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J ul i e nNol i n MAr c hSe m.I I I

Se t e mpbe r2015J auar y2016

Manaus , Amaz onas , Br az i l

Ar c hi t e c t ur ea nd Ex t r e meEnv i r onme nt s

I ns t i t ut eofAr c hi t e c t ur e andTe c hnol ogy

RoyalDani s hAc ade my ofFi neAr t s

st ayi ng afloat . /devi ce

por t f ol i o. AnAr c hi t e c t ur a l De v i c ePor t f ol i o

Edi t e dwor kofade vi c ei nve s t i gat i onf oc us e dont he t heBr az i l i anc i t yofManausandi t ss ur r oundi ngs . Compl e t e dbe t we e nt hemont hsofSe pt e mbe rand De c e mbe rof2015.


INTRODUCTION

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Map of Brazil Manaus Located

MANAUS

Amazon River

Rio Negro Rio Solimões

INTRODUCTION Located in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, is the city of Manaus. Located in Amazonas, Brazil’s fourth poorest State according to the World Bank1, a city that has seen itself rise to great riches in the end of the 20th century due to a large rubber boom, and fall to solemn depths after the boom’s eventual crash. In an attempt to revive the city in the heart of the Amazon jungle, Manaus was named a ‘Free Trade Zone’ in the late 1960’s, throwing it onto a course led by capitalist industrial pressures, leaving the urban fabric in disarray. Its proximity to the rivers leave it exposed to its fluctuating shifts and behaviors. In such an active environment, what role can architecture and technology play towards a sustainable future? The following portfolio covers four months of work focused on the city of Manaus and its surrounding areas. It is divided into three main phases: Phase 1: The Amazon, Data Collection; Phase 2: Device for Investigation; and Part 3: Expedition & Field Work. 1 “WB/Brazil: Improving Financial Resource Management in the State of Amazonas.” World Bank. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2016.


THE AMAZON: DATA COLLECTION

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September 2015

PHASE 1: THE AMAZON: DATA COLLECTION The Gathering of Information Regarding the Brazilian city of Manaus and its Surroundings

The first phase of the semester focused on data collection regarding the location of our expedition and device testing: the city of Manaus, Brazil. The gathered information was grouped into various themes of interest, attempting to grasp as vast a understanding as possible of the location, with the goal of discovering what conditions or are specific to this precise area of the world. The research was to be explored through and clearly represented in infographic form. The goal was to visually map the information in a coherent and precise manner. Broad research was to done to get a vast database of information to be able to decipher and identify the key aspects of all fields and visually reconstruct them into clear graphically curated information. Information was grouped into various themes, from history, to traditional techniques, to technologies, to resources, to geology, geography, to rivers, to industry, to demography, to land exploitation, and international trade. The exercise was performed in order to get a clear idea of the various characteristics that make Manaus such a unique place. From this research, one could focus on an area of interest from which to develop a device, that could respond to the specific environment. Through exploring these various themes, several fields of interest stood out to me as possible areas of interest. Namely, two themes were of particular interest: “Rivers: Flows and Flooding” and “Climate”.


THE AMAZON: DATA COLLECTION

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BRAZIL: MANAUS AND THE AMAZON

THE AMAZON BASIN

THE MEETING BETWEEN NEGRO, SOLIMOES & AMAZON RIVER

Rivers, Flow & Flooding

MANAUS

worlds largest and strongest river basin covers 40 % of South America

Amazon Solimoes

The Amazon River Basin is the largest and strongest in the world due to it’s incredible size and flow. Caused by deforestation, climate changes has taken a severe turn on the consequenses to the state of the ecosystem of Amazonas.

17 MAIN RIVERS LENGTH 6.400 KM

Flooding 2004

Early sailors could drink freshwater out of the ocean before sighting the South American continent

AREA OF WATER IN THE AMAZON BASIN

Average discharge 209,000 cubic m/s

49 %

Flooding 2009

average wet season

RIVER OCEAN E H T

Sediments from the Andes mountains gives the AMAZON RIVER it’s muddy colour

Rainy season discharge 300,000 cubic m/s

15 %

Amazon Solimoes

8233 cubic km fresh water

Known as the world’s second longest river after the Nile, but due to new discoveries in lenght, Amazon River might also take the prize as the world’s longest river

Negro

sediment swept into the ocean each day

USA plans to make a water connection to Brazil, since it contains the largest amount of ground water in the world

2.600.000 square km

MORE THAN 1100 TRIBUTARIES

MANAUS

3.001.585 cubic m

240 km into the Atlantic

7,050,000 square km

Negro

General Overview of Hydrology

POLITICAL DISCUSSION

The flow of the effluent into the Atlantic is so strong, that the waters of the Amazon River do not even begin to mix with the ocean water until the water has flowed

average wet season 1.200.000.000 x

Rainforest Water

per second

S ZONA AMA

s in the world by size River

Russia has half the amount of fresh water

2.5

but the country is times bigger than Brazil

The Amazon's daily freshwater discharge into the Atlantic is enough to supply New York City's freshwater needs for

