the levels of the intensity are different, which means the area closer to the transformer substation has a high level of microwave radiation.

Because of this reason, there is a very perfect idea to use this energy of radiation for the power of the project. The shortage of the power is always a big issue in human society. Until about two centuries ago, the majority of the energy in the world was carried out by muscle power, and the category also can be subdivided into human and animal muscle power. In technologically advanced countries, people can avail ourselves of energy in the form of engines powered by fossil fuel and devices drawing on electricity (Foster). The result of that is the disappearance of the forest; the appearance of ozonosphere hollow area and globe warming. The traditional power is not suit for the situation of environment today, people should find the different other power based on the characteristic of the different areas, like use wind energy in the wind area, and use tide energy in the seacoast which have big wave. Considering the matter of the site, it is a good condition to receive the energy of radiation. The technology of this was used in the outer space by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA). They used a satellite to collect the solar energy and store in the form of electrical power in the outer space. Then the satellite will use a transmitter machine set off this power to the receive station on the earth by microwave radiation (Brown, 1984: 32). It is a great idea for human power issue, if there are enough satellites in the space, and the losing energy which produced in the process of transmission is reduced. This technology is a way to live on for human when the fossil fuel is empty on the earth.


Before using and mimic the energy of microwave radiation, it is necessary to realize the matter of microwave radiation in the site, and it contents the intensity of microwave radiation and the main trend direction of the microwave radiation.

The first microwave radiation intensity contour map

First, intensity of microwave radiation, in order to know the trend of change microwave radiation intensity in the site, the researcher go to the site and do some measure by a portable device for sensing and measuring microwave energy. After that the different intensity value of the point were recorded and pointed out on a GPS overview map of the site. Then some curves were used to join all the points together by the method of drawing a contour map. At last, a microwave radiation intensity contour map was made, and it can describe the change of the microwave radiation intensity in this area. The section which is close to yellow has the higher intensity. The unit for microwave radiation intensity is mW/cm2, and mW here is megawatt which is a unit of power, cm2 is square centimeters which is a unit of square (Brown, 1984: 32). The picture show the change of intensity from 0.01mW/cm2 to 0.9mW/cm2, so every section represent about 0.1mW/cm2. It is very clear to show in the southeast and northeast zone have higher intensity, thus, the energy collection device are setting here for receive the radiation for energy.


The site covers about 25 acres, so it is not a little garden. It is not very doable to research the whole change of the intensity of microwave radiation in the range of the park at some time. The data will too much, and also will difficult to find the rule of the change. The aim of the project is to find the rules of the changes of the microwave radiation then mimic the microwave radiation and show the rules by the device to people. So, in order to carry out the aim, the research area should be reduced. From the drawing below, it is very clear to see there are 3 main areas in the site. They are forest zone, middle zone and shrubbery zone in the order of the west to the east. In the drawing, the circle means the trees, and the point of the crossing line means the position of the little marsh. In the forest zone, there are some tiny forest and marsh in it. A path across the whole middle zone, and the main plants is grass. The shrubbery zone is full of the shrubbery plants, even people cannot walk in it. It will be easier to take one zone for researching. Although the microwave radiation intensity contour map mentioned above is too general, it also shows that the forest zone own the more change in intensity of microwave radiation. In opposite, the change of microwave radiation in middle zone is not enough, and the

The site and the matters of the site


shrubbery zone is difficult to walk in. So, the forest zone was chosen for doing some more in-depth research, and then a more specific microwave radiation intensity contour map of this area should be drawing.

The method of drawing a microwave radiation intensity contour map is a very helpful way to find the rule of microwave radiation, however, the precondition of this is the new microwave radiation intensity contour map should be more specific and have more details than the old one mentioned above. Thus, a more strict method is used in drawing the new map. In the first step, a 10M×10M ( meter) network was drawn on the overview map of the forest zone. The points of intersection on the network were named “control point”, and the people should know the value on control points as many as possible for drawing a specific intensity contour map.

