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  Subjects -> ARCHITECTURE (Total: 219 journals)
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Enquiry / The ARCC Journal of Architectural Research
Number of Followers: 5  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2329-9339
Published by Architectural Research Centers Consortium Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Precarity, the future of architectural research in a time of much
           uncertainty

    • Authors: Franca Trubiano
      Pages: 1 - 2
      Abstract: Editoral framing of the special issue of ENQ on PRECARITY: PhD conference on architectural research at the limits of technology, project-making, and history/theory held on APRIL 22-23, 2022 and organized and sponsored by the PhD Program in Architecture at UPENN, Weitzman School of Design
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1212
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Computational Review and Assessment of The Urban Heat Island Effect and
           Its Impact on Building Space Conditioning

    • Authors: Debanjali Banerjee
      Pages: 3 - 31
      Abstract: This paper reviews and reports the recent progress and knowledge on the specific impact of the urban heat island (UHI) effect on building space conditioning for vulnerable housing where lack of air conditioning and fuel poverty causes indoor overheating, thus increasing vulnerability. Previous studies demonstrated that the increase of the ambient temperature due to UHI and heat waves impacts adversely cooling energy consumption of buildings and raises the peak electricity demand during summer and heat waves. Given the aging and dilapidated housing conditions in low-income communities, mostly of color and minorities, the economic burden of the cooling energy penalty induced by urban overheating is higher. However, literature on overheating is primarily driven by the physical characteristics of the building such as insulation, albedo, and envelope properties, and the Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) by demographic data such as age, income, education largely remains isolated thus failing to capture the overall understanding of heat vulnerability and the role architects/urban designers can play in mitigation. Through a computational query review of the last fifteen years of publication, we are inquiring, about how UHI impacts building energy consumption in low-income and poor-quality housing and what role city and housing characteristics play in indoor overheating. Our study suggests, that in the US, due to segregated historic planning policies, low-income houses are often located in low tree canopy areas with varying urban typologies, and higher impervious material which substantially increases the air temperature thus determining energy consumption and anthropogenic heat release which contribute to present-day inequitable exposure to intra-urban heat. Both housing characteristics and the location of housing play a crucial role as similar housing will experience different exposure to intra-urban heat if not located in a heat canyon. Through this literature review, it became evident that there is a gap in the research that fails to connect building characteristics and overheating with heat vulnerability. Research involving UHI and heat vulnerability has continued to advance through energy analysis and mitigation studies, but future studies need to redefine the HVI index, especially by incorporating city and housing characteristics, which can help architects/urban designers make informed design decisions.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1152
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Questioning the Constructed Intangibilities of Water Resources within the
           Modern Household

    • Authors: Mandi Pretorius
      Pages: 32 - 42
      Abstract: The built environment defines how societies shape relationships within hydrological systems to ensure water security within natural and constructed limitations. Globally, due to geographic, climatic, and anthropogenic reasons, the experience of water scarcity is highly unequal. Within water-secure households, water is often taken for granted as a resource; this is in stark contrast to over a quarter of the world, including at least two million American citizens, for whom water insecurity intersects with the risk of losing residential tenure and heightened disease burden (Urban Waters Learning Network, n.d.; Fedinick et al. 2019).
      In this paper, I show how centralized water governance models typically result in highly varied levels of household water security. Globally, public and private water authorities have adopted an economic model of scarcity in water management. Governments and service providers attempt to forestall unsustainable environmental degradation, costly energy intensity, and the mismanagement crippling large-scale infrastructural systems with the revenue they derive from treating water as an economic good. However, these models do not guarantee water access, safety, or affordability and have resulted in the unequal distribution of water scarcity between households.
      The issues with centralized water management and the burden on communities are discussed through a case study of the ‘Day Zero’ drought in Cape Town, South Africa, which took place from 2015-2018. I discuss water access in two households before and during this three-year drought and emphasize how the built environment factors into consumption patterns, water tariffing, and the regulation of water access.
      In contrast, I argue that decentralized and on-site water management could mediate regional and socio-economic disparities through increasing local water access. I foreground urban disparities in local water access to advocate for the decentralization of water infrastructure and an increase in access to and support for household water and energy security. Residential-to-neighborhood structures for on-site water management could provide more equitable resource negotiation within the built environment, increasing access and widespread security as locally attuned hybrid-decentralized systems.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1154
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Reshaping concrete