M AN AU S

DROUGHT Long term climate change will modify river flows and lead to a reduction of recharge in aquifers in 2050 severe reduction in recharge of

9 years O NG CO

70%

20 %

Hundreds of

of the fresh water entering the world’s oceans

ISSIPI MISS

communities are stranding during drought - rivers are the most important way of transportation more than

10.000.000 fish are killed during the worst droughts

FLOODING ALL OTHE R R I V E R S IN T HE W ORL D

241

10-year cycles but rivers have overflowed significantly every year for the last three years Villages are vanishing Through flood periods the rivers expands their width and rises up to 9 m

INACTIVE OIL WELLS

151 PLANNED DAMS WILL CAUSE

Coast line

disruption in the connectivity of free-flowing rivers

Blend zone

TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS IN INACTIVE OIL WELLS, LED TO THE DISCOVERY OF UNDERGROUND RIO HAMZA

Hamza River

100 square km

Fresh water ecosystems

of flooded forest

Small rivers Amazonas main rivers

9

Rises up to m through flooding

Dams GEOGRAPHIC EXTENT OF THE AMAZON RIVER BASIN

DEPTH OF RIVERS

AMAZON RIVER 21.146,640 KM per year 0 KM

The Am on azon River Basin within Legal Amaz

per 1000 square KM Basin area Freshwater eco system area

0M

1400

-4 KM

1200

-20 M

HAMZA RIVER 0.001 KM per year

1000

CHANGE OF FLOW

800

-50 M

1.5 % WATER

600

400

RINGWOODITE MINERAL inside diamond

200

-100 M

Madeira

Amazonas mainstream

Negro

Araquaia - Tocantins

Xingu

Tapajós

Purus

Ucayali

Maranón

Juruá

Caquetá-Japurá

Miocene period 23 - 1 million years ago

Trombetas

Present

Napo

Cretaceous period 145 - 65 million years ago

Putumayo-Icá

0

Elevation 5.170 m

THE AMOUNT OF WATER INSIDE THE RARE MINERAL INDICATES A RESEVOIR OF WATER INSIDE THE EARTH’S TRASITION ZONE WITH A TOTAL OF ALL OCEANS PUT TOGETHER

HAMZA RIVER has in compare to Amazon River a width between -400 KM

200 -400 km

AVERAGE RIVER WIDTH 1,6 KM 10 KM

RIVER WIDTH WHEN FLOODED 40 KM

CREDIT: ASTRID BLICHFELDT

Due to it’s drain system The Amazon Basin is know as the deep plate ORIGIN - The Amazon Basin was a big lake 25.000 years ago

There are three types of flooded forests; Varzea forests which are fed by MUDDY RIVERS, Igapo forests located in BLACKWATER and CLEARWATER tributaries, and tidal forest located in the estuary.


THE AMAZON: DATA COLLECTION

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BRAZIL: MANAUS AND THE AMAZON

Climate: The Amazon Basin Global Mechanisms and Anomalies - Local Effects

Horse Latitude 30°N Tropic of Cancer 23.5°N

d

s

de Tra

in W

Equator 0°

e ad Tr

Wind

ind W

Warm Current

s

Cold Current

Tropic of Capricorn 23.5°S Horse Latitude 30°S

s li e er st We

Hyper Arid Arid Semi Arid Dry Sub-Humid Humid

Trade Winds The trade winds are created by varm waters in the oceans close to the equator and blow consistently from east to west, picking up humidity on it´s way towards South America. This humidity provides the Amazone Basin with approximately 50% of it´s annual rainfall.

Provides the Amazon with:

50% of its

annual precipitation

Transpiration

Sahara Dust

The Amazon’s cover of rainforrest fuels its own precipitation through transpiration. Transpiration is the trees own ability to recycle water and release it back into the atmosphere through their biological processes.

Dust from the Shara provides the Amazon with vital neutrients. An annual estimat of 27.7 million tons is carried by the trade winds across the Atlantic to reach the Amazon. The dust contains an aproximated

The Amazon can receive as much

Provides the Amazon with:

Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

22.000

25% to 50% of its annual precipi-

ITCZ is a convection zone created by the converging trade winds, just north of the equator. It spans the intire atlantic ocean and mainland south america where it provides the Amazon Basin with precipitation through the distribution of humid sea air.

as tons of phosphorus annualy from the Sahara dessert

tation

22 000 tons of phosphorus, which plants need to build protein. The amount is almost enough to replenish the phosphorus that is lost through when decomposing material is washed away by the river.

