Drawing as a Process of Development
Alfonso Melero Beviá and Luis Ortiz Martínez
1.311 billion inhabitants are currently living in India. In just one century the population of our planet has grown from 1.5 to 7.4 billion and the consequences of this enormous growth are already noticeable. The United Nations has been deeply involved in dealing with the issue of overpopulation since 1969, when UNFPA was created.
This issue has been addressed and discussed over the last centuries from an almost exclusively socio-political point of view, resulting in a number of theories which in many cases adversely affect the population’s personal freedom. It has been treated exclusively as a matter of numbers to reduce. In this project we have analysed the historical impact of 4 of these demographic theories: Malthusianism theory, Neo-Malthusianism theory, Antinatalism and Social Darwinism.
‘1311’ portrays a future city, which does not fight the overpopulated reality that it faces. It accepts it and tries to adapt to it through remodelling a resource management network. This is not an ultimate answer to the problem, it is about defining a system, a workflow and a way of thinking and using a series of strategies which allow us to address an oncoming future. Therefore, this is not a solution, but a proposal.
The current city model is built as a completely artificial environment which implies a real threat to biodiversity, and where it is developing, by its own morphology, a limited access to the urban resources. The hierarchy of space according to automation level contributes to the ineffectiveness of urban production processes. All of this increases urban inequalities.
Conclusively the current city model cannot and should not grow indefinitely, although this is precisely what currently is being demanded with huge polycentric cities managed as a single environment.
In contrast, the adjoining micro-cities model we present consists of a number of autonomous and mutually independent small clusters, with the only connection being the physical distance that separates them. We have changed the idea of a sectorial subdivided the city to become small side-by-side and autonomous settlements. This adjoining micro-cities model is limitlessly repeatable.
The issue we are dealing with happens globally so it is designed for a possible implementation in different and multiple territories, but a place to develop the model as a trial process is required. We chose New Delhi to define the model since it is the capital city of the next most overcrowded country on Earth.
In the adjoining micro-city, the point of production is the city itself, the resources needed to be transported are therefore minimal. Every micro-city is self-sufficient and enables, as opposed to the current linear metabolism model, a cyclical metabolism in which consumption does not lead to waste, but provides the supply and production line conforming now a single mechanism.
Cyclical metabolism is understood not only from the operational point of view but also from its morphology and hierarchy. It keeps the advantages of the informal city within the contemporary processes: better access to the operating services of the city, fast resilience and an improved capability of adapting equipment and services to the newly integrated parts of the city as well as to the adjoining social context with the result being a full and true integration.
In one of these micro-cities we highlight three scenarios where the whole supply process happens, together with the unavoidable social reassignments:
Firstly, a set of physical processes are carried out on the river bank. Having the social and cultural influence that The Yamuna river has on the Indian culture in mind, the installation of this alternative system contributes to the empowerment of the area, providing a higher visibility to the processes and reuse the abandoned constructions.
Every micro-city needs a social hub which offers an identity. Most of the processes are executed in this hub and from here pre-treated water will be distributed to every dwelling, as well as the energy obtained through the anaerobic digestion of the surplus of organic material from water treatment, which will be distributed to the streets of the settlement.
The last process is carried out on the roof-top of each dwelling. The designed structures for piped water also create a three-dimensional public space which redistributes pedestrian traffic and offers more opportunities. Roads are intended for fast traffic and distribution of crops which allows a higher efficiency and enables faster travel between the micro-cities.
Who influences you graphically?
We are in a continuous search for graphic influences in architecture and non-architecture projects, which we find mostly thanks to the dissemination made by digital platforms. Graphical influences come to us also through mutual sharing of ideas and projects with friends and people close to us.
Atelier Bow-Wow’s Graphic Anatomy or Archigram drawings among others influences are part of our background and although they have not been a direct influence on these drawings, they have helped us in the past years to build a way of drawing.
The future New York City drawn by Harvey Wiley Corbett or drawings in “King’s Dream of New York” and “King’s Views of New York” at the beginning of XX century have been also a source of inspiration to develop a graphic way to explain our project.
What defined the method of representation of the Project?
Drawings are a project themselves, and as such, during its development they have been modified, repeated and adapted to the needs of the architecture project.
They have been progressively completed, adding information and modifying what had already been drawn in order to make them more comprehensible. Each drawing has been thought in different information scales so that many layers can be read as we go deeper into them. Therefore, the method of representation has been defined by the amount and kind of information we needed to show in each drawing.
How do the comic strips sit in relation to the axonometric?
Comic strips are used to describe complex processes in an easy and understandable way. These processes are those where the project is being implemented and so that, it is very important to explain them in order to make the proposal understandable.
What programs did you use?
We used Rhinoceros+Vray, AutoCAD, Photoshop and Illustrator.
What is your take on the axonometric as the most complete form of drawing?
Architecture and reality itself has three dimensions, therefore it is necessary rethink, project and draw it taking this into account
The project comes through a loop of research, elaboration of a proposal and its corresponding drawings. While drawing, project opportunities are constantly found so it is necessary to start again the research to improve the proposal by redrawing or modifying the old drawings. Therefore, three-dimensional drawing has been an essential tool, not only to describe the project, but also to develop it.
What is your take on colour? What is the effect of the presence and absence of this?
Colour is mostly a way to highlight relevant information and avoid that all that has been drawn to contextualise could distract the reader. It is also used to draw a hidden information layer, parallel to architecture, where processes to make architecture possible are described.