Andrew’s M1 Research Studio Blog

Final Update September 12th, 2010

The Affect of Failure from the Utilitarian Technological Object – Finding and Translating a Found Reality/Phenomena into Architecture



I was taught in undergraduate architecture school that a building should be tailored to the local particularities of the site. This entailed visiting the site and documenting through sketches, photography and data mapping site phenomena given to the body through the senses. The following project expands the local site’s phenomenological field by expanding what the body can sense and document. It does this through the adoption of technological extensions to the body’s senses, i.e. sound and light recording equipment. With an expanded phenomenological field nuanced and fleeting modulations of light or sound by the site’s envelopes can be amplified and analyzed to reveal hidden complexity, hidden patterns or problems as positive feedback or generative material for a higher-order architectural response or adaptation.

‘The modern is less a creator than a discoverer of the yet unseen, the inventor of the previously unimagined that emerges into reality through him (through research, exploration, play).‘ Hans-Georg Gadamer

Personal Research

– Oxymoron Origins: Pleasure of the Technological Labyrinth


The Difference Engine, 1855, Pehr Georg Scheutz, based on Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine. One of the first calculators, it unintentionally embodies the explicit symmetrical hybridization of use and spectacle.[i]

Machines add as much to thought as they subtract from thinking.’ Felix Guattari, ‘Machinic Heterogenesis’

Valuing space/form as much as programme/function in my design work I have sought a concept that could define architecture through the explicit integration, rather than explicit separation of the function-form (known-unknown) binary. Bruno Latour’s social-constructivist theory of invention seemed like a fitting concept to appropriate. He points out that underlying the binary is a network that connects the two poles. Human constructed inventions which he calls ‘Quasi-objects’ are always symmetrical hybridizations of the connective network, though they may not appear so on the surface. As such, my design work treats the network in explicit terms by manifesting it as explicitly as possible as a heterogeneous combination of its complex and contradictory discrete parts. Like gadgets that get invented in the garage from what is cheap and available, this architecture of parts is the raw, improvised application of known technology by practical reasoning of intuition’s expression of the network complex. Therefore, while this locates the architecture within the absurd, still within the intutive, the first step in the becoming of the unknown into the known where complexity is still present, it does so ironically clothed in our linear and familiar understanding of technology as a rational, mechanical, assemblage of functioning parts. Meaning: Technology Explicit, Technology Utilitarian. Which brings up paradoxes related to whether this hybrid architecture is not specious. For, if as Hannah Arendt says, ‘utility established as meaning generates meaninglessness’ then how can it be affective if affect is a response to meaningfulness? or similarly, if technology is characterized by its invisibility then how could it be visible? How could it be a symmetrical hybrid in co-ordination with the body through use and mind through contemplation?

In the past through expressive excess of the explicitly technological – The Machine Taken to Excess.

Histographic Line of Excess in Techno-explicit Architecture:


Technology as Promise -> 1. The Crystal Palace – Joesph Paxton – 1859 2. Cite Industrielle – Tony Garnier – 1905 3. Citta Nuova – Antonio Sant’Elia – 1914 4. Machine Form – Iakov Chernikhov – 1925 5. Industrial Landscape – Iakov Chernikhov – 1930 6. Ville Contemporaine – Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, aka, Le Corbusier -1934 7. Citta’ Sotto una Cupola Geodetica – Di Fred Freeman – 1959 8. Plug-In City – Peter Cook – 1962-67 Technology as Threat -> 9. Pompidou Centre – Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano – 1975-78 10. Machine as Monster {(mid 60s-70s) birth of post-modernism (Stewart Brand)} Technology as Promise -> 11. California Unité -Wes Jones – 1984 {late modernism (80s-the present)} 12. Velasquez Machine Over Oncological Couch – Neil Spiller – 2002 {now (landscape urbanism), 2030 + [indeterminate point in the future] (merger of the techno-explicit and naturo-explicit)}