40 30

El Nino and La Nina El Ninio and La Ninia, or the Southern Oscillatin are reoccuring events that cause anomolies in the South Pacific and South American climate. In the event of an “el Nino” the cold water current that provides the South American Pacific coast with fresh cold water from Antarctica is reduced or reversed resulting in warm temperatures and high surface pressure. In the event of a “la Nina” the same cold water current increases and will result in colder temperatures and low surface pressure. These events will last up to four years with varying intensity

20

Fluctuations in South Pacific Surface pressure corresponding to El Nino and La Nina (South Oscillation Index) 1880 to 2012

10 0 - 10

La Nina

- 20

El Nino

- 30 - 40

1880

1890

1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

2000

1990

The Amazon Basin

3000 mm

2700 mm

2400 mm

2100 mm

1800 mm

1500 mm

1200 mm

900

mm

300

mm

mm

10°N Eq 0°S 10°S 20°S 30°S

ITCZ Annual Drift Across The Basin, Corresponding with Precipitation Levels

CREDIT: ØYVIND ANDREAS LIMI

Total Annual Temperature Dec

Nov

Oct

Sep

Aug

Jul

Jun

Apr

May

Mar

(by Latitude) Feb

(by Latitude)

Average Monthly Temperature Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

Sep

Aug

Jul

Jun

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

10°N

500mm 300mm 100mm

600

Toatal Annual Precipation

(by Latitude)

(by Latitude)

2269mm

33c°

24c°

1420mm

32c°

23c°

2307mm

31c°

23c°

2255mm

32c°

21c°

914mm

27c°

19c°

50c° 30c° 10c°

Avergage Monthly Precipitation Jan

Annual Total Precipation by Area

Night Day

2010


THE AMAZON: DATA COLLECTION

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BRAZIL: MANAUS AND THE AMAZON

Climate: Manaus

Global Mechanisms and Anomalies - Local Effects

30m

25m

20m

15m

10m

7m

Flood Map Manaus

In Meters above sea level

30 -5

3m

Man aus ,B ra z

i

S 06 3° 0 l,

1W, Altitude : 2 6 0 °0 0

Contours every 2 meters

1997 Draught

2009 Flood

- El Ninio-related - Rioa Negro level at 16 m

- La Nina related - Cost 5.5 million usd in aid money - Rio Negro level at 29,6 m

2005 Draught - Rio Negro level at 15,5 m - Possible cause, low pressure anomalies in the tropical north Atlantic ocean causing reduced convection and percipitation

Manaus Flood Chart 1993 to 2010 In meters above sea level

2012 Flood

1997 Draught

- Possible cause, Cool South Atlantic, warm North Atlantic -Rio Negro level at 29,97

2010 Draught

2014 Flood

- El Nino-related - 62.000 families affected - Cost 13.5 billion usd in aid money - 8 billion tons of co2 released (China: 7,7 billion tons annualy)

- Possible cause, warm conditions in the western Pacific-Indian Ocean and with an exceptionally warm Subtropical South Atlantic. The South Atlantic SST gradient is a

25

2012 Flood Fluctuations in South Pacific surface pressure corresponding to

El Nino and La Nina

20

La Nina

main driver for moisture transport from the Atlantic toward south-western Amazon, and this became ex-

El Nino

ceptionally intense during summer of 2014.

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998 1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Manaus

60 c° 55 c° 50c° 45c° 40c° 35c° 30c° 25c° 20c° 15c° 10c° 5c° 0c°

600mm 550mm 500mm 450mm 400mm 350mm 300mm 250mm 200mm 150mm 100mm 50mm 0mm Day

Night

Temperatures in Manaus are fairly stable throughout the year and seasons are based on wet and dry seasons. Being possitioned right under the equatorial belt means that Manaus receives a constant exposure of sunlight all year around at almost a 90 degree angle.

CREDIT: ØYVIND ANDREAS LIMI

Sep

(kmh) according to Beauforts scale

Oct Nov Dec

Jul Aug

May

Jun

Average Yearly Windspeed

Storm 100kmh

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

Light Breeze 12kmh

20% 10% Day

Seasons in Manaus are influensed by the amount of precipitation. June to November define the dry season and December to May make up the wet season with its peak in March.

Mar Apr

Jan Feb

Dec

Nov

Oct

Sep

Average Monthly Humidity Aug

Jul

Jun

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

Average Monthly Precipitation Sep

Aug

Jul

Jun

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

Average Monthly Temperature

Night

Humidity levels in Manaus are fairly constant during the night and vary more, according to the amount of precipitation and sunlight, during the day.

Winds Speeds are constant throughout the year and will mostly vary during the day when the the temperature fluctuations are higher than on an avergae yearly basis.