In the Second, the microwave energy measurement device and GPS map device still can be used to measure the intensity of microwave radiation, but the way to use them is more specific. Another 10M×10M ( meter) network was drawn on the screen of the GPS map device. On the screen, a little point figures the position of the researcher. The researcher should move his body to let that little point close to the A phone and also a GPS device

control point as much as possible, and then record

Some value collected by this method

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the value of intensity of microwave radiation measured by the microwave energy measurement device on this control point. There are two problems here about this method. One is not all the control points was available to measure, since there are some trees and marshes exactly on the positions of some control points. For that reason, some measure points are not on the control points. This can be seen on the control point drawing below. The other problem is the GPS map device has some error, it means the position shows on the screen of GPS map device may be not the right position. In order to avoid the error as much as possible, the researcher should do the measurement for times and in different directions, such as in the first time, the researcher move from northeast to southwest to measure the value of every available control point. And then, he does the same work from northwest to the southeast. It will reduce the error of this process.

The control points and the main trend of the microwave radiation

In the final step, after the measurement, all the data should be record and compute the average value of every control point. This is the whole measurement process of one day.

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In order to know the change of intensity of microwave radiation in a few weeks, the researcher does the same measurement every week (one or two times per week) from March. Until now, about 30 days’ value was recorded. In these data, the value of the intensity of microwave radiation on the most control points was low in only a few days. It should be the customary servicing on those days, and cause the microwave station was shut down. However, in the most days, the trend of the change for microwave radiation is very clear. The people use all the data to compute a one group average value on the control point. Then some curves were used to join all the points together by the method of drawing a contour map like the older map. From the new map, it is very clear to see the entire wave crest and the trough of every curves shows people the main trend direction of microwave radiation. One of the rules of microwave radiation in the site was found.

B. the Device for Mimicing the Microwave Radiation

The positions of the devices in the site First of all, about the positions of the devices in the forest zone, it is good to place the device on the control points, since the data of the control points is more exact. The later work should be more convenient and exact based on those data. There is a problem that the device should be placed on every control point or just some typical one. This will be discussing in two aspects. As mentioned above, the devices in the project is designed for mimic the change of the microwave radiation, and then the asomatous microwave can be represented to people. However, on the one hand, this show only just shows the microwave radiation by the change of it, not show the microwave radiation itself. If the change of microwave radiation is very peaceful and slowly on some control point, the movement of the device will be nearly neglected by people. It is better to abandon some unchanged control point. On the other hand, the mimesis for microwave cannot be carried out by one device. It means a number of devices should be placed in the site, and then people can realize the difference of microwave radiation intensity among the

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The positions of the devices

whole control point by the contrast of movement of every device. If the number of the device is too large, this contrast would be very inconspicuous. The project cannot show the main trend of microwave radiation to the people. The purpose of the project cannot come true. So the devices should place on the control points where own the very obvious change on the data, and all the control points chosen should have some relative changes. Because of these reasons, the devices should be placed on the control point closed to the main trend line of microwave radiation, since all the control points closed to the main trend line own the very obvious relative changes, and also the obvious individual changes. The device can also show the main trend direction by this placement. The aim of the project should be easier to carry out.

The details of the device Secondly, about the details of the device, the individual device is a syntheses. The movement part, observation and recording part, energy collection part , the storage device and the air cleaner part are join together for one goal.

