Thursday 19 October 2017

GOET3 AND A NEW CITIES SPAWNED

Analysis, Prognosis and Synthesis were the magic words for designing in my formative years.

In graduate school at UCLA we as student guinea pigs were immersed in the practice of chaos theory. There were far more faculty than students (2:1 ratio) in the first two years of its establishment. This experimental approach was to determine the right curricula for a future urban design school and was conducted in the basement of a building later to be named “Perloff Hall”, while it was under alteration.

This all took place in a setting of student protests culminating in a shooting death in an adjacent building. Troubling times on UCLA campus. The new school had to begin its own library, workshop and electronic slide library for presentations. Therefore the entire campus was in reality where everyone conducted his or her research for project assignment development.

The primary factors of learning for all those involved pushed the inside of the “Box” as well as outside the “Box” thinking process. All intellect and skills were challenged. From a “LEM” module Moonscape to Cityscape, from Computer Programming of a Future City Game to making a five-minute movie advertising manufactured homes, and visiting the Japanese World Exposition, were only some of the things set for a quarters work of instant programming and project accomplishments.

Data today still needs three most important factors of balanced consideration. First the vision converted in to a written idea. Second the illustration in drawings and/or model making. Third the cost estimates of the creation. This was communicated in an oral format in front of the Architecture and Urban Design School and/or to the public. Only then was the project considered as a placed accomplishment of recorded information.

IBM is forwarding today an observation and analysis in process of digital data availability regarding current city operation. Cisco’s is contracting with cities for efficient design/building projects in the billions by placing electronic sensors to make good on promises for monitoring all spatial inhabitants movement.  Then Siemens enlightened self interest is forwarding biased solutions for looking into the future by offering of steel-wheel-steel-rail historic technologies for moving people around. These are all blinkered approaches and not at all holistic in there approach.

The most interesting advances in new City Urban Design are in foreign lands where US and European Engineering Consultants are competing to lead urban design with the term Eco-city which somewhat underwrites the new term of “Sustainability”. What is evident is that they are transmitting urban designs without much alternative thinking regarding the most essential technological element – that of transportation of people and goods. They also do not offer agriculture as an essential spatial concern that should be within in walking and bike distances of mixed-use settlement.

Our considerable use of fossil fuel needs for energy must be rethought together with alternative urban design patterns.  As much as one desires to move forward in renewable fuels for energy production so must we enable our next generation to rethink our living in spatial settlements with smaller “footprints”.

How these spaces are arranged after analysis, prognosis and synthesis with proper connections to the movement pathways for the comfortable and energy efficient transmission of people and goods, is paramount for efficient use of our natural resource use of materials offered in abundance by Nature.

Graham Kaye-Eddie

M.U.D.            4/15/2010

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