Bryan Steven Borja
University of the Philippines Mindanao, UPMin, B.S. Architecture Program, Davao City
The enforcement of strict lockdown protocols emphasized the need to address several societal issues such as the lack of interaction or exercise, pandemic… more
Behance: https://www.behance.net/mariiagonchar WW: https://workingnotworking.com/73463-mariia… more
I would like to underline that I would take a critical position to urban farming appeared as funky creative vagabond stuff. Ukrainian Gismeteo (https://www.gismeteo.ua/weather-odessa-4982/) provides information on the concentration of cereal grass pollen, birch pollen, and similar information for allergy sufferers. Urban beekeeping, according to the principles of beehives on the roof of Paris, also raises a question to me about the number of bees buzzing over the visitors of restaurants and cafes. Your proposed form evokes a response in the geometry of the works of Oscar Niemeyer driven by the ideas of hygiene modernism, and because of its scale and very high cost of maintenance, have become abandoned today. The principle of hygiene and distance during a pandemic was reflected in circles on the grass in parks, vending machines with gels and masks, temperature measuring devices, and temperature scanners at airports; this all is possible and please stop. Hygiene is reflected in the fact that the population must be thoroughly washed, trimmed, shaved, and have regular access to clean and new clothes, shoes, and other elements of everyday life. After such large-scale mortality pandemics, the urban population abandoned parquet and switched to metlakh concrete tiles, and also regularly repainted the walls of the interior and exterior, and renewed the furniture content of buildings.
The enforcement of strict lockdown protocols emphasized the need to address several societal issues such as the lack of interaction or exercise, pandemic-“preparedness”, and food sustainability especially in the urban areas around the world. City centers have long been designed to maximize economic growth by means of utilizing almost every nook and cranny for commercial use. This capitalist form of development took a toll on not just the urban landscape but of the environmental features of the land, thus the inadequacy of public spaces to foster green spaces. However, as we move forward to a post-pandemic society, the need allocate spaces within the urban setting that promotes the discussed issues should not only be a challenge, but an inevitable social responsibility.
Mobius is a post-pandemic public space that is inspired by biomimetic and mathematical models to provide architectural solutions to the discussed issues. Synthesizing the biomimetic structure of a mountain and the Mobius strip being the mathematical component; and translating the form to accommodate the discussed issues, the project is designed to address the city dwellers’ need for motion, green open spaces, and a sustainable food source. Contextualizing on the food sustainability feature, the proposed project will house a hydroponic facility that is intended to be an alternative food source for locals and as well as decrease the reliance of the community to imported goods.
Addressing the Need for Motion. It is human nature to long for interaction and motion, however the consequences of our current situation discourages the public from such engagements. The prolonged and intensified lockdowns justified the need to provide spaces that will cater to essential activities without compromising public safety. Integrating biomimetic, mathematical, and relevant social concepts, Mobius was designed to prioritize human engagement without compromising the existing health protocols. To maximize motion, a paracourse style system that mimics the structure of a hiking trail was designed. The structure has a uniform gentle slope throughout in order to promote motion and consider accessibility. In the context of the enforcement of pandemic protocols on the trail system, a sufficient area was provided that is ample enough to accommodate the patrons without compromising public safety. Aside from allocating ample spaces, the concept of shade reliance was applied. Contextualizing further, trees and other forms of fauna within the park were strategically chosen/designed to accommodate a particular ratio (person-to-tree) and is strategically placed throughout the park to subtly influence social distancing among patrons. Lastly, the psychological concept of scopophobia, which is defined as the fear of being stared at, was applied on the open areas and the facilities within the park. The concept was to promote social distancing by discouraging people from loitering or clumping together in a particular area by utilizing mental manipulation/influence. This was achieved by purposely leaving a particular area open, lack of sociopetalic features, and effective space programming.
Addressing the Deficit of Green Spaces in the Urban Setting. As we continue to develop our cities into dense concrete jungles, we tend to forget to allocate green spaces within the urban context. These spaces are not only vital to serve as breathing grounds for the landscape, but can also be a safe and interactive space that may help the city in minimizing traffic densities (foot and vehicular). The emergence of the pandemic emphasized the need for such spaces in order to address the consequences of the intensive lockdowns such as the longingness for interaction and a visual break from the concrete slabs of the urban setting. Addition of more green spaces to the Philippine urban setting is also a key solution in combatting the virus as proper selection of fauna may help in the effective and efficient detoxification of the air whilst providing visually appealing spaces.
Addressing Food Scarcity as consequence of the state of the National Economy and Community Lockdowns. As we move further into the pandemic we begin to feel the consequences of the intensive lockdowns to our economy: increase in unemployment rate, decreased spending force, and reliance of urban communities to rural farms. The dependence of urban settlers to rural farmers has been extremely affected due to intensified border control, with this and along with the other discussed factors, food scarcity became apparent to the urban context. Food scarcity is not a contemporary issue, it has long battered our nation but the emergence of the pandemic further emphasized this social issue. With this, the need to introduce a space and an activity that does not only promote interaction and unity among the community but educates the public of the impact of urban farming and also addresses the issue of food scarcity brought upon by the intensive lockdowns. The integration of Urban Farming facilities to existing and proposed public spaces is significant as this will help bolster local economies by minimizing the reliance of LGUs to import-related goods and at the same time serve as an income generating project that may fund their future endeavors. Thus, the provision of such a space to the proposed design is not only brought upon by the need to innovate, but also of our responsibility as future architects to develop spaces that are not only aesthetic and functional but also rooted to the social issues revolving around the target community. Most importantly, it is essential to introduce and educate the public of the significance and potential impact of urban farming to the development of the urban landscape. Establishing urban farming through education is vital in securing its place to the blueprint of the future.
As COVID-19 continues to batter our nation, architecture’s role is to adapt and be able to provide spaces that are not only safe and functional but should also be impactful and human-centered. Designing these spaces should not be the burden of an architect alone but the community in which it shall rise should also play a role in the design process for this is the future of architecture, breaking social barriers through designing innovative and impactful spaces brought upon by inclusivity, community engagement, and sustainability.
Indicated parks and recreational spaces in the local zoning maps of the Philippines
Consider traffic and zoning regulations upon construction and ensure that the project will act as a focal point to reduce or control foot traffic within the established area.