ALAR 8995: Wash
How can mono-functional and utilitarian architecture be re-imagined and re-purposed as public space that sustains complex hydrological systems?
Urban density creates intensified ecosystems and large amounts of waste; these conditions are an opportunity for designing cultural landscapes of accelerated transformation. Urban environments in Southern California contend with environmental destruction, drought, excessive consumption, waste, sprawl, isolation, and separation from natural processes and cycles. Daily process such as cleaning, bathing and eating can be understood in relationship to larger systems and cycles. The assumptions underlying these activities shape the environment we live in. Mechanical, chemical, and biological processes have defined western infrastructure metaphorically and literally. Revealing and rewriting these cultural narratives is imperative to the development of sustainable architecture.
Prototypical designs incorporating water intensive program and greywater tributary streets as new hybrid public space for Los Angeles. My approach focuses on cultural engagement with daily activities that impact vast systems, such as the LA River watershed. This project includes mapping the qualitative and quantitative tendrils that extend from the intervention into the surrounding neighborhood, city, region and state. Site-specific prototypes perform as hydrological infrastructure that is visible and promotes an experiential understanding of local conditions and the relationship between constructed systems and natural process. An Iterative design process has repeatedly asked what is the territory of the suburban street Laundromat? What potential is embedded in this “third place” between public and private? And how are the layered concepts of clean|dirty, natural|constructed, green|grey, and high tech|low tech embodied by this hybrid space?