THE PLAN Journal (TPJ) intends to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking and relevant research, studies and criticism in architecture and urbanism. The criteria for selecting contributions will be innovation, clarity of purpose and method, and potential transformational impact on disciplinary fields or the broader socio-cultural context. The ultimate purpose of the TPJ is to enrich the dialog between research and professional fields, in order to encourage both applicable new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice. (Maurizio Sabini)

LATEST ARTICLES

 Open Access
THEORY
Conference Report

The Danish Way. The Rising Architecture Week 2017 in Aarhus

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 15 - 31 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.02, published: 2017-11-12

The Rising/Architecture Week 2017 was held in Aarhus as part of the Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 initiatives. The array of conversations, debates, and exchange of ideas generated at Rising 2017 proved once more the vitality and the maturity of Danish design culture. 

Rooted on a strong Modernist tradition, Danish design culture weaves a savvy mix of promoting and further sharpening its brand, as well as of stimulating thoughtful reflections on relevant disciplinary and societal issues. The conference was intelligently used as vehicle to showcase the good work that is being produced not just in Copenhagen but across Central Denmark and to bring in a diverse pool of international designers, planners, critics, and thinkers. What can be called the Danish Way to design culture offers the opportunity “to rise,” above the conventional and the predictable, for an exciting view over a possible better world.

 Open Access
CRITICISM
Exhibition Review

Make New Critical Stories. A View on the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 13 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.01, published: 2017-10-13

The 2017 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Make New History, like any other similar event, has caused debate and controversy. Beyond inevitable flaws and shortcomings, the CAB though deserves to be appreciated for the quality of most of the exhibited projects, works or installations, some of which managed also to offer what was missing in this CAB’s main theme: a critical perspective. The theme itself of the CAB is challenged, but the good works of many international architects and artists, well selected by the Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, is appreciated for their contributions to a critical discourse in our field, for their “critical stories.” Through a discussion of the curators’ hypothesis and of some of the most interesting works, as well as of some critical contributions included in the exhibition catalog, this review tries to offer a critical assessment for an event that, fortunately, has already acquired an outstanding position within the architecture cultural landscape of our time.

 Open Access
Essay

The SEA Is Coming: The Future of a Marine Research Facility

by: Ursula Emery McClure VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 221 - 244 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.12, published: 2017-11-21

This paper originates from a Louisiana State University School of Architecture Research Studio. Charged by the organization’s Director, the students investigated the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) facility and environment, and re-imagined both the building and landscape as a cutting-edge (albeit remote) research and educational destination. “The SEA Is Coming” Integrative-Design Studio proposes adaptation to climate change as a means to investigate the transformative capacity of a site. Going far beyond the boundaries of current (and future) building program, the studio method provoked profound rethinking of current conventions about coastal change and occupancy, design, community, the environment, and land use. LUMCON’s facility sits at the nexus of deltaic land, freshwater, brackish wetland, and salty ocean and provides access to all these systems. It has withstood the volatility of this environment: flooding, hurricanes, oil spills, the Gulf dead zone, salt-water intrusion, etc. Now over thirty-years-old, the building must adapt to changing conditions. The studio investigated LUMCON’s ability to continue functioning in its changing environment and further its indispensable research capabilities of the rapidly changing coastal landscape.

 Open Access
Project

MaterialNature: An Opportunistic Paradigm of Architecture and Landscape Ecology

by: Marcus Farr VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 207 - 220 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.11, published: 2017-11-21

In this space, small-scale coastal erosion, and natural growth become the vehicle for project based architectural speculation that leverages the resources of local landscapes and creates a new architectural trajectory based upon the need and aesthetic of ecology. Here, MaterialNature is a series of architectural entities that become landscapes over time, made from a mixture of residual materials designed specifically to be weatherized. Its design is intended to provide a potential architectural amenity in areas of recreational activity as well as areas devoid of human contact, while simultaneously realizing a potential for architecture to be born from waste or local material, and to return to nature without providing further waste. As such, this architecture moves from one of formal composition to one where the formal characteristics of local ecology and landscape become more apparent than the form itself.

