Strange Natures

Strange natures, AADRL 2010 – 2012, Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Team: Adrian Aguirre, Hyoun Hee Na, Carlos Sarmiento, Justin Kelly.

The ocean hosts a variety of mysterious processes, whose activities are linked to the emergence of complex life systems. There is still much to learn about the ocean, given that 75% of its species remain undiscovered, and 95% of its terrain is unexplored. To better understand the vastness and complexity of these environments, marine scientists go to great lenghts to study them, often spending several days across large areas of the Pacific. They deploy various devices into the water, collect samples, and engage in coral propagation. An extension of this existing migratory network would need to take all of these factors into consideration.

The design and deployment of a robotic fabrication process, which uses on site materials to produce optimized geological implants would allow for the extension of scientific activities directly into the ocean. This scenario, would augment the typical setting of a laboratory by providing an architecture capable of assisting scientists with their studies of the ocean. A key element of the proposal is that it embraces oceanographic science not as a passive system of record-keeping and data collection, but as an active experiment that is able to enhance circulating systems in the ocean. It thus challenges everyday forms of scientific inquiry, since it proposes the study of synthetic interventions and their effect on the natural world. This type of oceanographic research can create a body of knowledge based on synthetic and natural data, enhancing comparison between the two samples, becoming a dynamic presence in ecological growth.

As a method for achieving this, Strange natures proposes an alliance between natural and technological systems. By introducing technological interference into nature’s evolutionary processes, our project plays a role in coral propagation and regeneration. Through the use of complex material deployment strategies, the artificial ecology of the project ultimately enables coral and other natural life forms to grow, triggering a resurgence of marine life in places that may require it, while simultaneously creating a new kind of ocean laboratory.

Video links below.

Agent deployment // Data scan

Geometry generation

Robotic unit

Basic geometry // Sun exposure-sedimentation

Column variation // Birock simulation

Biorock simulation // Coral growth simulation

Geometry section

Strange natures