Tag Archives: cultural

The Cricket Bigger Than Beef


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Overview: You must be familiar with the culture of eating insects as delicacies but the truth is that they are a staple in many societies. We have here two projects that go beyond the nutritional power of insects and looks into how their farming can help in the infrastructural setup of the urban jungle, as we know it. Come have a look….

Urban bug farming shortens the production and consumption chain. This project proposes a special farming unit for two species of edible insects: crickets and wheatworms. Beyond the production of bugs for food, these farming installations aim to support urban infrastructure systems such as lighting and waste processing. Crickets are bred on alveolar (cavity) walls that replicate their natural environment. Each cylindrical cricket-farming unit surrounds a light source to optimize the farming yield. It is hung high off the ground to reduce its spatial impact and to keep it out of reach. The district cricket farm incorporates several units and is set up in a market place. The ‘farmer’ who feeds the crickets collects fresh food waste from the market and surrounding restaurants. When it is dark, the cricket farming unit doubles as an urban lighting system. In the future sustainable city; traditional urban noises will be progressively replaced by that of nature.

Wheatworm farming units are located in offices and fed by employees with waste paper. The paper is a particular type of special office paper adapted to worm growth. It is made of cellulose and wheat cuticles, and printed with vegetable and organic inks. The unit works as a digestive system, performing the double tasks of paper shredding and farming support. Paper is directly recycled inside the company in order to produce food proteins.

Designer: Claire Lemarchand

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New Century City Art Centre in Chengdu


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Overview: The New Century City Art Centre is slated to become the new cultural destination for the Sichuan Provence. The Centre is foretold to become an unprecedented collection of world-class arts, performances and leisure venues. The NCCAC is also said to become the regional arts and music center. It will house three auditoria, an art museum, an exhibition centre, a learning centre, bars, restaurants and shops.

Designers: Zaha Hadid Architects

Qatar Integrated Railway Project


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Overview: Appointed as the principal architect for the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP) which will extend to 60 stations, the design forms a bridge between past and future, drawing inspiration from the vast regional architecture lexicon while representing an effective vision of modernism and preservation. With its strong identity, this new network creates instant recognition at busy intersections, serving as a permanent reminder of the alternative to private transportation.

The full network is planned to comprise four lines connecting the GDA as well as Al Khor, and Al Wakrah-Mesaieed communities located north and south of Doha respectively.

SCALES OF IDENTITY: A key concept within the design is one of creating varying scales of identity for the user: network identity, line identity and station identity. Network identity reflects the overall Qatar Rail brand using recurring design elements that will shape the architecture of the stations consistently throughout the network and will offer brand recognition with Doha’s urban fabric. Line identity is achieved by creating different atmospheres within the stations for the theme of each of the metro lines (Historic line, Coastal line, City line and Education line) through distinct wall and floor treatments, as well as through material applications that orient and guide the travellers through their journey. Individual station identity is achieved by displaying features positioned at strategic points in different areas of each station. The content of these features is specific to each station and is related to the local context and/or to the line theme. By integrating curated content throughout the stations, the Metro Network will serve as a cultural vehicle for Doha.

VAULTED SPACES: Building upon existing elements found in the architecture of the region, in the architectural branding vision, the ‘Vault’ represents a new referential bridge between Qatar’s historic architecture and culture and its future as a beacon of innovation and prosperity. Drawing inspiration from the arch, expressions of traditional architecture, the lightness of the dhow sail, and the tensile profiles of nomadic tents, the ‘Vaulted Spaces’ design proposes a contemporary approach to the interpretation and morphological implementation of these elements. Through a system of interconnected triangular base forms, the massing of the geometry adapts and transforms to incorporate programmatic functions and to connect interior spaces with exterior urban infrastructure.

ADAPTABILITY: The scale of the Metro intervention in Doha requires careful planning in order to comply with a strict time schedule and achieve minimum disruption in the urban environment. Flexibility becomes a design and planning objective at all levels of intervention. Using a large catalogue of architectural ‘branding’ elements, the design proposal represents a flexible new architectural system which can adapt itself to the scalar challenges set within the Metro Network.

Drawing on innovative construction methodologies and materials, the Qatar Rail architectural identity is designed for an efficient organisation of the production and assembly of elements, resulting in an effective construction site and a high level of quality control.

OYSTER: The materialisation principles are experienced through a duality of a pure, modest exterior versus a rich, illuminated mother of pearl effect interior. The exteriors reference the monolithic strength of old Qatari architecture, while the interior spaces create a radiant effect of movement and fluidity. The use of this uniquely Qatari ornamentation and material palette assists in dividing the large interior spaces and guiding pedestrians towards the transient spaces. The integrated light lines amplify the experience, function as natural wayfinding elements and contribute to a unique ambience for the Metro Network.

CARAVANSERAI: Referencing the notion of Caravanserais – which were inns with enclosed courts that served as gathering and resting places on ancient trade routes – and following in the lineage of historic train palaces, the design generates social interaction and propagates place creation over space creation. Drawing on this tradition of key reference nodes along a travelling route, a sequence of wall attractors within the transient space of pedestrian flows create moments of diversity, opportunities for calmness and gathering and showcases for local culture and identity.

Designer: UNStudio