Neo-machinist architect Wes Jones (California Unité) in addressing this problem through expressive excess said, “we tease technology into unhiddenness through an interest in expressive excess, through an interest in expression beyond efficiency.” It is like as Bernard Tschumi mentions, ‘one of architecture’s necessities is its non-necessity,’ non-efficiency. So while Adolf Loos decreed ornament to be a crime – because it implicated architects in reinforcing the stagnation of bourgeois dominance/hierarchical social relations and marked the welcome sign on the road to modern architecture’s removal of ornament, of excess, through dedication to the modernizing/liberating consequences of technological efficiency/rationality, which ironically results in stagnation/subjugation as marked by the demolition of St. Louis’s Pruitt-Igoe social housing complex in 1972, as cited by David Harvey and others – there was a return to ornament, the incorporation of complexity and contradiction, through Robert Venturi’s documentation of the duck and decorated shed in the book Learning from Las Vegas. In the 1980′s, as Michael K. Hays says, ‘architects sought to overcome form as one problem and its effects as another to the abstract machine from which both are unfolded.’ Enter Tschumi. Enter Jones. Enter myself through explicit symmetrical hybridization of the binary, form (image) not taking precedence over function (content), but symmetrical. The problem is that while Wes Jones closes the problem of architecture (problem immediate to architectural ideology), he opens another, but with regard to nature (problem distant to architectural ideology).


Take Jones’s 1997 University of Cincinnati stair project as an example, he uses the aesthetic pleasure of Mies’s shadowy extruded steel flanges and gives it formal presence through its excessiveness. He constructs the technological labyrinth. Except it is made of an excessive amount steel – and this is what makes it problematic – its excessive materialism. Taken as a general or ideal model and apply it globally, which is what Jones would like to see happen, and there will be material scarcity, buildings with giant ecological footprints. But what alternative means of prescencing is there? Could the technological object be made visible, be affective, without the eye, but the ear, through the immaterial? Through sound? Could the labyrinth be constructed without there being a sight of the labyrinth? Without there being a spectacle? An event memorable for its appearance. Derived from Latin for “a show,” from ‘spectare,’ ”to view, to watch, to look at” – Is an event possible, is architectural ornamentation possible, is affect possible, that does not prejudice looking, and therefore avoids the need for architecture to repeat Baroque’s luxury of excessive material consumption? As the difference between now and the Baroque period being our awareness of limits, our greater consciousness of environmental knowledge, which as Tschumi says is the basis for the architects intervention into those repressive or problematic or failed aspects of our experience.

Daniel Libeskind is quoted as saying that architects are the most materialistic of all people, wouldn’t it be interesting if this project should prove him wrong, architectural affect, the establishment of meaning, the construction of the labyrinth, is possible without recourse of problematic material excess. Kill three birds with one stone – save senses other than the eye, save the planet and save architectural ideology. I realized the problem of labyrinth 5-6 years ago after reading Bernard Tschumi and George Bataille and thinking about its material consequences, I didn’t bother looking for a solution because I thought it was pointless and Manfredo Tafuri was right, architecture is dead outside academia, outside the mind, maybe it is? Perhaps academia needs to be more transgressive, more pragmatic, connect to reality, while not connecting – it needs the research and analytic skills of the scientist.

‘Man’s domain is that of the unconscious, but an unconscious to which is no longer given up quite without consciousness, without knowledge: an unconscious recognized by science.’

‘Some thinkers have insisted that art is as effective as science as a way of apprehending the world, and one arrives at the same result. This seems to me absurd.’

‘Science takes nature as the starting point of its analysis and research, not as the unalterable product of divine creation: it no longer catalgues nature but takes it apart and puts it back together again. The artist follows the same procedure: the motif is no longer something given to imitate but a point of departure for successive transformations, for a process of analysis aimed at de- and recomposition.’

‘The first link between science and art: not one of direct influence, or of miraculous coincidence, but rather a slow penetration of the intelligence and sensibility of the artist by whatever the collective mind has made of the scientific spirit. But there is a much stronger connection, that which is maintained by technology.

My use of scientific method and formulae is my preliminary use of technology for analysis which is to lead from deconstruction to reconstruction. The useful restructuring/translation of phenomena.

Science enables us to restructure the world, art to interpret our experience of that world.’

‘Despite all the differences between artists and scientists, they both rely upon intellectual structures.’

Quotes from Jacques Ellul’s essay, ‘Remarks on Technology and Art.’

The Technolgically Explicit Exposé of Structure:






Peer Review

Publish & Lecture Circuit


Revise – repeat steps until total knowledge is achieved (which book will be right Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus or Godel’s Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica – Perhaps both are).

