THIS LEARNING JOURNAL IS A TOOL USED TO DOCUMENT THE DESIGN, RESEARCH AND THOUGHT PROCESSES BEHIND MY PROJECTS.
ARC310 - INDEPENDENT EXPLORITORY PROJECT
Site visit 1 - 26/09/19
Today was spent walking the site from Kenidjack Valley to Cape Cornwall then all the way up to Geevor Tin Mine, taking in the breathtaking scenery of the harsh, scarred, human effected landscape.
The views got me thinking of utilising the power of the sea and somehow using it for my device, but with little access down my thoughts drifted towards harnessing the wind as the conditions I experienced were 3 days worth of weather in 1, as is traditional in Cornwall!
Site visit 2 - 27/09/19
With more time to scour the coastline I decided to start at the Northern extreme of our site at Pendeen Watch. With a bit of online research last night I found Boat Cove just to the north, re-enlivening the idea of a tide or wave driven device. There were inlets and gullies carved from the veins in the rock by the sea that I could use to drive the machine, but I got drawn to a tidal pool near the boat ramp which had steps down to it. The beauty and tranquility of it really stood out in the wind and rain battered conditions. With my go pro I managed to get some shots from the other world under the water. The colours and light transition were unbelievable easily the most impressive piece of the coast I've discovered.
Geevor Tin mine visit - 29/09/19
To gain more knowledge of the mining process and the conditions the miners faced that shaped the coast I visited Geevor Tin Mine.
Whilst on the underground mine tour in the Wheal Mexico mine which took you through some of the victorian workings, the guide explained that the lodes of copper and tin would normally be found sandwiched between layers of Quartz. They were formed almost 300 million years ago when gases from the molten rock below escaped and solidified through features in the rock above. These created the lodes so precious to the county.
In the Hard Rock Museum I found the below picture of some of the miners kids at a pool built by the miners, this got me thinking whether the pool at Boat cove was created in the same way?
Research into Miner's pool's 29/09/19
As soon as I returned from Geevor I researched further into Miner's pools. There was very little information but I did find the article below by Greg Martin.
In the article he states that the pool at Boat cove was created from one of the local miners call Jack Freestone and that as well as the pool at the bottom of Geevor there was another at the bottom of Kenidjack Valley which is named 'Pullandase'.
So it confirmed that the natural pool I thought I had found was in fact made for recreation and cleansing by the miners. This gave a deeper meaning to the site but also brought it in line with the rest of the human effected Tin Coast.
The way it has re-naturalised itself is impressive and shows the power the earth has to heal itself and for life to prosper.
Device sketches - mind maps - 30/09/19
To experience the site from another perspective we had to design a device using one of the senses, I wanted to show the the beauty and the colours of the pool an these are my initial mind maps.
Kresen Kernow visit - 02/10/19
I decided to further my research by visiting the recently completed Cornish archive at Kresen Kernow, in the hunt for more information on the miner's pool's and the mines themselves.
The building itself is extremely impressive, a very controlled blend of new and old. A cascading stair falls from the upper floor where you can search the records of all things Cornish.
There was very little information on miners' pools, which in my eyes makes them more mystical and meaningful with the knowledge of them and their stories passed down from generation to generation, within a community that holds them in such importance.
I did however find a map from 1934 showing the Avarack pool thats just below Geevor Tin mine, making it at least 85 years old. Other maps of the St.just area. show just how many mines were functioning in 1837.
Whilst looking through leases to the ownership of minerals under the sea I also found out about the Cornish foreshore case which lead to Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858 which was drawn up to define the ownership between high and low water which fell to the Duchy not the Crown.
Exploration of my site from different views and perspectives. I swam, dived and paddled in the sea and the pool to capture the colours and the transitions of light of the place.
Site visit 02/10/19 - 03/10/19
I revisited the pool to explore and experience it in different conditions. I wanted to take as much in from it as possible, to really get to know the place and what I would have been like for the community, in particularly the miners to immerse themselves in this place after being underground all day.
A sunset and sunrise time-lapse video I took over the evening of the 02/10/19 and the morning of the 03/10/19 to highlight and feel the changing conditions and colours of the site.
Device sketches & Precedents - 5/10/19
After researching the mining industry of the Tin Coast it became clear that 18th and 19th century was the boom period for the industry. With the invention of the steam engine, Cornwall and it's miners were at the forefront of technology and driving the industrial revolution.
This boom period and its engineering in the victorian age made me think of the contraptions from H.G Wells' Time machine and the Jules Verne book 20,000 leagues under the sea.
A modern version of these devices by Carl Kleiner and Attributverket made them into functional art, something aesthetically beautiful but with function
I planned to utilise these precedents while designing my device, which would be designed around making the unseen seen and celebrating the colours and beauty of the pool.
Device making - 8/10/19
A quick time-lapse of me producing the base for my device using Victorian larch roof purling's that I had previously stripped from a roof in St.ives, planed and refinished.