2012


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

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October 2015

PHASE 2-A: DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION Device Explorations Through Various Media

Initial research of the city of Manaus revealed various hyper-specificities with their associated problematics. My focus was on the issue of flooding, or more broadly, on the extreme shifts in water level that affect the city, as well as on the condition of the city’s favelas, their sporadic access to electricity, and they’re relationship to the increasingly fluctuating waters. Manaus is located along the Rio Negro, where it famously meets the Rio Solimões to become the Amazon River, having impressive water level variations between seasons of up to 12 meters.4 The city’s intimate relationship to this phenomenon has been accentuated since being named a free trade zone, with a shift in the city’s focus towards port activity and industrial development along the water. With the spotlight on the market-driven economy, its inhabitants have been left in the shadows, a quarter of them living in extreme poverty.1 The specific river-edge conditions have resulted in a vernacular of construction on wooden pillars, known in Brazil as ‘palafittes’. With the tumultuous nature of current global environmental tendencies, the city has increasingly seen a pattern of floods followed by droughts. In such an active environment by the Rio Negro, static solutions have proven ineffective. Rising above the water in fear of its contact was a temporary solution that is failing to adapt to current conditions. Construction in these areas now have an opportunity to directly engage with the water, seen as an inhibitor and to shift water’s role into an allied one, as is being done in some few cases in floating villages along the river. These factors led me to the design of an architectural device addressing these specific issues, which was brought to Manaus to test its potential and feasibility of alleviating these issues.

1

“WB/Brazil: Improving Financial Resource Management in the State of Amazonas.” World Bank. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2016.


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

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September 2015

Three Potential Devices Based on the Data Collection Stage, Three Potential Devices Ideas Were Explored through Sketches

Kinetic Power Device The device utilizes kinetic energy through impact and stretching to generate power through a very well none symbol of Brazilian culture: the football. A center core would house the power generation system which would bet held by a deployable structure with Piezzo discs at each extremity where the ball skin is, also where the impact happens, thus creating a electrical current for every contact.

1 Navigation Device Aiding in The navigation of the highly fluctuating Amazon River, the device would act as a buoy integrated with a sensor being able to determine the depth of the river at that position, and emitting a different colored light based on the depth. A front fin would keep the device perpendicular to the current, in order to keep the current flowing through the miniature hydroelectric turbine. By multiplying the device, the conglomerate can serve as mapping system, to monitor rising river levels more accurately and point out danger areas. Together they could inform the safest path to take for ships, even different paths for different sized ships (some necessitating more or less water to navigate).

2 Floating + Power Device Three major problems that affect Favelas in Manaus. Flooding: Forces families to leave their homes during the flood period. Does serious damage to their home structures. Plastic Waste: With the emergence of new industries in Manaus due to the FTZ, plastic waste has been pilling up near slums. Access to Electricity: A large portion of the population has very limited access to electricity, especially during a flood. This device aims to alleviate these problems by providing floating attachments made of compacted plastic waste, also providing power through hydroelectricity.

3


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

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October 2015

Device Development Further Development of Device Idea 3: The Floating + Power Device

Common Favela House

‘Palafittes’

The typical house lays on a foundation or simply on the ground. The building materials used for the homes must meet three major criteria: be low cost, light enough to be carried on men’s backs, and small enough to pass through the narrow streets of the favela. As a result, all the houses are built with bricks; concrete pillars are used for the structure; floors are made from floor beams and slabs; and the roof is almost always corrugated iron.

In Manaus, like other flood-prone areas, many houses are raised on wooden pillars to rise above the potentially dangerous water levels. This type of housing solution is mostly found near bodies of water like the Amazon river and its tributaries.

3

Rising Water Levels

While in most cases of water level rising, the typical Manaus Favela home will be safe from water, floods have been recurring at an accelerated pace, putting many houses in harm’s way, forcing dwellers out of their homes, only returning when the flood has subsided, only to find a damaged home in need of repair. Flooding in urban areas where the streams are contaminated also brings not only economic damage but also social problems including disease. Experts say extreme flooding normally happens in 10-year cycles but rivers have overflowed significantly every year for the last three years.

4

Floating Above Floods

The most straightforward was to deal with a flood situation is to literally float above it. This system would attach to the legs of the house, and let it float above the water level. This would however require some type of moving joint where the house attaches to the pilotis, but in the end the cost and time to do so is lesser than having to rebuild the home after being damaged by the flood. The concept has been explored, as it is an obvious and viable way of dealing with floods, but has not been applied to its full potential, neither has it been created to generate power form the water.

Types of Turbines and Generators Through sketches, I cataloged the various types of turbines and electrical generators that used water as their driving force. While many different types and/ or combinations were appropriate, a variation of the ‘point absorber’ type of wave generated power seemed most appropriate. Ease of construction was also a deciding factor in the move toward this type of power generation.


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

5

Detached House

In the event of a flood, where water levels reach the base of the house, the device will lift the house above the water, which will also lift the house from its pillars (assuming it has been detached). Thus a joint or connection must be designed to accommodate for this detachment. If not the house will inevitable drift away.

