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Design Under Sky discusses landscape architecture, the utilitarian but leaning towards the conceptual, thinking on modern occurrences and peripheral boundaries.  

DUS is the blog and personal design studio of Adam E. Anderson, a designer based out of the East Coast, currently a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a designer at Landworks Studio.

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December 2011
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Entries in Water (2)


Floating Ecologies and the Whale

Imagine, seas and rivers occupied with a population of meandering creatures, charged by sunlight and currents creating both man and wildlife mobile habitats, all cleaning our water bodies through bio-filtration.

Architect Vincent Callebaut proposes such an idea in the Physalia, a self-sufficient whale-shaped floating ecosystem which cleans water as it travels through bio-filtration. Inspired by the Physalia physalis jellyfish, the design is intended to by powered by photovoltaic panels and hydro-turbines.

Instantly several adaptations come to mind. Why not extend these concepts to other water-based transports. Slow-moving cargo ships and oil tanker transports are transformed into giant floating ecosystems, cleaning our water while maintaining their purpose. Giant cruise vessels transform from a system of excess and over-consumption to becoming floating utopian-esque tropical ecologies. More eco-tourism then Carnival cruise.


This even could be a prelude to a floating housing concept in response to the impending water level rise. Floating around like algae, our homes and neighborhoods in constant fluctuation, changing demographics and social order/hierarchy, your enemy one day could be your neighbor the next. All of this happening while intensely sucking carbon from the air.

+via Inhabitat


Will we succumb to the Ice Pirates?

{The Ice Pirates, 1984}

Not that I'm the first to foresee a future where water is added to the mix of natural resource wars, but this article in Reuters discussing potential water rationing in Los Angeles certainly hints at a future where obtaining water will require more then simply turning on the faucet.

In making such a statement I was pointed to a film which prophesied an apocalyptic water influenced Earth long before Kevin Costnar grew gills.  The film is The Ice Pirates, which takes place in a future where water is an immensely valuable substance, both as a commodity and as a currency.  Princess Karina is a spoiled princess who purchases captured space pirates. They then proceed to locate a "lost" planet that contains massive amounts of water.

The movie looks ridiculous, and meant to be tongue and cheek, but the core story line which might of seemed far fetched in 84' doesn't appear to be so much now.  We have alternatives for oil if we decide to use them, but what alternatives are there for water and land?  As Mark Twain once said, and I suppose it could in some way apply to water as well, "Buy land, there not making it any more".

And this is where it would begin.  Deep pocket developers, opportunists hire geologists and hydrologists to find buried reservoirs and secure the land rights, thus obtaining access and distribution rights to the water below. Taking a Daniel Plainviewesque strategy from Tnere Will Be Blood, hostile take overs will ensue, but this time it's not for commodity but a life source with no alternatives. The events proceeding inevitably would lead to violent struggles for any immense water resources.

{Suck, Suck, Suck. Spaceballs, 1987}

Assuming we reach a point where water is so scarce it causes military coups and guerrilla warfare, will technology reach a point that will enable us to send our own Ice Pirates out to secure intergalactic resources to replenish our own?  As with The Ice Pirates, will we resort to other actions once mocked in Spaceballs, sucking the resources out of the Universe's Druidias?