Device testing/deployment - 10/10/19
Today I got to test the device at Boat Cove with mixed results, partly due to the conditions and partly down to the device! The chromatography worked well on a couple of the samples producing some fantastic colours from the seaweed but once transferred to try and draw with the pigments/mixtures they were too watery. The machine didn't catch the wind as expected mainly down to the position of the wind mill that was supposed to drive the paper roll, even when the drawing were looking good storing the finished work was a problem with nowhere to dry them
So I took stock to come back another day learning from the lessons.
Device re-testing & deployment - 13/10/19
After adaption of the device I headed to the site again to try and get some better results, this time siting the contraption at the top of the hill at Boat Cove allowing me to transfer the pictures straight to the van to dry. I adapted the wind mill to changing it to the gramophone end whilst including a smaller inlet pipe to reduce wind buffering in the trumpet. The results were massively improved, with the machine producing some pictures that resembled the seaweed they were taken from, as you can see from the video's ...
Site Revisit - 19/10/19
In preparation for the interim review I ventured back to the site to get some further samples ready to dry and mount as part of my display. I also wanted to further pulled back photo's of the site to show the journey down and the view from further up the cliff.
Interim review - 21/10/19
My presentation set up for the interim review including a video I put together as part of my digital presentation to explain the site and pool.
Further seaweed research - 22/10/19
After the review I was wondering where the colours/pigments from the seaweed were going to take me and thinking that they weren't going to drive my proposition but simply be a part of it.
While researching further I found the below article about utilising seaweed and clay to make adobe bricks. This changed my perspective on what I could use the seaweed for!
Photo courtesy of Maya Lux magazine
I also found an in depth article in the National Geographic about seaweed carbon sequestration. This hugely undervalued natural element could produce world changing results. Capturing carbon 35 times faster than a rainforest, stabilising the oceans acidification, the ability to be used for biofuels, fertiliser, cattle feed, bioplastics and seaweed glass. The list is impressive but with Governments looking at it to capture carbon before it dies and falls to the seabed locking in the Co2 didn't seem like a long term solution.
What if we could harvest it with the carbon locked in and use it in a different way?
Conversation with Sam Mansfield 29/10/19
With the seaweed process seemingly moving forward I managed to schedule a conversation with an underwater photographer and cameraman Sam, known to have done a fair amount of research into miner's pool's. His name was passed to me by one of the ladies that swim in the pool, he shared me even more stories about the mysterious pools. One of note was about other pools in the county and a notable one near marazion. John Stackhouse a famous victorian botanist and seaweed researcher had built one for his wife to bathe in as he believed the seaweed had healing powers, this brought me straight back to the seaweed and it's restorative effects again.
Stackhouse wrote; Nereis Britannica ; Containing All the Species of Fuci, Natives of the British Coasts: with a Description in English and Latin, and Plates Coloured from Nature.
Photo courtesy of https://www.linnean.org/news/2019/01/15/15th-january-2019-meet-the-team-events-and-communications
Seaweed harvesting and site visit 31/10/19
Calm seas and a spring tide gave me an opportunity to harvest a good variety of seaweeds
Seaweed bricks and salt blocks 4/11/19
In the ideal world I would have left the seaweed to air dry before processing it but as time is short I had to cook it to dry it out. It broke down into a dust fine once cooked ready to cast into a brick shape. The end result needs work as at the minute it has a cake like consistency! I will research further into adapting the process to yield stronger results without having to involve additives. If the process is possible it would be an ideal way of locking the captured carbon in the brick.
The salt blocks were an off shoot of trying to make the brick. I've been wanting to make the whole process as circular as possible and these worked well whilst utilising the pigments to colour the blocks. They could be used as Epsom salts for baths or if added with cornflour to give strength the could be used like Himilayan salt blocks in spa's to create glowing internal walls.
Site model 6/11/19
Interim Review 7/11/19
what was said, what I learned how I adapted it to go forward.
ARC220 - ENVIRONMENT
The Ecological Living Module By Gray Organschi Architecture in collaboration with Yale University
Commissioned by the Un Enviroment and Habitat programmes to address housing issues from both a social and environmental standpoint. The prototype was on display in New York between the 9-18 July this year and was designed to provoke public discussion on sustainable design and utilising natural resources.
Engineered to operate independently, the module’s built-in systems include solar energy generation using less than 1 percent of toxic semiconductor materials, on-site water collection, micro agricultural infrastructure, natural daylighting, plant-based air purification, passive cross-ventilation, and a range of flexible, adaptable components for living and working.
The project has definitely sparked debate not only by the public but also in the Architectural world, showcasing the possibilities of the technologies it utilises. It acts as a showcase like a world fair or an Architectural exhibtion.
Will it be rolled out across the world? Probably not, but it will open the eyes of many to the problems we need to act on and the tools we have to combat them.
3/12/2018 - Photovoltaics
More research into different technologies that I can possibly introduce to this project. Generating its own power with its South facing aspect and flat roofs seems fairly obvious and it will be another way of getting the complex closer to being able to free run!
