STUDY 2:

TOWERHOUSE

This building is a home for a single resident. It is composed of a series of panels that offer power, water, animal inhabitation, farming etc. The occupant must ascend or descend the tower in order to utilize these different programmatic elements, in turn, would have a magnification of the world the world they live in. For example, drought conditions would be highlighted when moving up the tower. To bathe at the top would be permitted during the winter but not in the summer.  Wind powered facade panels highlight various patterns during the day, and the user would have to adjust their behavior if he or she needs to do activities that require electricity. Similar for solar orientation. Over time, the user would develop an intuition about the planet and natural forces, adapting their daily routine to fit those forces. Stacking the programatic elements creates a vertical from that creates a sense of precariousness. A rotating glass facade with varying levels of opacity alters light quality throughout the day.

“Man externalizes, separates out, and increase each of this specialized function capabilities by inventing tools as soon as he discovers the need through oft-repeated experiences with unfriendly environmental changes. Thus, man only temporarily employs his integral equipment as a specialist, and soon shifts the function to detached tools.” 

 

Buckminster Fuller

Through the use of technology, humans have separated themselves from the natural process, first through human-operated technologies, and later through automated technologies. The process of automation has continued to separate humans form natural processes, a trend Fuller recognized and predicted in 1969. This separation has been then glorified as “industrialization.” Tools and technology at present are being used to shield humans from natural forces. Buckminster Fuller himself admits that the limits of his predictions could only reach 25 years into the future, and in the division of humans from the natural world through specialization and tools he was correct.

Architecture like the towerhouse has the ability to use technology in a way that reveals natural pocessesses and integrates them into daily routine. Human behavior, such as media consumption, can be limited based on weather. Therefore, this type of architecture is not relying on a technology that tames the environment, but one that once again relies on it. 

Wilderness is an aspirational human concept intended to identify and preserve spaces within which non-human wildness can be encountered, but that the very act of human categorization and control implicit in the setting aside of wilderness areas reveals the difficulties in achieving an actual experience of wildness.