The accelerated degradation of Netanya’s Kurkar Cliffs risks destroying coastal infrastructure, buildings and human lives. Natural processes often clash with human needs, the question is, how can this conflict be appropriately mediated. While the popular instinct is to protect the cliff at any cost with a variety of artificial interventions, new technologies provide, for the first time, the option to take a step back and let nature take the lead.
Live It is a TechnoArt installation created by The Commons, a young landscape architecture firm, Professor Uri Shavit from the Technion University, who studies water currents, and Dr. Oded Katz from the Israeli geological instetute. This collaborative installation allows people to interact with this natural wonder, presenting a sustainable and resilient policy proposal for the Israeli city of Netanya, as well as other coastal cities worldwide.
The project re-envisions erosion as a natural process which should not be tampered with, eschewing more standard attempts at interfering with this processes through man made safeguards. Visitors are invitied to scan a barcode with their cell phones, which then redirects them to a 3D video of the Kurkar Cliff, which they can manipulate and re-orient by directing their smartphones above and a round a large image of the cliffs installed in the pavilion.
The image was created using a Lidar scanner, a scientific scanning device used for surveying that measures distance by illuminating subjects with lase light. The image was then turned into an abstract pattern which alludes to the topography of the cliff. ‘Live It’ proposes using available technology to mitigate the impact of erosion with minimal interference, transforming the cliffs into a site for people to interact with and bear witness to a natural wonder. read more >>
The re-invention of materials through the assimilation of new technologies has been essential to the way architecture has evolved and changed its form, expression and performance over the centuries. Behave is an installation created by Shaga Shyovitz Architects, including Gary Freedman, Shany Barath, Moti Shyovitz, and Nicolas Myers, and the scientist Erez Livneh, that extends advancements in genetic engineering to the realm of spatial and interactive design by activating synthetic living materials around us with sensorial biomarkers from our human body. It suggests a bio-systemic approach rendering human interaction, social behavior and even human emotions as substance, and provokes our ability/consciousness to communicate and synergize with our environment through such intricate resolutions of material responsiveness.
Behave is a holographic microscope that analyses the breath of spectators, measuring oxygen, carbon dioxide and breath tidal volume. An algorithm programming the behavioral patterns of bacteria uses these biomarkers to simulate the growth, organization and material deposition of a bacterial colony, constructing a virtual biofilm that interacts in real time with sensorial inputs.
The installation uses the principle of 'pepper's ghost' to unite the microscopic and the virtual into a spatial materiality. Making visible the recursive relationship between the human breath charged with our unique physiological signals and the responsive behavior of an emerging materiality, Behave speculates on future environments sensitive to stimuli, capable of expression and reactive to our needs and desires. read more >>
The breathing building is a project by the architects Farah Farah, Moti Bodek, and Professor David Elad which proposes a bio-inspired building ventilation and air conditioning system that mimics the breathing process, where the nasal passage naturally conditions the inhaled environmental air.
The proposed project presents a dynamic structure which is the outcome of a joint collaboration between architects and bioengineers. Anchored in the mediterranean sea off the coast of Ashdod, the structure is designed to fulfill the challenging function of creating an optimal HVAC (Heat, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) system by using renewable energy in order to insure more sustainable and ecological manner.
In recent years considerable efforts have been made in the field of biomimetic architecture to create ventilation systems that preserve environmental balance and reduce the building’s carbon imprint. many of these new ideas are based on treating the architectural structure as a living body that synergizes with the surrounding ecosystem through mechanisms that mediate the movement of air. Michelle Addington of yale university has conducted notable research that, drawing on convection patterns sןmilar to those occurring around the human body, proposes systems for controlled ventilation comprised of dynamic plumes that heat and cool the air enclosing building surfaces.Architect doris sung proposed to condition the interior environments by using architectural surfaces made of smart metals that respond to external stimuli without consuming external energy resources. While most of the published attempts to create biomimetic ventilation systems were inspired by the large external surfaces of mammals, we have chosen to base our new concept on the functionality of the mammalian nose, a small interior air-conditioning organ, to create a dynamic breathing building. read more >>
The Nanocellulose Desert Shelter project is a collaboration between NCArchitects, Guy Austern and Prof. Oded Shoseyov, a nano-biotechnologist, that explores the architectural potential of nanocellulose, a state-of-the-art material composed of recycled natural fibers, in the design of an educational and cultural center for the Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev desert. The center will be built entirely from different compositions of nanocellulose - to create the supporting structure, provide shading, insulation layers, as well as the transparent fenestrations which naturally monitor incoming light. All the nanocellulose layers will be bonded together naturally using the material’s intrinsic behaviour of self-assembly. This allows us to eschew traditional techniques of architectural joinery in favour of exploiting the material’s chemical compounds, enabling the structure to be recycled back into its original constitution once the structure’s function has been fulfilled. Laying out the structure as a series of undulating, dune-like shell structures will enable a free plan which can easily adapt to the unique requirements of the users. The whole compound is designed to blend in with its desert surroundings, creating a fixed point around which the local culture can assemble. read more >>
BIO Smart City 3.0 is an interactive installation invisioned by Tagit Klimor from Knafo Klimor Architects and Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro which applies the biological process of angiogenesis - through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing ones - in order to explore new methods of preventing urban over-densification. The installation consists of two towers measuring four and seven feet high, constructed from plexiglass. Red liquid flows continually through a series of polyurethane conduits, intertwining within the two towers, demonstrating a healthy level of habitation. Two systems work simultaneously: one represents the healing process of a diseased area in the structure, and the other emphasizes the collapse of untreated areas. The structures allude to the built and unbuilt urban fabric, the shade of the fluid is the identification and treatment of diseased areas due to unattended changes in population density.
