Design Studio 5A
Woodbury University, School of Architecture Instructor: Berenika Boberska Fall 2020 Software: Rhino, ArcGIS, and Photogrammetry
This studio was broken into two components, the first being the physical object and the second adaptation to the urban environment. The course of this studio was online/virtual but the physical objects were composed to be used in the physical world and reflect an environmental situation that may be from nature or climate change. The adaption to the urban was an additional reflection of the climate change happening in a specific community.
The artefact, the physical object was inspired by existing stepwells and flooding caused by climate change. Stepwells have existed for centuries as have floods however climate change has made these floods more dangerous than before and society is reacting differently. For instance, the lone living room chair was swept out of the house by rising waters. Even the persons sitting in the floodwaters trying to regain their sense of normalcy, how that space would have been occupied before the flood, giving inspiration to the physical object, the artefact created below.
Furnishing the ForestIn the forest, the flood chair is easy to identify with its bright colorful stripes, big floating buoys, modified arms for measurements and it’s a convenient way to relax while watching a flood. As the floodwaters rise, the user can observe how high the water is while relaxing in the chair with the ability to measure the height of the flood as each colored strip of color represents two inches of water. Once the flood has become too high, the user can leave the chair to watch and measure the height of the flood from a distance because the chair functions as a water depth marker. When the flood chair is completely submerged the user can still track the position of the chair with the colorful buoys. After the flood is gone the chair emerges, furnishing the forest.
A new take on stepwells and parks. Located in a neighborhood in Torrance, CA, this stepwell park makes use of a current sump and dumping ground that is unused. As the effects of climate change become more apparent, some changes are less visible. For instance, saltwater intrusion is occurring in Torrance in their underground aquifers. These aquifers contain freshwater that is a limited resource. With the saltwater intrusion, freshwater is becoming contaminated.
The proposed stepwell park brings the changes and possible effects of climate change to the forefront of this neighborhood. The community is allowed access to the park with the ability to wonder and look at the stepwells that lead to the aquifers. The Park is filled with stepwells that range in-depth and have one to two observation spaces. These observation spaces allow participates to sample, measure the levels and observe the water that is emerging. This in turn makes the salt levels recorded so that the intrusion is kept tracked and the damage is surveyed.
Taking inspiration from the Flood Chair, each stepwell is equipped with buoys and a pole that is marked with strips to measure the water levels. As the water levels change the observes and neighborhood. While the community is unable to sit in the stepwells to enjoy the water rising, they are able to make a day of it rather than be to sit on a bench and watch or have a panic. This creates a space that allows individuals to observe the effects of climate change in their own backyard.
This project was submitted to the LASD 2030 competition hosted by Woodbury University. The competition required a minute-long video of the project and how it has addressed climate change. This project in particular brings the changes of the environment brought on by climate change to the forefront of the Torrance community so that they may interact with it and see the changes themselves as it is happening rather than the effects decades from now.