Problem – Phase 1: Find a site with a problem for investigation

SITE: Basement of a turn of the century Sullivanian influenced Chicago steel frame skyscraper


The Lindsay Building, Winnipeg, MB

The Lindsay Building is one of a few terracotta office towers built during Winnipeg’s pre-World War I development boom. It sits at the intersection of Notre Dame Avenue, Garry Street, Ellice Avenue and Smith Street (now a parking lot). Designed by John Woodman and Raymond Carey, it features a 10 storey steel frame, of reinforced concrete slab construction, and a cream-coloured terracotta finish. It was built over a 14-month period in 1911-12 by the Kelly-Simpson Company at a cost of $193,000. Originally planned as a seven storey office tower, the owner, Frank Lindsay, a former stage coach operator turned property developer, in the midst of construction decided to add three storeys because economic prospects in the area were quite good. Insurance companies, medical, legal and other professional firms, and CJOB radio station were major long-standing tenants of the building. In 2003 it was converted into an apartment building, which is now its current use.[ii]




The search for a fecund phenomenological site condition for this project took the supposedly creepy apartment building’s basement as the most logical place to start. An initial inspection proved this to be correct, cryptic sounds propagated in the basement provided good conditions for analysis, however, their source, mechanical equipment, became the main focus of field recordings and is the subject of subsequent analysis. The reason being, the first set of sound recordings revealed affective qualities emanating from a centrifugal fan in the mechanical room and the elevator. Automatically this triggered the idea that these field recordings could provide evidence for a way in which the explicitly mechanical could exhibit affective properties. Therefore, with a point of this project being to use technological extensions of the body in order to capture and reveal what is present but hidden, this project successfully triggers revelation, but in a way which is fortuitously relevant to my personal inquiry into architecture.


Elevator Lobby


Water Closet


Mechanical Room


Method and Observations – Phase 2: Field Recordings

In order to solidify the evidential basis to justify what is revealed, accurate documentation of phenomena is required. Unfortunately, contingencies have prevented me from doing so. The basement in-line centrifugal fan that acts as my primary source of evidence, as it turns out, did not function the way I thought it did. It appears that a change in the temperature has caused it to shut down and a small space heater to start up instead. And there is no way of turning the fan on manually. This was before I was able to obtain a high-quality recording, because my first set of recordings, as I discovered, were made through a hand held Olympus voice-recorder that only recorded with a digital sound quality output of 65 kilobytes per second. Despite this misfortune I continued to map out sounds propagated in the basement and the elevator, but using a Sony Digital 8 hand held video recorder that allowed me to capture audio in analog, and thus without the loss of quality. In conjunction with sound recorders I used a Sony condenser microphone and a contact microphone to pick up the sound and vibration. Despite quality, both proved very effective with the Olympus voice recorder, except only the condenser microphone captured sound while using the Sony Digital 8. During my later recordings with the Digital 8, and with the centrifugal fan shut down, sounds emanating from other mechanical and electrical devices became apparent. A pump on the back-up generator in the mechanical room was alive, a space heater hanging from the ceiling had a fan that could be mildly detected, and the hum the electrical panels in the electrical room could now be detected. So, while the first recordings provide sufficient evidence for a relationship between mechanical device, the fan, and it’s latent affect, the second suggests how it might be modulated by envelopes. But as it turns out, for purposes of providing a base of hard evidence relevant to the thesis of this project the fan recording session is the one which is subsequently analyzed, because despite aesthetic quality, the content is still available for analysis.


Basement Sound & Vibration Recording Point Sequence



In Front of Fan with COndenser MIC 2

Point 1 (0.0m from point source)
At the origin of primary noise source – condenser microphone in front of mechanical room centrifugal fan.

Condenser Mic in Front of Fan

Point 2 (0.0m)
At the origin of primary noise source – condenser microphone pressed into centrifugal fan mesh for max effect and affect.

Contact Mic Taped to Support STL

Point 4 (0.0m)
Contact microphone/transducer fastened to metal side panel at maximum point of oscillation.

Flex Coneckion with Condenser M

Flex Connection with Contact Mic

Point 5 (0.0m)
Contact/transducer and condenser microphones picking up sound modulations through material change at flexible connection.

Back up Generator with Condenser mic

Point 6 (2.5m)
Condenser microphone at pump on auxiliary generator.