 Open Access
Article

Miami Rising: Historical Perspectives on Sea Level Rise as a View into the Future

by: Eric Firley , Victor Deupi VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 187 - 207 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.10, published: 2017-11-15

Miami is a city whose diversity and vibrant growth has made it an ideal destination for international travel, business, and leisure. However, South Florida is a hurricane prone region, and the threat of sea level rise and erosion poses an immediate and long-term risk to the stability of the city and its region. The city and the scientific community have been studying the phenomenon for some time now, proposing solutions to the management of such threatening uncertainty. Yet the quest for coastal resilience is not a new phenomenon. Since ancient times human settlements have entertained a complex relationship to the water. This paper will explore how several cities throughout history have dealt with flood resilience challenges and consider how historical attempts to adapt and address such problems can provide new spatial strategies for Miami’s future. Aware of the fact that such a study cannot reveal technical solutions for the twenty-first century, the emphasis will be given to an understanding of the correlation between socio-economic identity, attitude towards defensive action, and the type of organization needed for concerted action.

 Open Access
Project

Connecting Water Resources across Political Borders: A Pearl River Delta Special Ecological Area

by: Jason F. Carlow , Ivan Valin , Stefan Al VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 171 - 185 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.09, published: 2017-11-14

Situated between several interdependent political and economic zones of southern China’s Pearl River Delta, the Pearl River Delta Special Ecological Area (PRD SEA) project explores the possibility that regional administrative boundaries could be softened and redrawn along ecological boundaries. With the advent of global sea level rise and its impact on the fragile fresh water ecology and huge population of the Pearl River Delta, the project proposes novel ways to share fresh water and wastewater across political zones to better administer and profit from the distribution of water resources.

Climate change, urbanization, and pollution from industrial and agricultural development threaten the steady supply of fresh water to the Pearl River Delta and its cities, while population growth in the region only increases demand. At the same time, Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen’s increasing economic, political and cultural interdependency presents the possibility to tackle these challenges holistically. Layering a regional water resource infrastructure onto existing and new industrial, residential, agricultural and transportation armatures would transcend borders and create new economic markets through ecologically sustainable practices.

 Open Access
Article

Groundedness as Risk: Adaptive Strategies for Ground Failures in Seattle

by: Arthur Tai-Ming Leung VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 147 - 169 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.08, published: 2017-11-13

“Groundedness” implies stability and permanence, but our reliance on the presumed fixity of the earth under our feet has led us to lose sight of its dynamism. From macro tectonic readjustments to micro sediment transport, these natural processes are part of an adaptive cycle that oscillates between stasis and destruction. Urban development, predisposed to Engineering Resilience, has exacerbated disasters by attempting to fix and control ground without considering the recombinant and indeterminate systems of Ecosystem Resilience. Seattle is the largest city in a region due for its “Next Big One” - a megathrust earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This high-magnitude perturbation would occur in an urban context already sensitive to geologic risks. A history of land manipulations has affected Seattle’s ground equilibrium, making it more susceptible to natural disasters. The urgency of the impending risks has inspired adaptive design that foregrounds action as a means of developing a disposition. A catalogue of strategies is applied to a masterplan that balances “sediment” as a resource that builds resilience to ground hazards and promotes ecosystem health. 

 Open Access
Project

Design Strategies and Non-Standard Territories. The Resilience of the Domitian Coastline

by: Giovanni Multari VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 131 - 145 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.07, published: 2017-11-10

Coastal areas are an extraordinary condition for research and investigation, at a scale encompassing multiple landscapes that underwent a massive transformation, leading to their current crisis state. A landscape with different degrees of depth, with complex conditions and rules of the spatial systems that can be fully understood only through an accurate selection and study of the elements that concurred to its creation. The natural cycle that built the different elements of this landscape is definitely an element to take into account during the definition of the design strategies: through the alluvial deposit first and marine next, it “built” the shore, the dunes - a natural protection against the sea-water level rise - and the pinewood behind the dunes. Our goal is strategy that, recovering and recycling the ancient and pre-existing dialogue between the form of the city and the form of the landscape, recovers and recycles that long and natural resilience process: a quality those areas always had, considering also the potential rising of sea levels.

 Open Access
Essay

Salty Urbanism: Towards an Adaptive Coastal Design Framework to Address Sea Level Rise

by: Jeffrey E. Huber , Keith Van de Riet , John Sandell , Lawrence Scarpa VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 105 - 130 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.06, published: 2017-11-09

Utilizing the North Beach Village neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as case study, “Salty Urbanism” establishes an interdisciplinary team to develop a coupled research methodology and pedagogical approach that envisions and quantifies the experiential and ecological outcomes of alternative ways forward for the neighborhood in response to climate instability, disruption and rising sea levels. These outcomes consider an inevitable future of saturated landscapes and, as a result, integrate research models that accommodate a variety of best management practices (BMP), low impact development (LID), green infrastructure (GI) and other alternative concepts to be implemented over time in the neighborhood adaptation plan.

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