26/11/2018 - Marks House
A really informative lecture from Mark Innes today on sustainability and the principles behind his house. Some really detailed info in regards to the positives of solar gain and some quantifiable info relating to how its affected his heating and energy bills!
23/11/2018 - 10 Star Home
Victoria's first carbon positive home ......
The principles behind this build are perfectly aligned with Arc220 and truly inspiring!
Researching cork insulation and came across some interesting stuff on its embodied carbon......
ARC140 - STRUCTURE
21/04/18 - Washington Fruit & Produce co.
A project I came across online by Graham Baba Architects. I love the way the structure is on the exterior of the building with crossing glue lam beams, it give a feel of honesty to the building and leaves the interior to be an open plan space not punctuated with beams!
18/04/18 - Site visit- Launch pad and the bridge
A really interesting site visit today, from being walked through the very impressive BIM model of the project by Peter Howells to hearing about the process of gaining funding for the project from the ERDF.
Walking round round the site with the head contractor/project manager/site manager gave a different perspective as in the past I've worked on sites, so hearing the thoughts about timescales and material hold ups from him was interesting. Then hearing his view on Architects and how they effect his job when it comes to the intricacies of the build. Something I've seen first hand before and something that in the future I can see the design from the contractors point of view aswell!
17/04/18 - Bridge building
We had an afternoon of bridge building in the engineering workshop at Tremough something I've not done since I was at school! Before we started designing and building our bridges we got to hear a little bit about the green initiatives that they were and have been working on.
Principally wind turbines, something I've never thought about in terms of structure before but after seeing the immense amount of loading they are put under I now realise how impressive the engineering is that goes into them!
We were then split into 4 groups to attempt to build bridges spanning 810mm with the smallest amount of material. We focused our efforts on replicating a w roof truss....not my influence honest!
Not that it was a competition ......but ours was the strongest!!
16/04/18 - Structural Engineer
I had a tutorial this afternoon with Chris Owen the structural engineer. After thinking about the make up and structure of my building as a mix of steel and concrete for the past 6 weeks it was changed in a minute!
After looking at my plans he suggested it would be more efficient as a fully cast in situ reinforced concrete structure. With the ground floor comprising of concrete pillars instead of cast slab walls to hold up the first floor slab.
I originally had some sizeable overhangs and cantilevers on the roof plane which I thought could be managed by the steels and this was a strong aspect of the design. Chris suggested adding some support in the shape of pillars to help with support this.
I wasn't to keen on this as it would have broken up the design, so I started working on this to minimise their impact. Thinking about positioning and hiding them in certain places!
10/04/18 - Structures with Tom Ebdon
A really informative lecture from Tom today on structure especially the details about cost, structure and construction of the Halligan House project in St. Albans that Tom worked on when with Simon Conder Associates.
I followed this up with reading the A.J. which was all about Tom former lecturer Niall Mclaughin, some of the projects he's worked on and his take on structure.
09/04/18 -Arc 140
Arc140 is all about adding the structural element to my performance place. I was fairly confident on the make up of my buildings ground floor and first floor slab but the cantilevered roof plane off of the central box of the theatre was something I am looking forward to investigating with the help of the structural engineer.
ARC120 - PEOPLE
7/12/17 - Seminar
Research on some buildings and spaces as precedence. I was looking at these in preparation for a seminar. It was a good exercise in reading spaces, getting inside and getting a feel for them. Cite de l'ocean is and impressive building and one I've been lucky enough to visit.
29/11/2017 - St.Ives
I've spent a fair amount of time in St.Ives over the years and love the place....but I can honestly say I've never been to the Tate or even known where Porthmeor studios were!
What an inspirational and enlightening trip. Getting to meet M.j. and hear her talk through the renovation/rebuild of the studios, to old stories of the massive amounts of artists who have passed through the studio doors.....
To then seeing the work hanging in the Tate and the new extension....in the last photo is what really caught my eye though!
24/11/17 - Stairs
Putting together initial ideas for the entrance into the Ope and how the stairs are going to figure in this. They've got to meet building regs so I started there as a reference.
After doing this I think I need to step away from that way of thinking ...thinking as a carpenter and design something first then make it meet regs rather than the other way around!
22/11/17 - Line drawings
Just a couple of simple line drawings from a the site of the project. The challenge was to draw using less and less lines to improve observation and quick sketching ability.
21/11/2017 - Arc120
The project brief is to design an artists studio for visiting lecturers/students to Falmouth Uni with the catalyst for the design being a person, and the focus of the project being light.
The site is set on the old high street in Falmouth and is a very narrow alley between 2 buildings called an 'Ope'.
The first day of module was an introduction in the morning, followed up with observational drawing and the surveying of buildings in the afternoon.
We were split into groups of 6 with one person responsible for surveying a building each and then drawing the front elevation. Once completed the 6 drawings could be stitched together to form a elevation of the street with the Ope in the middle.
At points during Arc110 I struggled for information as on the site visit which was basically the first day of University I failed to record enough details resulting in re-visiting the site. This time I recorded as much as possible to ensure this didn't happen again!