Seminar 2_Sustainable Site Planning

deedeeflower. “Save The Panda Bears! – Flora and Fauna Wallpaper (18586477) – Fanpop fanclubs.” Fanpop – Fan clubs for everything. What are you a fan of?. http://www.fanp

February 7th

Members: Claire Davis, Erns Wall, Jody Miller, Elyssa Woods, Tong Jiao, Madeline Sweetland.

Sustainable urban development and the multi-level transition perspective

The first article discusses the understanding of a site involves learning what makes it thrive, its living systems and other external components such as preexisting structures. The flora and fauna, geology (soil) and hydrology (water bodies) of a site are vital to understanding a site. As a general conclusion, sustainable site planning includes treating everything within the site as a  complex interconnected living system.

Unknown. ” Fredericia, Denmark” . Photograph. (accessed April 1, 2013)

Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design

Better design of cities is our way towards sustainability.  More compact cities would use less energy on transportation per person. It also takes less energy to heat and cool multi-family complex than a single-family stand-alone house. The concentrated population of a city translates into a less expensive public transportation for everyone and the maintenance of these infrastructures.

Fredericia, Denmark exemplifies a city that has the opportunity to develop sustainably.  It is cheaper to expand than to build up, but sustainable urban development is more prevalent in this city. The transition includes the redesigning of a former industrial park into a multi-functional district. Better transportation plays a huge part of this movement. This includes better parking policies, public transportation running on alternative fuels, zero-emission vehicles, car-pooling and mobility management.


For those that live in a suburban development, would you be willing to give up your relatively large amount of personal yard space and move into a multi-unit housing development in the inner city?  What are the benefits of suburbia?  What are the benefits of living in the inner city?

Yes , I would give up my yard space because I believe that lessening your private space could promote the sense of community and in turn create opportunity to influence each other to live sustainably. Suburbia allows you to feel the sense of ownership of your property than the inner city living.  In contrast, I would prefer to create a stronger sense of community rather than living in almost solitude from the rest of the neighborhood in a stand-alone house.

Sarté, Bry S. “Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design” . John Wiley & Sons, INC, 1-16 .

Naess, Peter, and Nina Vogel. “Sustainable urban development and the multi-level transition perspective.” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. : 36-50. (accessed March 20, 2013).


Seminar 1 Biodiversity

January 31st


Thomas Langrell, Mae Theint Htun Ni, Zae Sae, Livya Josephine, Kelvin Koots, Irene Wong, Larissa Blumenschein, Stella Chainho

Hall, David. “Marine Biodiversity –” MarineBio Home ~ Marine Biology, Ocean Life Conservation, Sea creatures, Biodiversity, Oceans research…. (accessed March 31, 2013).

Scenarios for Global Biodiversity in the 21st Century

Henrique M. Pereira et al. Science 330, 1496 (2010)

This article is a discussion about the prediction of biodiversity in the future. Extinction of species is expected to be inevitable in the future. The rate of extinction will be a lot larger in comparison to past rates. The lack of understanding of each species hinders us to save species from extinction. The decline in population abundance and change in community structure in the marine and terrestrial environments is one of the predictions. Overfishing and the modification of forest contents for rapid growth are two things negatively affect biodiversity. Habitat Loss and degradation is due to human invasion and the pursuit of resources. As climate change continues, its effects like the increase of temperatures are forcing shifts in destination of species in their environments.

Unknown. “Grün Berlin | Parks + Gardens | Südgelände Nature Park.” Grün Berlin. (accessed March 31, 2013).

Natur-Park Südgelände: Linking Conservation and Recreation in an Abandoned Railyard in Berlin

Ingo Kowarik, Andreas Langer Planning Group ÖkoCon & Planland

The article talks about an abandoned railyard in Berlin that is turned into a park.  The rail yard was put to rest in 1952. Nature has taken over since then. Efforts were put against the idea of reviving the site to become a working railyard again. The preservation of the woodland is paramount. The nature park opened in 2000 and receives an estimate of 50,000 visitors.

Should we let the park be built or let nature take over?

Is the park a successful integration of nature & wildlife into the urban environment?

Educating the public to save the future environment would be more beneficial instead of just letting this site as it is. If this is what the park is for, then yes, I would consider the park as a success.

Kowarik, Ingo, and Andreas Langer. “Natur-Park Südgelände: Linking Conservation and Recreation in an Abandoned Railyard in Berlin.” Planning Group ÖkoCon & Planland. : 1-13.
Pereira, Henrique M., and et al. “Scenarios for Global Biodiversity in the 21st Century.” Science AAAS. 330. no. 1496 (2010): 1-7. 10.1126/science.1196624.

