Friday, August 10, 2012

Uptopian Visions of Futuristic Eco-Green Buildings

It always amazes me how just the right landscape elements with regard to the correct plant choices can create beauty in what would be an otherwise mundane modern Architectural monstrosity. I've never been a modern architectural fan , but . . . ?

The School of Art & Design , Singapore

Basic Architectural Layout of The School of Art, Design, Singapore

I think the above architectural design concept is kool and doesn't appear to offer a Landscape Maintenance Nightmare. I say garden maintenance nightmare because whenever I see such common everyday proposed animated Eco-Green Futuristic looking Utopian Dreamscapes present on various websites on the Internet, the first thing my Property Management background Mind wants to know after I get past the obvious "Eye-Candy" sales pitch is, "Just how do you maintain such monstrosities ?"

For years Hollywood has depicted many futuristic human societies in it's films or TV Series shows as having progressed from it's primitive neanderthal past and becoming sophisticated in their understanding of the environment and having created a Utopian style of governance. Yet nothing in todays reality or historical past indicates they will ever achieve such an ultimate high bar set goal. 

But getting back to the architecture. While I don't like most modern buildings, plants surely soften the abrasive sharp lines, angles and general overall cleaned up Soviet Housing Project styled buildings which were merely meant to be functional at housing a sea of growing humanity in what amounted to nothing more than upgraded livestock paddocks. Plants also hide the flaws and inability of the modern day Architect who truly has no creative intuitiveness of any artistic worth or ability for which to bring comfort, warmth and a surrounding environment of serenity to the people they are meant to serve in the end. Take a look at some artist concepts of these plantbuilding marriages of future  Utopian Projects.

Stefano Boeri - Vertical Forest

Biomimicry: Answer to World's Problems ?

Monsanto's Version of "Silent Running" run by their LabCoats for own Humanities good.

by Getty Images
So what are some of the obstacles that a former Property Management Landscaper sees in such Uptopian Dreamscapes ? Mega-maintenance challenge nightmares. Take that top illustration as an example. Instead of those large window maintenance crew carriages lowered from permanently mounted cranes on top of or on the sides of Skyscapers, the carriages are retrofitted for landscape workers with all manner of the same equipment utilized now. Obviously they have to work on plants and small trees. But I have questions. What about dangerous sharp tools like saws, clippers, etc ? Are there also ground crews available on the streets below to intercept such dangerous life threatening debri from the skies above ? Who catches all the branches and other small trimmings ?  What happens way up high when such debri is picked up be high winds ? What kind of Medical & Liability Insurances will be required by the company contracted to carry out this monumental maintence nightmare ? How will this effect Corporate Building owner costs or Condo owner's monthly fees or Association dues ?

What about chemical pesticidal usuage, fungicidal fumigants, or other manner of pest control issues ? Will the building have to be evacuated of it's human inhabitants at specific times where such practices are necessitated ? What about irrigation system maintenance ? Most Irrigation systems still aren't  perfected for being self-maintaining as daily inspections are still required on most normal projects, will this drive up costs ? How often will home/condo owners be disturbed by maintenance workers needing access for maintenance ? What responsibilities & duties will be required by the home/condo owners ? How will you motivate these people do their part especially in this world's growing  atmosphere of  'Freedom Mentality' and "don't tell me what I should and shouldn't - can or can't  do"  ?????

I know, I've ruined everyone's virtual reality utopian dreamscape fantasy. Well, that's how I was viewed over at Inhabitat's forum discussion site when I asked these very questions. Instead of healthy discussion and viable sollutions, I was the recipient of anger, irritation, name calling and accusations of being a rabblerouser, etc.

Click if you agree


Illustration # 2 = Biomimicry

examination of Nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems

Makes sense. Our best inventions are mostly carbon copies of the amazingly brilliant, complex and sophisticated design realities we find everywhere in nature. Yet often times such designs are misused and abused by those championing them. Biomimicry is great, but instead of more inventions and innovations being used in attacking the symptoms, why not use biomimicry to restore the functions once found in nature's various ecosystems which were destroyed in puruit of the raw materials for manufacturing biomimiced consumer goods ?????  

One main feature on Earth to be restored would be various plant ecosystems around the globe which actually drive and moderate our planet's climate mechanisms. These have been rapidly dismantled at the blessing of most human governments interested ONLY in creating bohemoth National economies running on steroids. That's what keeps politicians elected and staying there.


Illustration # 3 - Monsanto's Vision of Utopia

Wow, who truly wants to even go to a world where this is how agriculture run and by who or whom ? Enough written about these people, so no need to elaberate any. Other questions do come up though. With all these Utopian ideas, where do the third world people fit in ? Were they even remotely thought of by the architechs when they dreamed up visions of modern cityscape life ? Or are such schemes entirely designed for Euro & North American countries or the super-rich of the wealthier Asian cities ONLY

People forget that the planet is so interconnected in all it's incredible mechanisms. It's biology is tied to it's geology with all of it's incredible phenomena of physics. Dismantling incredible amounts of sophisticated biological systems piece by piece has proven this. Modifying biology into something certain selfish Intellects envision isn't the answer either as it is obvious much of the damage they've already done in this GMO field will most likely never be undone and corrected. 

There's ultimately nothing wrong with creativity and dreaming of future possiblities. I still basically like the site and still view beautiful pictures & storylines from time to time. Pictures can inspire one's own creativity and inspire or trigger something in the imagination in another direction. But escaping into utopian dreams and ignoring our world's reality only delays the inevitable. Mankind's ways of problem solving were beautifully illustrated in that Losing the Lake Mead game I posted yesterday. The rules were simple and biomimiced imperfect human problem solving which often trips off into quickfix fantasy as opposed to real world sollution fixing reality by stopping the cause of problems. The game had rules. When you play, you'll be able to make decisions both as a home owner and water manager. However it won't allow you to make population growth control restrictions and such. Everything moves along at normal pace without hinderances and it's your job to not solve the problem, but delay the catastrophic inevitability which is the lake disappearing.

Okay shifting gears here. I'm off to Björngårdsvillan Cafe in Slottsskogen Park here in Göteborg Sweden. But only after I go to the Göteborg Botanincal Garden. BTW - Here's a photo of that Cafe and Art School building below. The first one is the present modern look brought to you by superior modern day Scandinavian Architecture. The second photo are of the original building on the same exact land that the modern building replaced. Which do you prefer ??????

Björngårdsvillan Building 1963  - Slottsskogen Park

Which one has more class & artisitc taste ? Seriously, most Scandinavians hate the second type. In a couple weeks I'll have a post on and about the present Cafe which is alot like the Seattle Coffee House as far as atmosphere as the one on the show "Fraiser"


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