DAVID KHANGTHE DESIGN :
I envisioned a design that is a dynamic, interactive chain of "L-shaped"modules which fold up into "storage" units, and fold out into "stairway" system and "chair/bench" units. To meet this design need, my design took on a "flatter" shape (see modular design diagrams). The following objectives were met with the design, and in the process, raised some important questions about design.
1. TO BRIDGE SPACE VERTICALLY (i.e. different levels of pools ) => This objective is addressed by the "stairs" mode. The vertical changes of the pools vary somewhat with seasonal water flow. Since some of the steps will be under water during spring runoffs, this raises the issue of safety, as it will be increasingly difficult to negotiate the bridge system.
2. TO BRIDGE SPACE HORIZONTALLY (i.e. across streams and pools ) => The "L-shaped" units, hinged together, fold out and extend to span horizontal distances. The nature of the modules allow addition of as many units as required (in an infinite number of arrangement possibilities) to span horizontal as well as vertical distances.
3. TO BRIDGE PEOPLE (individuals within user groups) => The social "bridging" occurs through interaction with the movable units as well as each other. The units are light enough to be manipulated as desired. Cooperative task-oriented activities tend to facilitate interaction and significant trust building. By helping each other find the next modular change required to go further, the users will interact with one another. The "chair" and the "storage" modes also meet this objective in a less physically dynamic way, as there are many locations to sit and enjoy the scenery. This also raises the question of multiple viewing points. The notion of ONE "scenic view" as designated by the designer is brought into question, as the user is now allowed to wander to a variety of viewpoints.
Early on in the process, the idea of modular design took hold of our interest; a design that is interactive and multi-functional. A Japanese design that incorporated a "staircase/chair/storage modules" interested us. The design process lead us to the development of our "L-shaped" module. Once we reached this stage, we decided to try designing different variations of the module, and test it out on different specific pool areas within the larger pool "system."
The proposed material is plastic composite, hollowed out to minimize each unit's weight. Young's Modulus of Elasticity can be manipulated for optimum rigidity and flexibility to accomodate for repeated tensile and compressive forces when the units are used as stairs and seats. A simple hinge system will allow the movement of the modules in x,y,z directions. In certain places, the modules will be hinged or bolted into place for stability, and a number of rock faces will be reshaped to accomodate for the modules.
Does form follow function, or vice versa? My introduction to architecture has shaped my view of it as a loop: form and function can work to inform one another in an integrated way.