Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture

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Shifting Sands: Experimental Robotic Earth-Moving Strategies in Dynamic Coastal Environments

The increased prevalence of storm surge events that cause extreme erosion in coastal environments points to the delicate balance that exists in the perpetual formation processes of dunes. While coastal defence structures and traditional beach nourishment strategies can alleviate some of the damaging force of ongoing wave action, they don't provide a lasting solution and often produce undesirable side-effects. Design authority in this contested area of landscape transformation is often limited to engineers and shaped by reductionist economic or risk management factors. Through investigations in digital landscape fabrication techniques, this paper reconsiders the role of design in these evolving systems while demonstrating the potential for on-site, adaptive, and dynamic construction processes. By creating resilience through adaptive topographies of natural granular material, this paper proposes to establish a new equilibrium between natural processes and robotic earth-moving strategies. By combining a wave tank with natural beach sand, computational modelling and robotic beach sand manipulations, emergent topologies and open-ended design proposals are enabled under the continuous influence of water movements. The experiments were conducted in a two-week international masterclass at the School of Architecture, University of Technology, Sydney, where adaptive feedback systems for coastal remediation were studied in relation to the Northern Beaches of Sydney. As such, this paper presents a novel coastal design approach towards autonomous construction in dynamic environments, combining various technologies to generate new paths of research and design investigation.

Autor / Author: Hurkxkens, Ilmar; Pigram, Dave; Melsom, James
Institution / Institution: ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Landskip; University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Universtiy of Technology Sydney, Australia and Landskip
Seitenzahl / Pages: 9
Sprache / Language: Englisch
Veröffentlichung / Publication: JoDLA − Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture, 6-2021
Tagung / Conference: Digital Landscape Architecture 2021 – Resilient Landscape Architecture and Global Change
Veranstaltungsort, -datum / Venue, Date: Anhalt University, Dessau, Köthen and Bernburg, Germany 26-05-21 - 28-05-21
Schlüsselwörter (de):
Keywords (en): Coastal erosion, robotic processes, granular resilience, digital landscape fabrication, soft engineering
Paper review type: Full Paper Review
DOI: doi:10.14627/537705003
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