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On 8 April 1998 industrial action swept across Australian ports. Images of violence with police and striking stevedores in Sydney filled front pages of newspapers and featured in news broadcasts around the world. The entire Patricks stevedore workforce was sacked and banned from entering the port. Three months later the Australian Waterfront Dispute ended with workplace reforms agreed by the Maritime Union Australia and supported by the government. The labour dispute was yet another strike in the global history of the union movement and with similar protests in the UK, such as the 1972 Miners Union Strikes and the 1986 UK Wapping Dispute.
Families of strikers were torn apart by unemployment, careers ended, and social upheavals resulted in changes in the urban infrastructure. Against the backdrop of these events, this paper looks at the transformative role of technology. It will discuss the role of automation as a disruptive force in labour economics and the associated impacts of autonomous vehicles on the city, and it will also present ideas about transformations and hope.
Port Botany, Sydney’s largest port is now a fully autonomous, machine learning environment. Since 1998, the stevedores were replaced by computer specialists and algorithms. The largest privately owned commercial port in Australia operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in all weather conditions. The autonomous vehicle port is according to shareholder publications, 30% more efficient and environmentally improved over manually operated ports. This paper will discuss the aesthetic outcomes and the resulting changes to the urban form and what this might mean for living with autonomous vehicles. I am exploring through architectural multimedia, the combined effects of autonomous vehicles in the city. How do we live (and dance) with autonomous machines? After the synthetically intelligent machines have finished their choreographed moves – what happens when the robots strike?
On the hottest day of the year in 1955 Disneyland’s theme park opened in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. One could argue, that Disneyland profoundly changed the way we perceive architecture and opened the gates to an understanding of the stage of the spectacle as mediator of social relationships based on marketing commodities. This paper aims to make a connection between the new architecture for mass spectators and sports stadia. It was not until the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster and the changes triggered by the Taylor report that architects started questioning the established design systems. In the late 1980s, the architect and engineer Geraint John and the engineer Rod Sheard were at the forefront of the reforming the architectural typology of stadia design in the UK and internationally. In his writing, Sheard reads the development of Disneyland theme parks as the dissolving of the boundary between the event and a specific social group. Later stadia developments establish the virtual spectator as a design stakeholder and fractures the boundary between physical and broadcast presence. And in a yet further development, the stadia becomes an architectural system that fully integrates its physical and digital environment.
Utilising the analytical and computational abilities of machine learning through the critical lens of modularity and adaptability, this paper attempts to establish the characteristics of stadium design knowledge and how it is inscribed in contemporary stadium architecture through empirical analysis of quantified spatial, programmatic, and structural data. Further on, the research provides an overview of how it can be systematised into interdependent types and evaluates the influence of stadia design drivers on the overall design process.
On 9 September 1994 the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-64 was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, landing back on 20 September 1994 at Edwards Air Force Base. One of the main payloads on the shuttle was the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE), developed and built at Langley. LITE operated for 53 hours. It collected over 40 gigabytes of data and covered 1.4 million kilometres of the land. Employing a three-wavelength Nd:YAG laser and a 1-m-diameter telescope, the system was a precursor for the development of technology deployed by the future operational spaceborne lidars.
Lidar, both airborne and on-ground, technology has since been deployed to record existing spaces, cities, forests, urban context, terrain, ruins and new developments. It became a tool for documenting, recording and representing complex spatial geometries and means for creating their digital twins.
This paper looks at the history and evolution of the medium of recording and conveying architectural history and practice with a particular focus on digital media. Looking at texts by Luciana Parisi and Mario Carpo, the paper works through the progression from the physical to the digital and its impact on the complexity of architectural form within the digital era.
While compression of information is desired for performance benefits, what are the costs of defaulting to predetermined digital representation formats? Scale, granularity, detail and mass are negotiated to satisfy two seemingly contradictory interests; computational efficiency of the reductivist task of compression and in-depth analysis of nuanced spatial relations at all scales. The paper discusses the multiplicity of scales that aim to negotiate the drawbacks of compression and preserve the unique qualities of spatial patterns. Looking at the historical examples of architectural representation the paper argues that the architectural mediums have always faced the issues of compression. Architectural drawings to physical and digital models are discussed as both the aid and the burden of the design process and precedent studies.
As a result of the public security agenda of Rio de Janeiro and the implementation of the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) policy to pacify favelas’ territories dealing with armed groups, in 2015, a large group of drug users were displaced in Maré. Maré comprises sixteen favelas in the north side of the city where inhabitants live in precarious housing conditions. The local organisation Redes da Maré (RdM) supports families, particularly in Avenida Brasil and Flávia Farnese Street. After three years of involvement, RdM inaugurated Espaço Normal (Normal Space), a house that offers access to basic needs and space for dialogues to reduce the harms of drug addiction based on users’ experiences. Currently, the house is recognised as a reference place where a diverse team of social workers, activists, lawyers, residents, and former users work collectively to address the needs, obstacles, and stigmas of favella inhabitants.
Drawing on Espaço Normal, this paper introduces the spatial practice of articulação territorial, a Portugese term that refers to the ability to establish partnerships with different stakeholders, negotiate disputes and initiate collaborations that many times are not structured and calculated. Articulação is a method that is not rigid and carries an accumulation of knowledges of local social movements. It allows RdM members to approximate residents to their needs and demands, whether for public services or immaterial aspects such as recovering memories and legitimising identities. Depicting articulação, this contribution unveils the multiple epistemologies that shape favelas’ urban space, highlighting what is only visible at the intersections where planning is fragmented and insufficient. Using snapshots from an ethnographic incursion in Maré, excerpts from interviews with RdM members as well as online publications, articulação will be discussed as a mode of producing and caring for the city through terms such as care, intersectionality, and insurgent planning.
In 2019, a neighbourhood that had grown for over forty years and which comprised 419 homes, was demolished to make way for a deluxe project in central Dubai. Al Shorta, a dense neighbourhood was planned by the government in the 1970’s; a form of suberized housing for army and police officers, and it was one of the last, longstanding local neighbourhoods. The original buildings were modified over the 40 years as families extend; every day needs change and social fabric evolved, yet nothing was formally captured before demolition.
Various types of architecture reflect cultural and societal changes, especially housing. Homes have been the containers of everyday ordinary practices for centuries but in terms of research are marginalised. There was no evidence of interest in capturing the social fabric or cultural transformations of Al Shorta and no sense of what lessons we could learn about the cultural transformations that took place?
Home, or domesticity is an intangible concept. Connecting the emotional relationship between people to their immediate environment, this raises the question of how best to collect everyday culture? What can our understanding of the Al Shorta neighbourhood tell us about cultural transformations, within the context of the UAE? By focusing on the interior spatiality of Al Shorta as a display of intentions, one can begin to map changes in terms of space, layout, scale, dimensions etc. The space can then be further investigated, revealing cultural patterns such as, etiquette, identity, gendered spaces, and family practices. As this paper will show, these revelations allow glimpses of untold cultural transformations, away from the more formal, state driven lines of cultural values.