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Old Posted May 3, 2011, 3:34 PM
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Carbon TAP Project - An end of infrastructure as we’re designing infrastructure

“What if we can imagine the end of infrastructure?” An Interview with Christopher Marcinkoski


Apr 25th, 2011

By Johanna Hoffman



Read More: http://americancity.org/buzz/entry/2976/

Website: http://www.portarchitects.com/about-port/

Quote:
.....

Johanna Hoffman: The subscript to the PORT logo is ‘architecture and urbanism.’ As urbanism is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, what’s your definition of the word?

Anthropogenic occupancy. It’s architecture and urbanism because both Andy and I are both formally trained as Architects—we met at Yale—and we tread in the built environment. But the idea is that any natural system, any landscape or territory, that’s modified by humans is something we consider urban. There’s not this ‘if it’s dense it’s urban, and if it’s not dense then it’s suburban,’ with us. Our approach is, if there are people in a place and they’ve impacted that landscape, then the site is an urban condition where we’re interested in operating. So urbanism isn’t just about the city. We’re interested in the city, we like to do work in the city, but for us urbanism has a much broader definition.

This is a bit of philosophical question but given your answer I think it’s a necessary one. What does nature mean to you?

In the designation I was making just now, a natural system is any ecological condition that has emerged without, or has preceded, human intervention. That means rivers, valleys, moraines, deserts, lakes, plateaus. They’re things that we consider natural features and that tend to drive how the patterns of urbanization occur. Urbanization tends to locate itself on those natural systems and then leverage them.

For us, what’s interesting is when those natural systems get modified and how we can begin to correct and then re-orient those modifications. When we work in a river valley, it’s not so much about the watershed as it is about defining a territory to operate within, and dealing with all the conditions that fall within that territory.

.....

What do you think the role of the designer is in bridging human and natural systems?

First of all, in any of the work that we do, there are many different actors. So I think the designer has a certain responsibility to guide the way those different actors play their roles. In that way, we become a point of transition. We’re the ones who are able to take an environmental scientist and their concerns, and talk about them spatially so that a mayor can understand what the physical consequences of those environmental concerns will be on their city.

A second role, which is emerging, is to be an advocate. Andy and I believe that in order for the design professions to evolve and remain relevant, they have to become more vocal and take on more of a leadership role. We want to be at the table defining not just the solution, but the challenge or the opportunity of the project as well. Some people call that activism and some people call that entrepreneurial – it depends on where you fall in the Marxist capitalist continuum. For us, it’s about defining places to work.

Continuing on that train of thought, how did you conceptualize the Carbon T.A.P. project?

That project was a search to say “We’re not going to pass value judgment one way or another on things.” We know that the transportation situation needs to be modified but we also know that you can’t immediately take cars off the road, or stop using carbon based fuel. So given that, what’s the interim stage? How can we take something that’s considered negative (the carbon), a byproduct that we see as harmful, and leverage it into something else, like a commodity? Since those carbon point sources occurred in urban contexts, it allowed us to begin to speculate on new typologies that could occur from modifying those systems.

.....



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Old Posted May 23, 2011, 4:50 PM
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 3:06 AM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
If one assumes (as I try to do) that a huge die back is not close at hand, and, if one also assumes that the population will top off at 9 or 10 billion, we soon will have even more people to feed. This will become increasingly urgent as petroleum feed stock becomes too expensive to be used to manufacture fertilizer.

We can eat algae, particularly if the algae we produce becomes a feed stock to the food processing industry. IMO, we might be able to 'recycle' 40-50-or even 60% of the organics we consume, via wide scale, well designed algae farm systems. In addition, if after some processing, we feed mildly processed algae to highly efficient carbohydrate to protein converting animals, such as chickens or various aquaculture tolerant fish, we could eat meat and fish too.

The key to all of this, IMO, is our ability to remove heavy metals, medicinals, etc., from brown water. What is left, human waste, is one of the best fertilizers known, as the Japanese have understood for centuries.
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Good read on relationship between increasing number of freeway lanes and traffic

http://www.vtpi.org/gentraf.pdf
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