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First, the movement part, it is the main part of the individual device, since the change and the rules of the microwave radiation is all represented by the movement of the device.





divided into two main parts---- the frame and the main body. The main body is also an arrowhead which shows the angle of the main trend of microwave radiation. The frame is a rectangular frame and will be fixed on the ground, so it cannot move. The height of the frame is 2 meters. There is a 2 meters long small railway through the center of the frame part, and it is fixed The movement of the device

on the frame. This small railway is used by the main body. It will move on the railway

by some gears. The relative movement between the main body and the frame will show people a scene that is an arrowhead through the rectangular frame. This manner of the movement is come from the unit of the intensity of the microwave radiation--- mw/cm2. Since this value is the most believable and intuitionistic one to represent the matter of the microwave radiation. As mentioned above, the conception of this unit is the quantity of the microwave energy through 1 cm2 area in a tiny period of time. So if this unit is higher, the quantity of the microwave energy is more.

The movement part is abstracted form this conception. The frame represents the interface through by the microwave radiation, which is that “1 cm2 area� in the conception of the unit. The main body represents the energy, the power, the microwave and the main trend line. It shows more than one symbol, not just the microwave radiation energy in the conception. It shows the power of breakthrough. It can break the bulwark between the invisibility and seeing, which means the project let people can

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intuitionistic feel the effect of the microwave radiation. It can break the bulwark between the new type of the recycle for energy sources and the lost the energy sources, which means the project could recycle the energy of the microwave radiation, and do not let this secondary energy (secondary energy means the energy produced by another kind of energy, such as the microwave radiation is produced by the electricity) go away. It can receive this power and recycle for itself.

The small railway fixed on the frame and the main body

The extent of the relative movement between the frame and the main body is not the same among every device. This extent is up to the intensity of the microwave radiation in their position. When the device is work, the main body part will move on that small railway. It will through in the frame, then back to the start, then through again. It will repeat this process. The frequency of through and back and the length of the movement on the small railway are two points of the extent. The frequency of through and back will change by the intensity of microwave radiation. If the intensity is more powerful, the frequency of movement is higher. However, the length of the movement on the small railway is not based on the value of intensity right now. It will change according to the average value of all the data from one hour ago to now. For example, the length of the movement on the small railway is changed on 1400, and this length is based on the average value during 1300 to 1400. This method will represent the change of the intensity in two sides, and make points of the project much stronger.

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Second, the inductor part, at the end of the main body is another part of the device

The inductor part which owns the different function. Actually, the tail of the main body part is the inductor for microwave radiation which has the functions of observation, measurement and recording. As the drawing shows, the whole inductor divided into three parts. First one, there is a curving board structure at the base of the inductor. It is the basement of the whole inductor, and it is fixed on the tail of the main body. There is a driver and gear at the joint of two parts. The inductor can rotate on the joint, and the curving board will keep vertical with the axis of main body. The speed of the rotation will not change by the microwave radiation. It will take one hour to turn one circle, like a big and weird clock. Second, the other two parts

own the


functions that are observation and measurement. They are the eyes of the whole individual device. Both of them can open and close like a flower. This movement is controlled by the driver at the junction of the curving board, and the extent of the movement is also up to the intensity of the microwave radiation. Each “flower� own four staff The 4 framework of the inductor The process of open and close

for the framework, and there are membranous structure between each - 16 -

staff. A lot of small microwave radiation inductors are placed on the membranous structure. When the framework is open, the membranous structure will grow up like the sail on the ship. However, it is not for receiving the wind, not feeling the power of microwave radiation. The computer will record the value of small microwave radiation inductors every one minute, and then it will compute the average value of all the data. The movement of the staff will based on this value, but one “flower” will change every minutes and another one will move once a hour (as the same of the main body, this movement is according to the average value of all the data from one hour ago to now). Take two “flower” devices here is used for reduce the error.