Global trends of migration towards urban centers are increasing exponentially, overtaxing urban infrastructure to the point where it risks collapsing beyond repair. In order to assess the moment – where overcrowding in a city has reached ‘the point of no return’, This project examines if tackling urban sickness could be pioneered according to biological principles and methodologies which govern cancer research. read more >>
The Dead Sea Resurrection Project is a collaborative project created by Prof. Arch. Dan Eytan & Arch. Ruth Lahav, and Dr. Boaz Tadmor M.D, which links the lake’s degeneration to TTTS, Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, where identical twins relying on the same source of nutrients stop receiving balanced blood supply due to an anomaly in the fetal blood vessels. Most people relate to the Dead Sea as a single body, but the exploitation of its resources has transformed it into two endangered lakes: the northern lake in danger of drying up, and the southern lake in danger of flooding the surrounding hotels. From a place with potential for settlement, agriculture, tourism and beauty, the Dead Sea has become a sea of death.
Creating the analogy between TTTS and the lakes’ current predicament opens up a host of new approaches to tackling this pressing environmental crisis. Various solutions and initiatives have been proposed for years in order to cope with the problems of dehydration and exploitation that endanger the continuing existence of this sea. These include the transfer of water from the Sea of Galilee in the north; from the Mediterranean Sea in the west; and from the Red Sea in the south by means of pipes and canals, as well as transferring brine from desalinization plants. These solutions, according to environmentalists, are liable to cause irreversible damage to the composition of the sea water and the macro- environment of the Dead Sea. Accepted and specific proposals, such as those listed above, do not provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of the sea’s dehydration. The strength of industries that mine the lake are too powerful to be undermined by environmental preservation.
We are proposing to cope with the destruction caused by years of human intervention in this rare natural phenomenon by means of a biological model, where human intervention is harnessed to facilitate rehabilitation rather then destruction. Re-conceiving the Dead Sea as two lakes which are both fed from the Jordan River, and linking this to the biological condition of TTTS, where twin fetuses living within the same womb are forced to share the same source of nutrition, has provided us with insight as to how we could use design and architecture to reverse the Lake’s death and dehydration, reviving the Dead Sea and regenerating life. read more >>
The Diffraction of Urban Crystals - Haifa is a collaborative project created by the architect Einat Kalisch Rotem and the Nobel Prize winning chemist Professor Dan Schectman which seeks to apply advances in crystallography towards urban planning.
Crystallography and modern urban planning both emerged at the turn of the 20th century. Whereas crystallography advanced into a new era of complexity and possibility, using electric microscopes to unearth previously unseen patterns within crystal formations, urban planning is still struggling to develop new devices capable of identifying the complex patterns within contemporary urban space. This collaborative project seeks to apply the noble prize winning research of Professor Dan Shechtman in crystallography towards the field of urban planning, in order to create new tools capable of recognizing and analyzing spatial behavior patterns through the synthesis of big data.
Our goal is to define a Fourier transform (diffraction pattern) tool for urban planners that will enable scientific analysis of urban-crystals (fabrics). It has become clear in the last several decades that synthesizing big data has the potential to shed new light on usage patterns within urban infrastructure. While some elements of big data are already starting to impact city management, many potential information sources remain untapped. Data on the use of cellular phones, credit cards, water consumption, sewage, and electricity can be assessed in order to afford information on endpoint users and generate more accurate representations of various lifestyles. When accumulated and cross referenced these statistics reveal the life patterns existing within urban tissues, indicating human activities that can be mobilized in order to improve city management and planning. This know- how will shed light on the behavioral logic of “urban crystals,” normally termed by architects urban ‘tissues’ or ‘fabrics’, which reveal organizing patterns within urban space.
The second part of the exhibition consists of seven studies created by teams of architects and scientists who were invited to propose speculative scientific-architectural projects, using biological paradigms to relate to local and global planning and architectural questions. Projects include Live It, Behave, Nanocellulose Desert Shelter, Bio Smart City 3.0, Resurrecting The Dead Sea, Breathing Architecture, and Urban Crystals Diffraction.