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6

Power Generation at Varying Water Levels Having the device connected the house’s floor means its effective is entirely dependent on the water level having reached the house’s base. A device which follows the water level while still generating power would prove most more efficient. Power can be generated in a number of ways through the use of water power, yet the focus of this device has remained on power from the Amazon River’s current and from the waves of Manaus’ high traffic maritime ports.

7

8

One possibility for generating power from the river would be to use its current as the driver force of turbines attached to the buoys, which then connect to the house to either directly power a source or to store the electricity in a battery.

Another possibility for generating power is wave power. Due to the high frequency of freight and passenger ships that enter and leave manaus due to its high population and its industrial focus.

The downside to the method is the inconsistent current direction and forces at the edge of a river, where am ideal position is at the center of the river.

A high number of waves generated by these ships hit the shore, their energy wasted. Why not capitalize on this near-constant influx of waves to generate electricity for the numerous ‘palafittes’ situated along the river.

Power Generation from River Current

Power Generation from Waves

Potential Device Prototypes Various versions of the device were explored through sketches as well. They looked at various construction techniques and designs as well as using various types of turbines and generators.


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

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October 2015

Device Development 1 Sketches of Possible Prototype

Sketch Explorations Through the use of sketches, the device’s possible designs became increasingly attuned to the stability and transportability of the construct. The device generates power through electromagnetic induction and in order to do so, the magnets must move through the coils, independently from them. This version of the device attached itself to the bottom of the home the pillars held up. A floating ring would move around a coil surrounding the pillar. The downside to this design was the lack of adaptability to different water levels. In other words, it would only work when the water was at flood levels. A better design would allow the entire device to be free to move vertically with shifting water levels, and be loosely attached around the pillar. Finally the floaters, being very buoyant and thus sensitive to waves, and the inner core being less buoyant, would allow relative movement between the magnets and the coils, and thus create energy from electromagnetic induction.


DEVICE FOR INVESTIGATION

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October 2015

Device Development 2 Sketches of Possible Prototype

Towards a Final Design The device acts as an attachment to the palafittes. Connecting around their wooden pillars, it could provide the necessary buoyancy to lift a home to safety in the event of a flood, additionally generating power from wave movement due to the high naval activity on the Rio Negro, transforming the traditional column into a power-generating pillar. Each yellow buoy acts independently, generating its own power based on its wave-affected movement. The buoys could then be attached to a battery, charging while the device is in the water connected to the house above. Unapologetically technocentric in aesthetics, material choice and functionality, the device was designed with the intention to separate itself visually from its host structure, to start a discussion about the functional elements of our built environment. Exposing these functions could promote engagement between its micro-workings and its macro surroundings, and holds the potential to form a new relationship of understanding and responsibility between its inhabitants and the functional forces that they utilize. Thus challenging ideas of building components and how active their role could be. Beyond that, it confronts our spatial understandings, how we perceive and interact with the surrounding ecology.


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

PHASE 2-B: DEVICE DEVELOPMENT The Development and Hand Assembly of Separate Physical Components

Ultimately, the device idea number 3 was chosen to be developed further. Multiple aspects of the design needed to be explored and tested physically, necessitating a better understanding of the technological aspect of the physics involved in generating power from wave movement. Through the dismantling and study of old DC motor and generators, I was able to design a first prototype through 3D modeling. This prototype was then made physical to test the functioning of the device as well as measure structural and material durability. From this study, the design saw multiple iterations modeled in 3D on the computer with additional functional elements added to the design. A final design for the prototype was worked out, leading to its main frame being laser cut out of 3mm aluminum plate, with all other components hand made or plastic, copper wire, and metal.


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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September 2015

Process, Research and Development Various Tests and Experiments

Electromagnetic Generator

Learning from Generators Before starting any tests or experiments, I found some old AC motors that I could take apart to study their inner functioning and gain some insight on how electromagnetic induction works. As expected, they were composed of copper coils, magnets and many more complicated components. The level of engineering was considerably high and the motors assembly was more complex than expected and taking them apart piece by piece necessitated metal cutting saws and the like. My search also yielded many old coils that I could take apart and reassemble or simply use the wire in further experiments. The coils found in the motors were too tightly wound around their housings to properly use, and the magnets were also too tightly integrated into their casings or had unusable geometries for my intentions.

DC Electric Motor

Low-Value Inductors

Various Electronic Components for Study

Experiments with Electromagnetic Induction The experiment’s purpose was to explore the potentials of electromagnetic induction from a bobbing magnet moving through a copper coil, thus altering the magnetic field around the coil and generating electricity through Faraday’s Law. The experiment was somewhat of a failure since the magnets were not strong enough and the coil did not have nearly enough turns on itself, the two factors lowering the potential for a considerable voltage to be created. The voltage that was produced was a minuscule amount of nanovolts, disappearing too quickly to capture on camera. The next experiment of the sort will have to include stronger magnets and a coil with more turns on itself.


