As part of the reEarth project, a group of researchers fronted by William Victor Camilleri and Danilo Sampaio from the Interactive Architecture Lab at University College London, have created the "Hortum machina B" - a rolling ecological exoskeleton. "Half garden, half machine," Hortum machina B is a "new cybernetic lifeform" that has been rolling round London's streets, relying on the intelligence of plant life to guide its way through the capital. Consisting of twelve plant-based modules derived from a British ecological background, protruding arms extend to alter the module's center of gravity allowing it to move in the direction of choice. While this may sound like a painfully laborious way of getting around, Hortum machina B sheds light on the possible future of "bio-cooperative interaction between people and nature, within the built environment". https://vimeo.com/122485940 Electro-physiological sensors measure the state of individual plants, facilitating the collective and subsequently "democratic" decision making that the module undertakes. Inside the structure, a robotic “brain” is made up of electrodes that receive sensory information from the physiological responses of the plants to their environment. As a result, information processed from the electro-physiological sensors (in relation to every other sensor) essentially dictate the module's orientation and mobility. https://vimeo.com/163436492 For example, a plants' reaction to a change in either light, humidity, and temperature is transmitted to a sensor which relays that information to the robotic brain core which then, after taking into account all the other information it is being fed, decides what to do. "While plants lack a nervous system, they can, much like animals, become electro-chemically stimulated by their surrounding environment," the researchers say on their website. "Through the study of plant electro-physiology, we have wired their primitive ‘intelligence’ into the control-loop of an autonomous robotic ecosystem. " The Hortum machina B also signifies another step in the direction of autonomous mobility, though in this case using plant-life as the primary sensory "driver". "Hortum machina B is a speculative urban cyber-gardener," the group say. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aixe3IKjjXQ
Posts tagged with "native plants":
Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate change. Resiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. EPA selected the following cities for this year's Greening America's Capitals program through a national competition: Austin, Texas; Carson City, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; Pierre, S.D.; and Richmond, Va. Since 2010, 18 capitals and Washington, D.C. have participated in the program, which is administered by the EPA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In each city, EPA will provide technical assistance to help design and build infrastructure that uses natural systems to manage stormwater. Here's a bit on each of the new projects via EPA:
· Austin, Texas, will receive assistance to create design options to improve pedestrian and bike connections in the South Central Waterfront area, and to incorporate green infrastructure that reduces stormwater runoff and localized flooding, improves water quality, and increases shade. · Carson City, Nev., will receive assistance to improve William Street, a former state highway that connects to the city's downtown. The project will help the city explore how to incorporate green infrastructure through the use of native plants, and to enhance the neighborhood's economic vitality. · Columbus, Ohio, will receive assistance to develop design options for the Milo-Grogan neighborhood that use green infrastructure to improve stormwater quality, reduce flooding risks, and encourage walking and cycling. · Pierre, S.D., will receive assistance to redesign its historic main street, South Pierre, in a way that uses green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff and improve resiliency to extreme climate conditions. · Richmond, Va., will receive assistance to design options for more parks and open spaces, and to incorporate green infrastructure to better manage stormwater runoff on Jefferson Avenue, a street which serves as the gateway to some of Richmond's oldest and most historic neighborhoods.
The New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects announced the winners of their annual Design Awards. For the 2014 edition, 5 submissions received honors and additional 13 were chosen for merits from a field of 70. Participants from various New York-based firms provided designs for sites found within the city as well as other parts of the country. Award-recipients will be displaying their designs at the Center for Architecture beginning on April 3rd through the end of the month. Native Plant Garden, New York Botanical Garden The 3.5-acre installation by Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architects features a large pool fed by cascading water surrounded by native flora. Wooden boardwalks lead visitors through a variety of settings illustrating the diversity of the local landscape. The garden is consciously designed to illustrate how the landscape responds to seasonal shifts. SIRR Coastal Protection Plan, SCAPE Landscape Architecture In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. SCAPE played an important role on the multidisciplinary team, collaborating with engineering and planning firms to consider urban responses to climate change and the destruction it fosters. The SIRR report established a series of short and long-term goals that transcend the traditional mono-infrastructural solutions of seawalls and floodgates. Southern Highlands Reserve, W Gary Smith Design This private garden in Western North Carolina is dedicated to the preservation and research of the plants of the Southern Appalachian Highlands. Smith's design entails a number of pathways that offer diverse experiences through distinct planting strategies. The 120 acres are also populated by outdoor gathering spaces created by more heavily manicured stonework. West Point Foundry Preserve, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Mathews Nielsen created a sustainably designed park for this historic location in upstate New York noted for its role in Civil War weapon manufacturing. The plan makes use of existing walkways and rail lines to connect ruined structures and educational displays and establish a narrative for the site. The minimally invasive park takes pains to preserve and highlight the natural ecosystems that surround the foundry. Chelsea Cove, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates This riverfront park extends over three piers to provide 8.5 acres of open space to the surrounding neighborhood. A land bowl helps to shelter to the majority of the lawn from the adjacent West Side Highway and the site counts an entrance garden, sculpture installation, carousel, and skate park amongst its amenities. Offering expansive views of Hudson, special engineering efforts were undertaken to ensure that the park was resilient and sustainable in the face of rising water levels and extreme weather. The following projects were listed for Merit Awards: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates The Deconstructed Salt Marsh, SCAPE Landscape Architecture Gateway at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Andropogon Associates Harlem River Promenade, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners Hallet’s Cove, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners Hudson Square Streetscape, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Into the Woods, Nancy Owens Studio Midtown Manhattan Sky Garden, HMWhite Site Architects Rainlab at Dalton School, Town & Gardens Swingtones, Strafford, Supermass Studio Landscape Architecture Tongva Park & Ken Gensler Square, James Corner Field Operations Reconstruct Forest Edge, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture Zones of Experience: Symbolism as a Master Planning Tool for St. John’s University, Louis Fusco Landscape Architects