    • Authors: Mohamed Ismail
      Pages: 43 - 59
      Abstract: Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) struggle to meet the demand for affordable housing in their growing cities. There are several reasons for this, but a major constraint is the high cost of construction materials. In LEDCs, material costs can constitute 60 to 80 percent of the total cost of residential construction. Nonetheless, their construction mimics the materially inefficient practices of the More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs), which were developed to reduce labor over material costs. As a result, prismatic beams and flat slabs are often used despite their structural inefficiency. The mounting use of steel-reinforced concrete structures in LEDC cities also raises concern for the environmental costs of construction; construction accounts for 20-30 percent of LEDC carbon emissions.
      This research addresses these challenges with a flexible and accessible methodology for the design and analysis of materially efficient concrete elements that may reduce the economic and environmental costs of urban construction. Designed for the constraints of LEDCs, structural elements are optimized to reduce the embodied carbon associated with the concrete and reinforcing steel while resisting the required loads of a standard building structure. The optimization method includes a novel approach to 3D-shape parameterization, as well as a decoupled analytical engineering analysis method that accounts for the key failure modes and constraints of reinforced concrete design. This method is then built into an open-source toolkit, combined with machine learning for real-time analysis and visualization, and tested using lab- and full-scale prototypes.
      The goal of this research is to present several generalizable methods that are applicable and accessible to LEDC building designers. These methods can enable the design of concrete elements for multiple performance criteria such as structural behavior, acoustic transmission, and thermal mass. They can also enable an accessible design practice through machine learning, real-time iterative workflows, and visualization tools that include the end-user in the architectural design process. This paper provides a high-level overview of ongoing research that explores how materially efficient design methods might enable sustainable development through low-cost, low-carbon concrete structural systems for affordable housing in LEDCs.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1156
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Soft Knitted Tensile Membrane Tensegrity Helix-Tower

    • Authors: Viginia Melnyk
      Pages: 60 - 68
      Abstract: This paper explores project-based research approach for using knitted textiles as a participating element in a tensegrity structural system. The design of the tensegrity Helix-Tower takes advantage of the emergent elastic properties of knit material and the self-stress, self-stabilizing characteristics of tensegrity structures. The paper outlines the workflow for working with knit materials, including the feedback loop between small studies, digital models, and simulations, and from small to large prototypes. The resulting prototype is a 2.74-meter (9-foot) helix structured tensegrity tower, which is lightweight, deployable, and at a small architectural scale. The assembly process for the final construction is simple and requires no tools.
      The research is novel in its exploration of using knit membranes in tensegrity structures, resulting in a structure that is ultimately more flexible and responsive to movement than traditional tensegrity structures. The design also provides more interactivity with human bodies and the environment. The paper examines the benefits of knitted membrane, including their heterogeneity and uneven stretching. Which provides softness, flexibility, and more movement to the structure. However, questions remain regarding the potential for other environmental factors such as wind or water.
      Future work includes exploring the potential and problems of knitted compared to other materials used in tensegrity structures and examining the incorporation of the design into real architectural elements.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1155
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Re-constituting Precarity for the BIM-Architect

    • Authors: Alex Blanchard
      Pages: 69 - 78
      Abstract: As architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) practices become broadly mediated by computational methods, this article considers the modes of precarity implied for the architect adopting BIM as a medium of modelling and design. Situating the computational apparatus as a prosthesis to the BIM-architect, the article outlines the degree of agency configured for operators of BIM applications while they utilize the structures and methods of software pre-programmed by the application’s original developers. Exploring the structures of Autodesk Revit’s database via the Application Programming Interface (API), the paper interrogates the rationale and logic of building encoded by the program through a reading of its operative code in textual form.
      Situating an interplay between the Revit-architect and application, who programmes a building model while their intention and conceptualization is programmed in turn, the conditions of precarity installed for the Revit-architect as operator are considered as a result of their limited capacity to modify the programme’s operative methods. Drawing from a political history of technology to interrogate the distributed agency between the Revit-architect and technical apparatus, the article ultimately explores how the architect might adopt the phenomenal experience codified by the procedural operations of algorithms through alternative means. It concludes by drawing from autoethnographic practice and situated experiences at the site of the author’s studios, offering material from which to construct an alternative and differentiated notion of algorithm-aided modelling and design according to a nuanced attention to the depth of building.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1157
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Towards an Anti-Antiutopia

    • Authors: Phillip Crosby
      Pages: 79 - 91
      Abstract: This paper examines Darko Suvin’s and Kim Stanley Robinson’s assertion that the late-stage capitalism and neoliberalism of our world can be understood as an “antiutopia” that actively works to suppress the imagination of better futures. It argues that the relatively new science fiction sub-genre of solarpunk—which sets itself in direct opposition to the dystopian visions of the more well-known subgenre cyberpunk and imagines worlds that focus on the community rather than the individual, on environmental sustainability rather than environmental degradation, on social justice rather than subjugation and inequality, and on optimism rather than nihilism—offers some of the most promising paths toward the rejection of this antiutopia in favor of an anti-antiutopian (and therefore utopian) approach that actively works to bring about a better future. The paper suggests that the solarpunk futures currently emerging in literature, art, and online communities offer architects, landscape architects, and urban designers powerful inspiration for the future of our increasingly urban world. It examines a selection of short stories, novels, films, and other media—as well as innovative projects of urbanism—for examples of how embracing the practical utopianism of solarpunk can provide both visions of better worlds and potential paths for achieving them.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1159
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • A tale of the city of Kolkata through the eyes of the “common
           women"