Third, the microwave energy receiving part, this part is placed on the two sides of the main body with the mechanical arms. The energy receiver is fixed on the top of on mechanical arm. This energy receiver device is made of some deltoid lamina, which can spread in the manner of rotation. The small energy receiver devices are setting on the deltoid lamina. There

The mechanical arms and the energy receivers

are some drivers and gears in the junction of the energy receiver device and the mechanical arm. These sets and whole mechanical arm will make

The movement of the mechanical arms and the energy receivers boards

sure that the energy receiver can turn round to every direction, so the receiving boards will face to main trend of the microwave radiation all the time. Not only the drivers and gears in the junction of the energy receiver device and the mechanical arm will make sure the energy receiver is in good condition, the all mechanical arm will also make a deal to the energy

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receiver. Because of the microwave energy receiving part is placed on the side of the main body, the movement of the main body will affect the stability of the energy receiver. Owing to this, the whole drivers and gears in the mechanical arm is control central system to reduce the relative movement between the energy receiver and the ground. It is a kind of the shock absorber in fact. Unlike the solar energy receiving, this device can work day and night, but if the intensity of radiation is too low, the device will stop work. The deltoid lamina on the energy receiver will turn together, and the mechanical arms will also merge into the main body.

Fourth, the other parts, there are some other part is setting inside of the main body and frame. Firstly, the central computer is placed at the one side of the frame. It is the control system for the whole device. It controls the inductors measure the data and record them, then it will compute these data and control the movement of the main The inside of the main body

body and the inductors based on the data. It will also control the movement of the inductors in order to keep the steady of the receivers. Secondly, the


storage device is placed inside the main body. Actually, this device is a kind of batteries. batteries




radiation irradiates on the small energy receiver devices on the deltoid lamina, the energy receiver devices will produce


an amount of the electric power. These power will be converged together and transport to the batteries. The storage device is the power of the whole device.


Finally, some air cleaners are fixed on the top of the frame. They will filtrate The work of the mechanical arms

the air and reduce the nocuous dust in

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the air.

Conclusion To conclusion, the main idea of project is “the mimesis for microwave�, and the project is going to create a device to mimic the invisible change of the microwave radiation. The aim of the project is to find the rules of the changes of the microwave radiation then mimic the microwave radiation and show the rules by the device to people. The whole project is going to make a connection between two unconcerned fields, and also transform this habitat of hybrid ecologies change from a industrial wasteland to a amazing and comfortable park.

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Reference: Allen, S. (1999) Points and Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City, New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Bateson, G. (1972) Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York: Ballantine Books.

Bateson, G. (1972) Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. Bantam Books.

Brown, W. C. (1984) "The History of Power Transmission by Radio Waves", Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 32, no. 9, September, pp. 1230- 1242.

Campbell, N. A., Williamson, B. and Heyden, R. J. (2006) Biology: Exploring Life. Boston. Massachusetts: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Dunne, A. (2006) Hertzian Tales: Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience and Critical Design. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2001) Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. London: Birkhauser.

Frazer, J. (1995) Themes VII: An Evolutionary Architecture. London: Architectural Association.

Freitas, R. A. and Merkle, R. C. (2004) Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines. Georgetown: Landes Bioscience.

Goodman, N. (1976) Language of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

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Indefinite Divisibility, Yves Tanguy (1942) [Online] (Updated 16 Jul 2002) Available at: [Accessed 15 March 2009].

London Wildlife Trust. (n.d.) The Ripple. [Online] (Updated 2007) Available at: d/141/Default.aspx [Accessed 15 March 2009].

Mc Taggart, L. (2003) The Field. London: HarperCollins Publishers.

Pearson, M. P. and Richards, C. (1997) Architecture and Order: Approaches to Social Space. London: Routledge.

Spiller, N. (2008) Digital Architecture Now: A Global Survey of Emerging Talent. London: Thames and Hudson.

Spiller, N. (2006) Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination . New York: Thames and Hudson.

Webb, M. (1987) Temple Island: A Study by Michael Webb. London: Architectural Association.

Wittrock, W. and Hayter, W. S. (1976) Yves Tanguy: The Graphic Work, Wolfgang Wittrock.

World Health Organization Media centre. (2005) Electromagnetic fields and public health. [Online] (Updated Dec 2005) Available at: [Accessed 15 March 2009].

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