Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Karl Fender attends superfantasticRIO

Last night, Karl Fender of Fender Katsalidis Architects, and also the current National President of the Australian Institute of Architects presented to the students participating in the superfantaicRIO upper pool design studio at RMIT.
Karl was gracious to set aside some time in his schedule to not only chat about some of his past and present work with waterfronts which the students found insightful and inspiring, but also to critique the work of the students in their projects so far. Each student group (Landscape and Architecture) were only given a very brief amount of time to communicate their proposals and approach into how they are researching the possibilities for the Rio de Janeiro port waterfront.

In the later half of last year Karl, Craig Douglas (OUTR), Greg Afflick (OUTR) and a number of other Victorians from the AUS cluster travelled to South America on a collaborative mission……..
To read more on this please see earlier posts from November 2009.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beijing's 100km, Nine Day Traffic Jam

Nine day traffic jam. That’s right, a traffic jam on a road leading into Beijing now stretches more than 60 miles and is entering its ninth day. Traffic on the Beijing-Tibet expressway slowed on August 14 after a surge in traffic from heavy trucks carrying cargo into the Chinese capital. Five days later road maintenance began, compounding the congestion problem further. According to a state-run newspaper, the monumental slowdown led to the creation of an opportunistic local economy; merchants began selling food and water to stranded motorists at wildly inflated prices.

Surely at this point the traffic jam is close to letting up, right? Not so fast. According to state media the congestion is expected to continue until workers finish up the construction projects on September 13.

The tale of the traffic jam is amusing, but it highlights a serious problem in what is now the world’s second-largest economy. After years of booming economic growth China has outgrown its current system of roadways and rail lines, and the country’s infrastructure is in desperate need of some not-so-minor upgrades. The lack of sufficient infrastructure is quickly becoming a bottleneck in an otherwise promising economic machine. If the Chinese government fails to supply citizens with a sufficient standard of living, it risks choking off the move from rural areas to China’s cities. Even worse, lack of satisfactory infrastructure could prompt social unrest, one of the few threats to the power of the ruling Communist party.

Part of China’s infrastructure woes relate to a surge in automobile ownership in the emerging market. China supplanted the U.S. as the world’s largest automobile market in 2009 aftervehicle sales jumped nearly 50% over the previous year. Despite that tremendous growth, the pace is expected to accelerate further in the future. Currently there are about ten motor vehicles per 1,000 people in China; in the U.S. that figure stands north of 750.

Ongoing urbanization is another ongoing trend that will further highlight China’s need for massive infrastructure spending. At present, only about 40% of China’s population lives in cities, compared to more than 80% in the U.S. But China is quickly catching up; the rate of urbanization is more than double the comparable metric for the U.S.

China is taking steps to address its infrastructure problems. About 45% of the recent $580 billion stimulus plan was earmarked for railways, highways, and power grids, with another big slug (nearly 10%) allocated to rural development and infrastructure projects. Whether that will be sufficient to begin unclogging roads and streamlining transportation around the country remains to be seen. But judging from the recent backup heading into Beijing, there is a long way to go before China’s infrastructure problems are solved.

As China continues a push to increase its importance on the global stage, the country has generally been proactive in eliminating potential roadblocks. Agricultural independence has long been a point of pride, and in recent years Chinese firms have become increasingly active in the acquisition of international oil and gas firms. So it seems likely that Beijing will address infrastructure issues as well in order to entice rural Chinese to the cities and continue the impressive rise of the middle class.

Written By Michael Johnston From ETF Database and 
ETF Dailynews

Monday, September 20, 2010

OUTR animations and videos are now mobile

After a few weeks of editing and compressing, we are now able to provide all of our animations and videos in a format that is friendly to those of you using iphones or ipads.

We are still testing the OUTR website and the OUTR blog for more consistency across the different browsers, and hope to soon have everything running in a flexible range of formats and devices.  

Landscape Workshop | Symposium 2010

Recently Team Members Craig Douglas and Greg Afflick co-tutored a workshop/symposium led by Tim Schork from mesne design studio.

This year the Landscape Architecture Symposium was undertaken as intensive workshops. The focus of the workshop was to develop and engage the students to develop a critical understanding of contemporary design strategies and techniques to test a variety of these through the process of making and representation leading to many possible design outcomes.

Other objectives included:
Develop an understanding of basic principles of formation
Develop a conceptual understanding and an operational knowledge of dynamic systems
Testing explorations through the production of various digital and physical prototypes

Workshop Leader: Tim Schork, MESNE Design Studio with: Dr. Charles Anderson, Craig Douglas, Bridget Keane, Greg Afflick

Saturday, September 18, 2010

OUTR's Rosalea Monacella Presents at World Expo

Rosalea Monacella presented OUTR's small and grand Jioashan Islands project at the AUS (Australian Urban Systems) "Beyond better cities" forum at the Australian Pavilion. Among the distinguished guest was China's Victorian goverment commisioner, Patrick Stringer and Executive Director and Commissioner General for Australia, Lyndall Sachs.

Friday, September 17, 2010

OUTR's Tom Harper visits Hainan Provence, China

This week I has been travelling around Hainan Provence in the South China Sea with the Australian Urban System cluster (AUS). Observations made in this area of rapid urban transformation is a place trying to construct itself into China's new tourist hot spot, a decision made by the central Chinese government. This is because of its tropical climate and to be honest, amazing scenery.  But as it goes it's literally out with the old and in with the new. Hainan transformation has been speeding up in the last three years with all high rise buildings and resorts emerging at a rapid rate. After flying into Haikou, the Provence governmental capital, I traveled down the east and south coast visiting along the way the government officials in Qiongahi, Wanning, Lingshui and last Sanya. 

OUTR's AUS Pavilion at the Shanghai Design Biennial

Thomas Harper with some of the AUS (Australian Urban Systems) delegation outside the pavilion.

Friday, September 10, 2010

AUS Pavilion Under Construction

Construction on the AUS Pavillion as a part of the up coming Shanghai Design Biennial started this week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Peculiar Places Exhibition

Tonight OUTR will be exhibiting at Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape Architecture office as a part of the Peculiar Places exhibition.