Jonathan Foley: The other inconvenient truth

Environment, Organic Farming

Jonathan Foley’s talk at TEDxTC gave us insight of the effect of current agriculture industry.  A skyrocketing demand for food means that agriculture has become the largest driver of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental destruction.  Jonathan Foley shows why we desperately need to begin “terraculture” — farming for the whole planet.
“We use so much land to grow our food and raise our animal to feed ourselves. It is shocking to learn that Agriculture is the BIGGEST contributor to climate change. What are we going to do about it. Will organic farming work? Will urban farming help stop the spread for agriculture land?”

“เราใช้พื้นที่มหาศาลในการปลูกพืช และเลี้ยงสัตว์ สำหรับการผลิตอาหารเลี้ยงปากท้องของมนุษย์ แต่สิ่งที่น่าตกใจที่สุดคือการที่ได้เรียนรู้ว่าการเกษตรกรรมนี้แหละ ที่เป็นตัวการสำคัญที่ทำให้เกิดปัญหาโลกร้อน เราจะสามารถทำอะไรได้บ้าง การทำเกษตรกรรมอินทรีย์จะช่วยได้มากน้อยแค่ไหน หรือการที่เราจะเริ่มทำฟาร์มในเมืองจะช่วยแก้ปัญหาการขยายตัวของพื้นที่เพาะปลูกได้หรือไม่”
See video at TED.com

ดูวิดีโอได้ที่ TED.com

Can we plant real food instead of Farmville?

Architecture, Organic Farming
How much food can we generate if we would stop playing Farmville and go out to our backyards, balconies and roofs and starting planting actual plants?
ถ้าเราเอาเวลา และพลังงาน ที่เราปลูกผักในเกมส์ Farmville แล้วใช้เวลานั้น ไปปลูกผักจริงๆ ในสนาม บนระเบียง หรือบนดาดฟ้าของบ้านเราทุกคน เราจะสามารถสร้างอาหารให้โลกนี้ได้อีกมากแค่ไหน

Photo: Thai City Farm

SATHUBLAE SCHOOL

Architecture

We believe that architecture is not merely just a trophy of one’s success in capitalism, but one of the tools to solve social issues.

Displace + Freedom

Escaping from social depression, Karen people are searching for freedom and are displaced from their homes. They are residing on a borrowed piece of land which they can never owned. They are living in a country that they are not considered parts of society – many of them without citizenship.

We believe that right kind of architecture can create the sense of belonging and the sense of ownership in the hearts of the displaced Karen community members. We want to create a school that this community can say ‘made by us’ and ‘made for us’. Thus, this school can become the center of the community.

 

Sliding Puzzle = Flexibility

In searching for the answer, we came across the ‘Sliding Puzzle’. We were interested in this toy because they are both modular and rearrangeable, yet it maintain the integrity of the grid system.

By using the ‘Sliding Puzzle’ as an architectural paradigm, we can create a school complex that has flexibility of usage simply by the rearrangement of the modules. This allows the school complex to be use for community functions such as cultural ceremonies or community meeting place when the school is off.

Sliding Tiles = Rearrangeable Modules

Each module is 2.5 meters by 5 meters for easy transportation by trucks on public road. This dimension is of the correct size for each of the six classrooms. While larger required programs will be made up by connecting multiple standard modules together to create larger spaces.

The school complex is made up of three different types of module – roofed module, terrace module and farm module. The school or the community can create different usage by placing these modules into different arrangement such as large assembly hall with frontal terrace, courtyard space for school events and etc.

The arrangement of the modules can also be adapted to new site since the complex can be re-shaped according each specific site conditions.

 Factory Made + Local Ingenuity

Each of the modules are made up of parts that are both factory made and locally crafted. By employing the industrial prefabrication technology in combination with the Karen’s traditional construction techniques, the community can be involved in the construction of their school. Thus, the sense of ownership is founded.

Steel + Bamboo

The school will be built with the combination of steel platforms and rail system, bamboo trusses and fabric roofs. Theses materials are designated for each particular components to allow the optimum usage of their property. The combinations also allow the school to be built with very low carbon footprint by using highly renewable material and less transportation of building components to site.

The steel platforms, rail system and fabric roofings are fabricated in a factory to ensure the highest possible quality control. While the bamboo components are carefully crafted onsite by the time-honored knowledge of the Karen people.

By doing this, the community can also benefit from jobs that are created for the community’s craftsmen.

We only expect the rearrangement to occur a couple of times a year, not on the regular basis. However, to ease on the rearrangement, the modules sit on the bi-axis rail system. This system with wheels not unlike the tip of ball point pen allows the modules to move with just human hands and power.

Herbman

Architecture

A giant human-shaped herb garden was created by Japanese landscape design studio EARTHSCAPE.

The garden is transported in shipping containers which are converted into cafe and shop.

As you may know, Site-Specific has been experimenting with two of human necessities.  One is shelter. Another is food.  We thinks that it is great the this project combined two into one.

Found via dezeen.

Organic Farm

Organic Farming

One part of my current life is farming.  We have been experiment with organic farming in Chaiyaphum province in the north eastern part of Thailand known as Isan.

Since we have a pretty large property, the property has been divided into several sections.  The upper part close to our home is mainly where we grow edible plants.  Just below our home is a mixture of edible plant and flowering trees.  The lowest part by the creek is for re-growing forrest.

The organic farm is currently producing figs (black mission, brown turkey, celeste, etc.),  cocos, Japanese green onions, strawberries (which was thought to be impossible to grow in this region).

Photos are by our collegue – Buttriya Ruamthamrak.