Point 7 (6.0m)
Condenser Microphone in the center of the mechanical room.

Mech Room Door

8 (10.5m)
Contact mic on mech rm door to capture sound and vibration emanation through a threshold and material condition.

CM on Wall

9 (12.0m)
Contact mic/transducer taped to adjacent wall to detect vibratory radiation through basement.

Behind the Door with Condenser Mic

10 (12.0m)
Condenser microphone at additional barrier and material condition to detect sound dissipation and or degree of radiance.

Elevator Lobby with Condenser Mic

11 (16.0m)
Condenser microphone in the elevator lobby.


12 (20.5m)
Condenser microphone in the water closet to capture sound modulation over spatial fluctuation.



13 (1.0m – 55.0m)
Condenser microphone inside the elevator shaft during operation.

Elevator Door Condenser

Elevator Door CM

14 (1.0m – 55.0m)
Condenser and contact mic at elevator car door during operation.


15 (1.0m)
Contact mic/transducer picking up vibration of the elevator car floor during operation.

Contact mic/transducer picking up vibration of the elevator car wall during operation.



16 (1.0m)
Condenser microphone in the elevator car during operation.


Condenser Microphone in the Electrical Room.


Recording Equipment:

Sony Condenser MicF6

Sony ECM -170 Condenser Microphone – bought used for $20.00

Description: Wide frequency response is ideal for live recording where clarity and sharp definition are required for very high as well as low frequencies. Also includes two conductor shielded cable and accessory wind screen.

Technical Data:

Directional Characteristics: Omni
Frequency Response (Hz): 20 to 16k
Output Impedance (Ohms): 200
Output Level (dB); -56
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (dB): 126
Distortion at Maximum SPL (%): 1
Battery Type: 1015
Operating Voltage: 1.1 to 1.5
Current Consumption: 130
Battery Life (continuous hours): 10,000
Dimensions (Length/Width): 1″ / 6″
Weight (Ounces): 5.6


Dean Markley DM3000 Transducer Pickup for Acoustic Guitar and Instruments – bought new for $45.00

Description: Transducer pickup senses vibrations and conveys them electronically to an amplifier or a recorder. Through use of a lead differential weight the piezo reacts through compression rather than just bending, like all other Piezo pickups.

Technical Data :

Polar pattern: figure-eight (vibration pickup)
Frequency range: 10 to 18,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 1 mV/msec-2 (vibration pickup)
Max. SPL: 100 dB (for 1% THD)
Impedance: 200 ohms unbalanced
Recommended load impedance: >=1000 ohms
Current consumption: approx. 2.2 mA
Connector: 3-pin mini XLR
Cable: 1.5 m (5 ft.)
Dimensions: 27 x 14 x 9.5 mm / 1.1 x 0.5 x 0.3 in.
Net weight: 18 g / 0.7 oz.


Sony DCR-TRV330 – 5 -6 years old, signed out from CAD Lab, use granted by matriculation into program + Tech fee.

Description: Microphones plugging into adapter and used to record analog in order to avoid loss of sound quality to hi8 tape.

Technical Data:

Video format: Digital8
Audio: PCM digital stereo
Maximum CCD resolution: 460,000 pixels
LCD screen size: 2.5 inches
Aperture: F/1.6-2.7
CCD size: .17 inches
Filter diameter: 37mm
Optical zoom: 25x
Digital zoom: 28x
Digital camera capability: Yes
Black and white: Yes
Image stabilization: Yes
Infrared capability: Yes
Remote included: Yes
Dimensions (WxHxD): 3.375 inches x 4.125 inches x 8.125 inches
Connections: Mini A/V, IEEE1394
Battery type: NP-FM30 InfoLithium
Weight: 1.9 lbs


OLYMPUS Digital Voice Recorder (1GB)(WS-321M) – new, signed out from CAD Lab, use granted by matriculation into program + Tech fee.

Description: WMA/MP3 music playback functional with 1GB memory, the WS-321M provides flexibility for voice recording, data storage and high quality audio.

