Monday, July 13, 2009

inversing the grid

As customary, a working abstract is in order...
Here it is, as per today's revision.


In the context of global climate change and an escalating energy crisis, leading to further desertification of arid zones among them the Negev desert in Israel, this region, as many other drylands, is faced with prospects of a bleak future. A state of crisis brings about a need to re-examine and inform a re-organization of social and urban structures, as a pre-requisite for prosperous survival within this complex ecosystem. At the dawn of a renewed and urgent search for alternative global sources of energy, the Negev is presented with the opportunity to utilize and capitalize on its most abundant resource: solar radiation.

This thesis will explore how communal ideologies and urban texture co-evolve dependently of one another. It will suggest new paradigms for a post carbon world, mainly in the planning of community infrastructural patterns. In the particular case of desert communities, it will propose the inversion of the electrical grid to a multi-directional system. Energy production is envisioned as a viable source of livelihood for such remote communities, enabling them to shift from a consumer to a producer role. Such shift will inevitably destabilize the existing urban grid and with it an outdated social structure in need of reconsideration.

This context represents an opportunity, embedded within the obvious crisis, to re-envision desert communities. Inspired by a critical look at a rich array of earlier visions for this area, from the biblical profits to David Ben-Gurion’s ideas of a flourishing Negev, this work wishes to establish a contemporary vision of a sustainable, diverse and productive desert society.