Drawing Water

Water, maybe the most known material -or we may just say fluid- in the whole system of materialized world, is quite underestimated and even deleterious in the modern construction system. We isolate the buildings as if using sun screen for our skin. Every rain is another damage to the building. Roofs have to be sloped and foundations have drains to take it off the circumference. It is not only the problem of dealing with water in building scale, however in the greater scale of city or even bigger geographical areas, built environments dismiss water (especially the systems of water-rivers) and cage it in canals or drains it. The very problem we encounter is that we sort of not understand how this very fluid behaves and therefore we are unable to foresee the consequences.

Water is a low-viscosity fluid (for sure relatively) that has the potential to spread around its container environment very easily. Whether it is a man-made box, a river bed, or an underground path, it interacts with the porous material in that environment physically and try to diffuse into every little space its molecules can spread into (under gravitational force). In this writing, besides the scientific facts we will be focusing on how to document the fluid behavior.

It is an animating system of how fluids react. It shows a process of reacting forces, creating boundary changes. Here one important aspect is capturing sequences of images from a water surface and recreating them to express the boundary changes under various force effects. Tracing images to reduce the clutter, expresses actual boundary lines in a still image. The sequential images helps us to grasp under what forces the boundaries are changed and also to document these forces as a separate layer. This helps to create a system that can generate new boundary conditions under the same force effects.


In this short blog post the computational system of forces-boundaries-fields are not being told. But as a reference this blog post of Lebbeus Woods (RIP) – http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/manuel-delanda-emergence/ about Manuel DeLanda’s book the emergence of synthetic reason can be looked at.

In a recent workshop Revaluate Ecoland (more information on http://revaluateecoland.wordpress.com/about/) participants as a first exercise traced the sequential water stills to understand how boundary changes are effected under what forces. The very idea of the workshop was that water systems tend to spread around and actually damage the solid forms-structures it interacts with, whether man-made or natural. So how we can redefine this relationship in order to create a mutual formation for the city design in ecological terms. This first exercise in the workshop actually helps to create a design grammar for how ecological areas-fields can sprawl to its surrounding environment. Sequential stills depending on the various places they are taken from also shows its interaction with the man-made structures. This helps us to estimate in what form(s) water can crate a long term interaction with these structures to create a mutual form all together. (in other terms damage the structure, like wall). Participants in later stages created a narrative for their future scenarios, and designing these settings are also helped by these water drawings. One participant also took this logic of effecting forces, changing fluid dynamics into an urban setting and created a simulation of how water can damage the existing structures.

This exercise is focusing on the very surface of water and its visible changes by human eye. However what is underestimated here is we cannot talk about a water surface, since this fluid is in a constant relationship with its gas form -water vapor- and therefore boundary conditions are more complicated than converging lines. It actually creates in between spaces of mix air and water, and there can be, maybe in a fractal logic, the same relationships in smaller and smaller scales. Another underestimated fact is again this exercise is focusing on so called surface, and the internal dynamics of water is not documented. As our aim was to understand how water is creating this mutual formation relationship with its outer environment, its internal dynamics play a very important role as well. Besides all these, this exercise still addresses the formational relationships and is valuable since it is not a representational documentation but rather an actual analysis of forms water (can) create.

Orkun Beydagi


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