    • Authors: Aparajita Santra
      Pages: 92 - 105
      Abstract: This paper focuses on working-class women from the informal settlements of Kolkata, India and their precarious relationships with the city. Their existence at the margins of society (socially, spatially, historically, and sometimes even geographically) tends to make them invisible actors in the production of contemporary urban spaces of Kolkata. This paper examines the role of class, caste, and gender in informing the spatial practices of these minoritized women that occur in the city’s liminal landscapes. These practices are quite distinct from those of women from middle- and upper-classes in Kolkata. Terms like “public women” or “bad women” or chhotolok (a common Bengali term used for people from lower classes or castes) have been used to represent and mark these working-class, lower caste women as deviant bodies in terms of their class, caste, and even sexualities. These labels are important to understand how these women have been represented historically in the urban history of Kolkata. By analyzing secondary literature, archival texts, songs, films, poems, and photographs, the paper investigates the following interrelated questions. First, how has the spatial organization of urban Kolkata historically determined the ways in which these women have navigated, engaged with, and attempted to overcome a wide array of structural and systemic constraints' And second, how have these women produced and applied various forms of situated spatial knowledge in the city’s liminal landscapes'
      In terms of the paper’s structure, I start by analyzing the existing literature on gender and urban space in India. Thereafter, I lay a theoretical groundwork to elucidate the importance of adopting an intersectional lens to understand overlapping regimes of power that affect the life-worlds of minoritized bodies; in this case, the working-class lower caste women of Kolkata. Finally, I use a chronological approach to examine the changes in Kolkata’s urban fabric and its material culture that have significantly added to the precarities faced by these minoritized and marginalized women. In other words, I trace an alternate urban history of Kolkata through the eyes of these “common women.”
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1162
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Architectures of Coloniality

    • Authors: Melissa Rovner
      Pages: 106 - 115
      Abstract: The Owens Valley Paiute, traditional caretakers of the “Land of Flowing Water,” face continued threats to their livelihood due to decades of water extraction from the region by the city of Los Angeles. The precarious state of Indigenous lands and peoples across California is entangled with historical processes supported by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the off-reservation boarding school system. During the first half of the twentieth century, Paiute, Mission Indian and other Indigenous youth were sent to the Sherman Institute in Riverside, the last of twenty-five boarding schools to be built and operated by the BIA. Accompanying its Mission Revival style façade and the associated narratives of racial uplift, the school aimed to distance students from tribal affiliations, teaching them Anglo, heteropatriarchal forms of domesticity, and training them to become wage laborers in the farming, construction, and domestic service trades. After graduation, many students were employed by the federal government to convert tribal lands to agricultural plots and private property, while many others found low-wage, unskilled positions in the building and maintenance of Southern California’s expanding metropolis. This paper investigates the role of the Sherman Institute in the exploitation of Indigenous lands and labor for regional development, and therefore, the production of racialized precarity for Indigenous peoples. By engaging with Indigenous epistemologies, the paper works to stretch the limits of history/theory, to expose systems of confinement for their racialized underpinnings, and to introduce more fluid conceptions of land, property, and personhood.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1161
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • The Missing Link

    • Authors: Patrick Jaojoco
      Pages: 116 - 126
      Abstract: For the vast majority of agricultural workers in the tenant peasantry class, the direct relation to a landscape valorized by a plantation economy is simultaneously a constantly mediated, ever-precarious economic relation to global capital. Since 1945, discourses of development have only deepened extractive and deeply unequal modes of governance and sociality in this context and across the Global South*. It is in this context that I aim to assess the politicized technics of precarity, weather prediction, and economics of agriculture in the Philippines under the authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos. In studying the Philippines during its violent neoliberal transformation period, I hope to extract an ideal portrait of the environmental, technological, and economic logics of postcolonial globalization. To do so, I will assess a subtle yet crucial point in the Philippines’ history of science, technology, and the environment: the implementation of a meteorological telecommunications network and Marcos’s reordering of these stations as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA (meaning “hope” in Tagalog). By understanding the several scales of political economy at work in direct relation to such a network, this paper seeks to illuminate the multiple dimensions of social instability rooted in the Philippine government’s neoliberal conflation of environment and economy. The architectures and technologies of network, then, highlight the numerous ways in which weather forecasting, agricultural production, and political control intersect in infrastructural development.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1160
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Insuring Artificial Stone

    • Authors: Kyle Stover
      Pages: 127 - 133
      Abstract: This paper examines experiments to increase the durability of architecture as a means to manage the risk of catastrophic loss through tangible systems of artificial material and intangible systems of insurance. At the intersection of these dyads is Coade’s Artificial Stone Manufactory conducting experiments in architecture to yield an ornament useful in securing capital from 1769 - 1821. Selling goods from the south bank of the River Thames in London, Coade’s made use of a catalog to mediate the global exchange between the site of production and construction. For architects and builders, these commodities construct a modern architecture relying upon cheapness, mass production, and abstraction. The utility of this artificial stone explicates a relationship between durability and catastrophic failure at work in the manufacture of modern architecture.
      PubDate: 2023-11-10
      DOI: 10.17831/enqarcc.v20i2.1158
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 2 (2023)
       
 
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