Thursday, April 13, 2017

AA Visiting School: Floating Architecture, Amazon




Mamori Lake, Amazonas
August 25 - September 2, 2017
Research shows that sea levels around the world have been rising for many decades due to global warming. The consequences of this will put hundreds of cities at risk of being flooded. Similarly, water levels in the Mamori Lake vary greatly between the dry and wet season, when the river can grow up to 14 meters flooding the forest and changing the physiognomy of the land. 
Currently, local houses are built on stilts to deal with tidal variations but in recent years, this has not always been enough to prevent the river from causing devastation. Conversely, there are several floating plants in the Amazon that have developed clever buoyancy strategies to adapt to this ever-changing environment. Through physical and digital modeling as well as biomimetics, the workshop will investigate new types of floating architecture that can adapt to tidal variations and rising water levels while responding to extreme weather conditions. 
The workshop will take place in a lodge by the Mamori Lake shore, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The initial exploratory days of analysis and data collection will offer the participants the possibility to discover the astonishing Amazon ecosystem and interact with the local communities. A series of lectures about design, architecture and biology will provide students with an understanding of innovative concepts at the forefront of architecture.
  • Students will receive a certificate from the Architectural Association.
  • Students will develop skills in parametric modeling using Rhino and Grasshopper.
  • Students will gain an understanding of concepts like biomimetics, emergence, self-organization, and material and biological systems.


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