HYDRAMAX Port Machines \ Future Cities Lab

• April 12, 2012

Future Cities Lab recently completed speculative interactive proposal: HYDRAMAX. The drawings and interactive model are currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as part of their ‘Utopian Impulse’ show. HYDRAMAX proposes a radical rethinking of the relationship of San Francisco to its waterfront post sea-level rise as a machinic, biotic and productive landscape.

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HYDRAMAX Port Machines, drawing courtesy Future Cities Lab

HYDRAMAX Port Machines
Exhibited at SFMOMA from 31 March to 29 July, 2012

Future Cities Lab’s HYDRAMAX Port Machines project proposes a radical rethinking of San Francisco’s urban waterfront post sea-level rise. The proposal renders the existing hard edges of the waterfront as new “soft systems” that would include aquatic parks, community gardens, wildlife refuges and aquaponic farms. A synthetic architecture is introduced that blurs the distinction between building, landscape, infrastructure and machine. Using thousands of sensors and motorized components, the massive urban scale robotic structure harvests rainwater and fog, while modulating air flow, solar exposure and intelligent building systems.

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HYDRAMAX Port Machines, drawing courtesy Future Cities Lab

Design: Jason Kelly Johnson & Nataly Gattegno
Project Manager: Ripon DeLeon; Project Interns: Gavin Johns, Cameron Eng
Collaborative Sponsor: MIGA Motor Company (Dr. Mark Gummin) | http://www.migamotors.com
Video: Eddie Lee, Square Two Design

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HYDRAMAX Port Machines, drawing courtesy Future Cities Lab

Interactive Model Description: A network of infrared proximity sensors has been integrated into the four sides of the physical model. These sensors record the distance of gallery visitors to its edges. Information from these sensors is used to actuate the white feather-like “fog harvesting robots” and control the brightness of embedded LEDS. This model is an example of what Future Cities Lab calls “live models”. Live models use the interaction of people to explore and simulate the potential effects of environmental forces such as fog, wind and sunlight.

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HYDRAMAX Port Machines, drawing courtesy Future Cities Lab

Model Materials: Cast and thermoformed acrylic, custom printed circuit boards, Arduino based microcontrollers, infrared sensors, shape memory alloy motors (Courtesy of Miga Motor Company).

+ About FUTURE CITIES LAB

Future Cities Lab is an experimental design and research office based in San Francisco, California. Design principals Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno have collaborated on a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of design with advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, responsive building systems and public space. Their work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Most recently they were awarded the 2011 Architectural League of New York Young Architects Prize and the 2009 New York Prize Fellows at the Van Alen Institute in New York City.

+ All images courtesy Future Cities Lab

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Category: Architecture

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