Seminar 6_Materials

March 14, 2013


Kyla Crawford, Matt Hagen, Evan Taylor, Carson Wiebe, Ryan Lewis, Andrew Hansen, Fernanda Ribeiro de Andrade, John Manigque, Kevin Celestino

Massive Change by Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries

This article enumerated and discussed a list of advancements in the field of bio mimicry when it comes to material in its broadest definition. The materials are divided into five categories: Superhard, Superstrong, Superlight, Supersmall and Supersmart. Under the Superhard materials is the mother of pearl that is found in mollusks. Synthetic versions of the gecko’s feet called the “gecko tape” and spider silk are part of the Superstrong group.  Aerogel that is as large as a human being can weigh less than half a kilogram but can support the weight of a compact car. Nanotubes, molecular gear, and the micro machine are just three examples of the amazing Supersmall group. The Supersmart materials have built in stimulus response to light, heat, or electrical current.

Potentials of using coconut shell particle fillers in eco-composite materials by J. Sarki

This article discusses coconut shell as a sustainable alternative choice additive to improve compounds used for building construction. These compounds are called eco-composites. These materials are non-toxic and biodegradable. Reduced dependence on non-renewable energy and material resources and less greenhouse emissions are just a two of the environment-friendly features of eco-composites. In comparison with the traditional epoxy, the coconut mixture has an increase in strength and hardness but lower impact strength. The coconut composite is proved to be a viable alternative but needs further redesign.


Learning these amazing advancements in materials made me believe that our goal of low energy and excellent performance existing side by side is already at our arms’ reach. I am really interested on the applications in technologies and products that are going to branch of these innovations. Could Superlight materials put the seemingly fictional world of flying personal transportation just around the corner? Could Supersmart materials provide real-time reaction or a sense of motion to the static nature of architecture?

Omer Abel Office

Established in 2005 by Omer Arbel, OAO (Omer Arbel Office) is an architectural firm based in Vancouver. Their works that were presented during the lecture ranged from light fixture, exhibition installations and into the traditional field of architecture, buildings.

Out of all  projects that they’ve shown, the smaller scale products caught my interest. They created these objects not in the traditional sense of thinking about the form first and then the process making it comes after. They conduct a study of the material and let it teach them about the possibility of form.

Sand casting with various metals and glass-blowing were two very traditional processes that they explored.

Arbel, Omer. “Projects.” Omer Arbel Office. (accessed March 26, 2013).

Product 19.0

Instead of focusing of the product being casted inside the mold, the excess molten metal that was spilling out of the mold became their oject of interest. They’re exploration created these magnificent pieces of metal. Each has it’s own unique shape but all were made through the  same exact process of pouring.

Omer Arbel. “Projects.” OAO (Omer Arbel Office). (accessed March 26, 2013).

Product 28 and 57.0

These are just two of the multiple glass-blown products OAO has designed. 28.0 was developed through a system of blowing air into a very hot blob of glass, another kind of glass with a higher temperature is placed onto the original one and then negative air pressure is applied. This process created internal shapes of different type of glass within the original orb.

These type of approach to design is quite ingenious. The one of a kind processes can foster innovation in the field and in turn could be applied to the world of design.


Terreform One_Maria Aiolova

Maria Aiolova is the founding Co-President of Terreform One. She is a professor, architect and urban designer in New York City. The theory, science and application of ecological design is the focus of her work

Her lecture had a few different topics. One of them is experimentation of new materials for construction of architecture and another is about a different take in urban planning through the collaboration of multidisciplinary group of people


It’s a proposal that utilizes in vitro flesh as building blocks of a house. The parts of the shelter are created through 3D printing pig cells to form authentic and organic structures.

A section of the shelter

A section of the shelter


A concept that uses native trees to create a living shelter. These trees are manipulated to follow a reusable template of a dwelling. This method creates a shelter that is literally part of its environment.

A Grown Shelter

A Grown Shelter


“Innovation doesn’t happen in isolation, it happens in a collective”_Maria Aiolova

A radically new take on education through experimentation and collaboration for the purpose innovating the design our cities was introduced during this lecture. Maria mentioned this conglomeration called “Urbaneers”.  They are multidisciplinary advocates of ecological design. You’ll find students and professionals and educators from all sorts of fields working together to innovate the world of design.  They work together to educate the next generation of designers and develop our way of living through creative and sustainable solutions.


Terreform’s goal of developing highly creative  and innovative solutions to solve the world’s environmental crisis truly shows based on the works Maria showed during her lecture. Throwing something so new out in the design world, such as the Meat House, is quite an impressive feat. Designers who have the courage of challenging society’s aesthetic beliefs and opening the floor for criticism is what we need in this day and age of design. Terreform One is definitely one of the few firms that would shock the world.