Monday, 20 August 2012


Inspired by the lifecycle of a dandelion, including its wind-aided seed dispersal, Dandelionopolis [pods + towers] is an urban strategy that is dedicated to recycling the country's food waste by encouraging the public to separate their food waste. 30 decentralized anaerobic digesters in the form of 160-metres-towers are envisioned to land upon all the towns in Singapore. The project also postulates (the use of) Singapore's empty, overcast night sky as a new realm for waste transportation, in lieu of a starscape. The fact that food waste can be converted to electricity and bio-fertilizer through anaerobic digestion makes it a very promising source of clean energy, especially when contrasted with the exceptional predicament of Singapore's dependency on 100% energy imports. In that vein, this project seeks to emphasize the benefits of waste as a resource. This project offers (the) possibility of upgrading the existing recycling infrastructure both in social and aesthetic dimensions.

The ultimate aim of all life cycles of material on earth is the closed loop. Cradle to cradle instead of cradle to grave. Imagine, if we manage to recycle all food waste (2010) in Singapore, it is enough to power 70% of their HDB flats (in which 80% of Singaporeans live.) But today the food waste recycling exists in isolation, from which they must be rescued through the holistic, conscious and cooperative effort of all parties. Regional strategy, local strategy and individual strategy must recognize a new perspective and learn to grasp the new systems of domesticating waste. Using trucks to carry them to the big centralized plant is not the most viable option because we are burning fuels for the waste transportation. Hence, food waste recycling infrastructure must be designed to grow along with the dynamic settlement patterns of fast-developing urban areas in the future.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Tensegrity by Kenneth Snelson

( accessed 18 Aug 2012)

2 hours from Auckland is this dramatic tensegrity landscape-sculpture by Kenneth Snelson (2005), among other equally dramatic human interventions (insertions?) in rolling meadows against the largest harbour in the southern hemisphere.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Summary Notes

Unitec Year One: Here are my notes from the crit summation this afternoon.

  1. Specificity of building programme (use) helps prevent nondescript architecture. 'Multipurpose' is often seen as non-commitment, "Everything is nothing", Federico.

    Definition of NONDESCRIPT

    : belonging or appearing to belong to no particular class or kind : not easily described
    : lacking distinctive or interesting qualities : dulldrab
  2. Multi-layered programmes enrich outcomes.
  3. The ability to infuse architecture with characteristics that induce varied readings (responses, perceptions) from the public (user) is an indication of design skill.
  4. Understand the quantitative requirements of the brief, use the limit of floor space as a design enhancer. (10 sq m is no bigger than a single bedroom!)
  5. Less is more (Rohe, MV); Less is a bore (Venturi, R); ...or Less is simply poor (Ng, A S)
  6. Articulation of space, and a sense of enclosure are identifiers of architecture. (Less that, you may get just a landmark, however meritorious in its own right.) The Seat Public Pavilion just about achieves that identity, but for the SHAC competition brief it would need to be more.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Lecture: Architecture on the Run

Lecture delivered at Unitec University of Technology, Auckland, 1 Aug 2012.