Sem 3. IBT: Architecture and Extreme Environments

Non-Predictive Adaptability Prototype 1 3D Design October 2015

On the Role of Objective Versus Subjective Strategies For a Sustainable Future By Julien Nolin

Outer frame attached to magnet and buoy movement

Wooden palafitte column

Interior frame moving individually from the outer frame

Spring wheels to adjust the device’s contact with the pillar as is rises with wave movement

Cylindrical housing for the magnets and coils.

Three foam ‘buoys’ for floating the device. Attached to outer frame and thus to magnet movement

Isometric View


Exploded Isometric View


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

Prototype 1 Assembly Assembly Process, Its Successes and Limitations

Necessary Device Design Adjustments The first prototype was constructed using 2mm HDF is the main material for its structure. The vertical moving joints were made from plastic plumbing tubes housing wooden pegs which attached to foam ‘floaters’ held to the structure with the use of electric tape. The prototype’s main HDF frame was laser cut for complexity and accuracy of the pieces. The spring wheels [center left image], were hand made from aluminum tubes, a wooden peg, a long screw, some washers and door stoppers for wheels. The dark opaque tubes [bottom left image] were cut from other plumbing tubes which represent the clear acrylic tubes that will be in their place in the final device construction. They will house the copper wire coils with a rod holding the magnets moving vertically though them.


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

Prototype 1 Fixes

Necessary Device Design Adjustments The main issue was stability. The wrong materials with the wrong thicknesses were used, resulting in a flimsy model. However, the intention was primarily visual, to get a greater understanding of the functioning of each joint and connection. The first prototype helped identify weakness in the construction and joinery. The HDF proved too thin and flexible, and wouldn’t be appropriate due to its water absorption capacity. Another major issue was the lack of vertical support, which led to a lack of stability. Overall, the design needed to be larger, spread out over more of a horizontal span, added buoyancy and better materials.


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

Component Testing The Engineering and Simulation of Key Components

The Test Board The board was devised as a 2.5D exercise to test two components in the device: The gripping unit and the rolling unit. The latter [left] is composed of a wheel pushed into the pole constantly with the use of a spring, adapting the contact between the device and the pillar. The board was also set up to help understand the double hinge system that needs to be integrated into the design. On the weaknesses of the first prototype was the relative movement of the core versus the outside more buoyant components, was understood as potentially not being enough. This experiment aims to address this problem by integrated a not component to the construction, a set of spikes or ‘teeth’ that grip to the central pillar. The basic premise of the double hinge system is the spikes or teeth are lifted when the device floats upwards but are pushed in when the floating components lower. Thus allowing the device to essentially ‘climb’ the pillar.


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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Section: Rolling Component

Section: Gripping Component


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

Design Evolution

V02 Plan View

V03 Plan View


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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October 2015

Final Plan Design

Final Plan View


CRITICAL THINKING

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October 2015

Final Design

Isometric View


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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Plan: Device Closing Around Pillar

Upward movement from wave moves magnet through the coil to generate electricity. Downward movement through the coil also generates electricity.

Electricity lights LED.

Section: Electromagnetic Induction from Wave Movement

Through the use of a spring, the component rolls along the pole, keeping the device steady around it. Through a double hinge system and springs, the component grips the pole to stabilize device core.

Section: Gripping and Rolling Components


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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November 2015

Component Assembly Hand Assembly of Separate Physical Components Through Metal and Plastic Forming Techniques

Vertically Moving Arm: Primary

Vertically Moving Arm: Secondary

Jigs made for equal cuts to be made into the aluminum tubes, made to receiving the 3mm plate pieces.

Acrylic Tubes are fitted with acrylic rings that will hold the coils into place.

Tubes are marked and cut with a jigsaw. The resulting pieces are filled down to remove any sharp edges.

Openings cut into the acrylic tubes half way for receiving aluminum plates.

After being marked, the tubes are drilled into, making the holes that will receive the bolts necessary for attaching the springs to.

Aluminum tubes and drilled into, cut, and sanded down. They will make up the primary arm piece.

Tubes then marked and cut to accommodate interior moving parts. They will house the primary arm piece

Acrylic Generator Housing

The final pieces come together to form one of the main assemblages of the device.

The flexible protection for the acrylic tubes is cast with latex in vacuum formed plastic molds.

The coils are handwrapped around the acrylic tubes and set into place with a few drops of glue.

The final tubes are placed within their larger assemblages and held into place with special acrylic acidic glue.


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Gripping Component

Rolling Component

Buoys

A base piece is assembled out of laser cut HDF and a standard 5 liter white plastic bucket, which is then vacuum formed out of 2mm plastic.

Steel piece cut and ground down by hand, and are then welded together.

