New York City Zakiya Franklin | Peechaya Mekasuvanroj
The nature of our research entails social interaction and a means of stimulating it within a zone that lacks locations that do so. The category of activities that we test against are those that relate to leisure. In this sense, leisure is acknowledge as activities that take place when not engaged within work. Leisure is chosen to progress with because it provides a universal common grounds in which people of all cultural and social groups can openly interact. Areas that claim to provide locations for free and easy social exchange actually restrict the level of satisfaction one would receive due to rigid program. When it comes to quantifying the level of satisfaction, studies have shown that people receive a higher level of satisfaction with more informal programs. By introducing water and energy into the infrastructure, for gathering and social interactions, we increase the potential number of visitors, where different networks of people of groups can interact.
By this continuous intersection of social groups, the extent of potential users increase. In addition to creating an infrastructure that enhancing social interactions, it also connects the different zones within the site, zones that produce a separation between one another. The series of paths that create this linear network of circulation along with the informal programs of social articulation, bring residents and non residents to a mutual location that promotes interactions, in an attempt to blend the boundaries that have developed over time. Being that this infrastructure is one of the new areas within the city to induce such an effect, it becomes a mechanism to lure people to this part of the city, thus making it more popular.
Interesting post on water infrastructure projects at the mammoth blog.
Whether immense re-configurations of watersheds on a geological scale or fine and playful tunings of the interactions between city-dwellers and the infrastructures that deliver their water, those that transmit water or those that sit on and in it, the intersection of hydrology and infrastructure is a continual fascination for mammoth.
Zakiya Franklin | Peechaya Mekasuvanroj
In Urban planning and in architecture, the goal is to satisfy the majority, whether it deals with a client or a community. In doing so, the outcome leads to the highest amount of success. In any given issue that concerns a vast amount of people, the resolution most typically aims to rule in favor of the majority. This is a standard method of practice. With regards to providing places of leisure, this same concept is used, especially in such a dense borough as Manhattan. When companies decide on what types of basic leisure places they plan to develop, they look at general statistics, such as age groups and income, where they can generalize what activities would please the most amount of people and what type of people. Since these decisions are based on generalizations, the levels of satisfaction among people range between both extremes. In most cases, people are just partially satisfied. This is problematic because people are only exposed to preselected activities that disregards any personal preferences. They are expected to be satisfied with what is provided to them. The margin of people that do not fit within this general group are left with nothing, none of the developed activities will make them happy. In addition to the generalization of the activities, the location in which these activities are to be situated in are determined based on the same types of considerations. Such places are located where there are high fluctuations of people. These zones are not only target locations for leisure, but for all other commercial markets. Therefore, these “hotspots” tend to be overcrowded and overbearing. The satisfaction level that people would receive from the leisure activities are therefore reduced. Having to continuously meander through crowds of people will effect one’s enjoyment level.
We plan to propose a fundamentally different way of thinking. One that focuses on the niche market as opposed to the mass market. In doing so, we use Chris Anderson’s Long Tail Theory as a model. The Long Tail Theory is an economic niche strategy of businesses that sell a large number of unique items, each in small quantities. We redefine the application of this theory, so that it can be applied to an architectural context, specifically leisure. In regards to leisure, we propose to supply a location where people can obtain the highest level of satisfaction when engaging in their leisure activity of choice. By providing the necessary spaces for people, we reject the mundane activities they are constantly exposed to, thus allowing them to pursue any activity that genuinely produces contentment. Each person is provided a designated space for a certain period of time. As time elapses, the spaces change as well as the occupants. The development and form of these spaces are dictated by the social interaction and the amount of the people that inhabit them.
The current means of practice replicates itself, where nothing new can ever develop. People are exposed to the same activities within the same location. It controls people by keeping the mass centered in a certain area.
The Long Tail Theory allows us to lure people away from this centered mass, to a site that is under utilize. A site that lacks places of leisure and has a low density of people. It is segregated from highly dense areas that contain several conventional leisure activities within the existing infrastructure. By doing so, we extract people away from a general popular area and introduce them into a “foreign” location, a place where they can rediscover and explore. The location that we perceive as foreign is the edge of the city, the shoreline. Manhattan’s extensive shoreline is known to be one of the city’s most valuable resources as well as one of the city’s oldest problems for many years. The existing edge condition performs only as a point where water and land meet. Drawing people into this area will activation it, meaning enhancing the current social institutions of the area.
Within the current infrastructure, natural gas is the main market of energy. It is not the most ecologically desirable, but it is the most readily available for use. The Long Tail Theory let use the niche markets of energy as an alternative. Sustainable energy defines the niche markets of energy because it is ecologically desirable, unlike most other primary energy sources. In addition, they are rarely used as much. The deciding factor as to which particular energy source to use relies on the location of our site. Since we have chosen the shoreline as our designated site, tidal energy would be the most suitable source. By using a sustainable energy source, the infrastructure is not only recreationally desirable, but ecologically beneficial, especially with the crisis of global warming. Collectively, all these niche markets targeted to develop our infrastructure will help pull away from the center.
LONGTAIL Zakiya Franklin | Peechaya Mekasuvanroj
Manhattan’s extensive shoreline is known to be one of the city’s most valuable resources as well as one of the city’s oldest problems for many years. The existing edge condition performs only as a point where water and land meets in which there is a much higher potential of what this area can become. Since Manhattan’s urban culture continues to grow, there is a higher demand for recreational areas; where people can have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery of water in an urban setting. There is also a higher demand for public access from the water and into the water. There is a necessity for the city to utilize the coastal resources efficiently and creatively.
With the high amount of water available along the edge of Manhattan, we decided to use this advantage to generate an alternative source of energy: Tidal Energy. The demand for energy continues to increase globally in which every country seeks for an alternative method due to the deficiency of resources and for the potentially greener environment. Tidal energy can provide a cleaner yet efficient form of energy. The energy can be distributed in much smaller scale but can be spread out more frequently. This form of energy can perform by itself with no need of excessive wiring system.
We want to define our nature of interest through a Long Tail infrastructure. Our proposal involves an infrastructure that functions as negotiator between land and water as it exploits the existence of water to produce tidal energy. The Long tail infrastructure will generate niche energy that can be distributed in small scale in large quantity throughout neighborhoods, using leisure area as an attractor to bring in consumers along with the energy itself. Tidal energy is a form of niche energy in comparison to other mass production of energy. They are self-dependent and they can be provided for communities that wish to consume this specific kind of energy. The infrastructure also consists of leisure area, which becomes the attractor that coexists with the tidal energy production. The attracting elements may vary throughout different neighborhoods depending on different groups’ interests, even ones that do not share common interests.
Michael Chen and Jason Lee teach design studios and seminars at Pratt Institute. They both hold undergraduate degrees in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and Master of Architecture degrees from Columbia University.
Michael Chen has taught design at Pratt Institute, Cornell University, Columbia University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a principal of Normal Projects, a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm based in New York and Los Angeles.
Jason Lee has taught design at Pratt Institute and Cooper Union. He is a partner at tentwenty, a multidisciplinary design firm based in New York.
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