Aluminum tubes are cut and drilled into to house the steel pieces. The two are assembled to make up the final assemblages.

Aluminum tubes cut with a jigsaw, drilled into and filled with cork stoppers for the springs.

The secondary pieces and cut and ground down manually, which are then welded into place.

Laser-cut acrylic pieces are fitted onto the buoys, while foam structure is added to their interior.

Door stoppers are fitted onto the assemblages as wheels that will make up the final piece.

The buoys are designed to be composed of two halves, for ease of transport due to their stack-ability.


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November 2015

Design Assembly


DEVICE DEVELOPMENT

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1

2

3

6

4

5

7

Assemblages Ready for Transportation 1. Yellow Buoys in halves

2. Rolling Component

5. Acrylic Attachments

6. Acrylic Housing for Coils

3. Vertical Support for Buoys and Structure

4. 3mm Aluminum Structure Halves

7. Spring Operated Vertical Movement Arms with Gripping Component


EXPEDITION & FIELD WORK

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December 2015

PHASE 3: EXPEDITION & FIELD WORK The Device is Deployed in the Middle of the Amazon

In December of 2015, the device and its components were flown to Manaus, ready to be deployed in the field for testing. Expectations of a flowing river around the ‘palafittes’ were met with quite a quite different reality. The unexpected conditions I was met with forced me to adapt my device strategy, ultimately leading me to a floating village, expanding my understanding the issues I had been attempting to tackle. The following phase is divided in three locations which superseded each other as a result of each others circumstances: Location 1: Urban Manaus; Location 2: The Harbor; Location 3: Catalão.


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Location 1: Urban Manaus

Location 2: The Harbor

Map of Manaus

Location 3: Catalão


December 2015

Location 1: Urban Manaus Drought and the City’s ‘Palafittes’


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First Days in Manaus Though my research had prepared me for the design of the architectural device, it lacked one critical aspect: just how low the water level was in its fluctuation extremes. The expectation to find the palafittes standing in the flowing amazon river were met with a quite different reality. They stood perched upon hills, over 10 meters above water levels, without a single wooden column coming close to the river. Manaus and the regions surrounding the Amazon Region had been experiencing one of the worst droughts of the last century. The Rio Negro, which feeds into the Amazon River, has seen extremely low water levels leaving some boats stuck on the dry soil. Just a year ago, Manaus was experiencing a flood, which had also been preceded by drought, both part of a pattern of increasingly extreme water level fluctuations.

CREDIT: STINE BUNDGAARD

CREDIT: STINE BUNDGAARD


December 2015

Location 2: The Harbor An Abandoned Structure, A Possible Test Site


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First Water Tests Failure to find a wooden pillar in the water led me to look elsewhere, which brought me to the harbor. Here lay one of the only structures with appropriately sized columns partly immersed in the water. Although it was no the right testing ground, it provided me the opportunity to attach the device to a structure and test it in the water. Subsequently, I shifted my attention to the broader issue, the palafittes design faced a somewhat similar problem to the device’s, a lack of adaptability limited their use in extreme conditions. Their staticity, the limiting factor in adapting to an unpredictable environmental set of factors, in this case, exemplified through their vulnerability to the potential of flood level water entering homes and damaging the structures. This highlighted the problem I had encountered due to my own research methods and design process, and the reasons that the device, not unlike other architecture projects, was lacking a considerable aspect of adaptability.


December 2015

Location 3: CatalĂŁo Forming a Different Relationship with the River


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The Floating Village The issues associated with the ‘palafittes’ resonated in an especially strong way with me when I made the discovery of the floating village of Catalão. Bringing my device to Catalão and talking to the village’s inhabitants, brought up some interesting discussions about where the dependence of the Manaus’s inhabitants lies, whether it be on the city, the environment or technology, and where a potential shift towards more independence could be imagined. Here, just a few kilometers off the shore of Manaus, floating structures are the inhabitants’ adaptive solution to greatly shifting water levels. A small community of 58 families live together away from the bustling of the city, distancing themselves away from what is seen as a violent city center. Here, the houses float on the giant trunks of Assacú, one of the typical trees used for this purpose due to its high buoyancy. While they do not pay any property taxes, access to electricity is sporadic and access to clean water can be an issue, especially at low water levels, which causes a dirtier river. Yet, they seem relatively unaffected by the low water level.


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December 2015

Projected Results Probable Results of More Accurate Testing

[COURTESY: HTTP://WWW.WIKIWAVES.ORG/OCEAN-WAVE_SPECTRA]

Power Output Potential Based on Wave Height and Wind Speed Based on the above graph relating wave height (m), wind speed (m/s) and period (s), some assumptions can be made on the waves generated by average ships and how they would affect individual generators (yellow buoys systems). The wave heights are taken up to 2.25 meters which resemble average waves created by a range of boats driving on the river. The voltages are based on the findings from the electromagnetic experiments (Technical Log p.40-41). The hypothetical voltage results show the voltage that could be fed to a battery charging.

Wind Speed [m/s]

Wave Height [m]

Voltage Output [ V: 1 Generator ]

Voltage Output [ V: 6 Generator ]

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

0.00 0.10 0.20 0.32 0.48 0.62 0.85 1.05 1.40 1.80 2.25

0.1 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.6 2.1 2.7 3.2 4.0

0.6 1.2 2.4 3.6 5.4 7.2 9.6 12.6 16.2 19.2 24.0

Findings From the above table, predicted results indicate at a wave height of 0.3 m, enough voltage is produced to light one LED, using all 6 buoy generators. To light an LED from one generator would require a wave of at least 1.7m. Though the goal of the device is not one shot voltage but the accumulative charging of one of multiple batteries.


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December January 2016 2015

“Fleeting Device Water” Film In Search Stills Taken of a Testing from the Site

My search for ‘palafittes’ with their pillars laying in the river led me to multiple locations in and around the city, and forced my to rethink my device strategy. This search was exemplified in the short film entitled “Fleeting Water.” It tells the story of my time in Manaus, and the struggles I had trying to find the right site for the device, trying to make the environment work for me, rather than the other way around. It is telling of the shortcomings of my design process and the extents to which I tried to find success within my device experience. The film features many shots of the city and its surroundings, attempting to give the viewer a proper sense of the city of Manaus, and its environmental conditions, along with potential solutions to the issues it faces.

The search begins from a viewpoint, high above the ground on the roof of a nearby hotel. After making my way through the city center, getting odd looks from its inhabitants, I arrive at my envisioned testing site. Seeing that the river has dried up, my strategy shifts, and I hop on a boat looking for a potential site, one that is submerged in water.

The second site I arrive at is by the harbor, where I find a large steel structure in the water, the only pillar-like structure nearing the conditions I had hoped for. I try my best to test the device, yet the structure layout is impeding on any chance of proper testing.

Finally I take another boat ride towards the floating village of Catalão. Although it was not the setting envisioned for the device testing, it proved very interesting to place such a construct amongst these floating structures. The village along the grassy shores of the Rio Negro resonates with the themes present within the device.


EXPEDITION & FIELD TRIP

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December 2015

Device Adjustments Device Performance Improvements

Added top weight Appropriate Testing Site

Stronger Materials

Less buoyancy

Necessary Fixes Without appropriate testing, not all of the device functions were able to be studied thoroughly, yet the harbor tests did prove useful inasmuch as test the physics of the device. Firstly, the buoys, were too large and thus too buoyant. They had been designed to withstand my weight so I may stand on them, yet another top plate piece would have had to be designed. The excessive buoyancy meant the vertical spring loaded arms were pulled towards the center of the device, stiffening the overall movement of these pieces, and causing the device to get stuck some of the time. Materials would also have to be rethought. The acrylic pieces were the weakest and a few broke off, finding themselves at the bottom of the harbor for the foreseeable future. Aluminum pieces would have been better suited for their intended function. Finally, for the device to be more efficient in terms of electricity, the coils and magnets could be multiplied for an added power output.


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CONCLUSION With the multiplicity of economic, ecological and urban forces at play, Manaus finds itself at the center of many of the questions raised in respect to the relationship between the built environment and ecology. As a major city located in the heart of the Amazon jungle, it has a deeply intimate relationship with the forces of nature that surround it. Two different ways of dealing with the increasingly extreme shifts in the global environment, specifically the dangerously fluctuating water levels of the Rio Negro, are prevalent. The palafittes lack of engagement with shifting waters is contradicted by the direct contact the floating village utilizes. A more introspective look at my experience in Manaus, contrasting it with the two typologies, revealed the issues surrounding a design process with scientific assumptions and predictability at its heart. Significant questions about the temporal aspect of a design were raised, requiring a critical look at the role of predictability and adaptability in the built environment, and the role of the architect and the built product during and after it is finished. As intrinsically alien to a natural site, architecture negotiates with an unpredictable environmental set of factors. An exclusive design supported by the objectivity of assumptions of scientific truths and expectations will most often fall short of the more inclusive one. Even with the received failures of my device experience, I deem my time in Manaus a great success, inasmuch as the discoveries made due to the necessity to adapt to the environmental factors present. Questions of adaptability, sustainability and independence were raised and remain somewhat unresolved in the city of Manaus, raising the question: what role can floating architecture have in the sustainable future of our cities?


Profile for Julien Nolin

Staying Afloat: Flood Relief and Power Generation in the Amazon  

An Architectural Device Architecture and Extreme Environments Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Staying Afloat: Flood Relief and Power Generation in the Amazon  

An Architectural Device Architecture and Extreme Environments Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

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