Technical Data:

Recording format; WMA (recording) / WMA / MP3 (playback).
VCVA recording.
Index up to 16 in one file.
Playback Speed Control; (9 modes).
Folders: 5.
Folder music max. 128.
Messages per folder Up to 200 (Voice) / Variable (Music).
Direct recording.
Temp mark.
Noise canceling function.
Voicefilter. Speaker 18mm.
Max. working output 70mW.
USB storage class Hi speed.
Power Supply 1 AAA Battery.
Alkaline battery life Recording: 21 hours (LR03, LP mode).
Ni-MH battery life Recording: 15 hours (NiMH, LP mode).
Dimensions (WxHxD) 94.8 x 38.6 x 11 mm.
Weight; 47 g (incl. battery).

Recording Mode:

STXQ 17 h 40 min
STHQ 35 h 25 min
STSP 70 h 55 min
HQ 70 h 55 min
SP 139 h 40 min
LP 277 h 35 min

Overall frequency response:

SXQ 50 – 19,000 Hz
SHQ 50 – 15,000 Hz
STEREO SP 50 – 9,000 Hz
HQ 50 – 13,000 Hz
SP 100 – 7,000 Hz
LP 100 – 3,000 Hz



meccanismo_di_antikytera_1 F10

Analysis – Phase 3:

Phenomena Analysis (Interaction between environment and behavior) –

The Mitigated Sound of Mechanical Failure from the Technological Object

Part 1, the centrifugal fan – deceleration in centripetal velocity/frequency and superpostioning of recordings shifts analysis from affect through to effect. The velocity of the rotations is sped up to intensify the affective quality of the sound so that it is clear that the fan’s merciless squeal alarms the body to its presence. Slowing it down then allows for the schematization of what is being heard. More information/detail about the particularities of the friction between materials becomes available and a better sense of its modulation and mitigation by walls/envelopes over space is made by being able to decipher slower and shallower rates of oscillation recorded at different spatio-material locations. The recording then fades into part 2, the elevator. The various sounds collected are amassed to reveal that a complex soundscape of textures will correspond to a complex system of mechanical parts as they rub against each other, ware with repetitive use, and move out alignment with the settling of the building.

Environmental Analysis (physical phenomenon) – Mechanisms

In-line Centrifugal Fan


Any misalignment will cause a sharp reduction in belt life and produce squeaky noises.

Excessive belt tension is the number 1 cause of fan bearing failure. Proper belt tension and pulley alignment are essential for trouble free operation. When the belt is grasped as shown, a total deflection of approximately 1″ should be easily attained. Insufficient deflection indicates that the belt is too tight, resulting in noise from excessive vibration, premature bearing failure, an short belt life. Tight belts may overload a motor that would otherwise be adequate. Excessive deflection is an indication that the belt is not tight enough. If not corrected, slippage could cause loss of blower speed and belt failure through wear. Align pulleys with a straight edge to conserve belt life and eliminate unnecessary squeaky noises. Ensure all set screws on both pulleys and the blower wheel are tight. A belt should be just tight enough to avoid slippage. Provide properly sized motor overload protection to protect motor against electrical faults and system changes. Confirm proper motor rotation on start-up. Inspect periodically for mounting rigidity. Verify belt for wear and tension and adjust as required. Inspect wheel for any dust accumulation and clean as indicated. Insert bearings with sealed in lubricant are used on all 9200 series models up to 9215. No further lubrication is required. Models 9218 and 9220 use cast iron, pillow block, sealed type bearings. Re-lubrication is unnecessary under most operating conditions. If lubrication is required lubricant should be compatible to Esso Beacon #325. Ensure unit is level. * Flexible inlet and outlet collars are recommended to minimize vibration transmission. (9218 Maintenance and Installation Guide. Delhi Industries Inc. August 2008.


Excessive belt tension is the number 1 cause of blower bearing failure. Proper belt tension and pulley misalignment are essential for troubled operation. When the belt is grasped as shown, a total deflection of approximately 1″ should not be easily attained. Sufficient deflection indicates that the belt is not loose enough, resulting in no noise from little vibration, or mature bearing failure, a long belt life. Tight belts must overload a motor. Excessive deflection will be an indication that the belt is loose enough. If corrected, no slippage will cause loss of blower speed and belt failure through wear. A belt should be loose to gain slippage. Misalign pulleys with a crooked edge to waste belt life and cause unnecessary squeaky noises. Ensure all set screws on both pulleys and the blower wheel are loose and about to fall out. Improperly size the motor overload protection to leave the motor vulnerable to electrical faults and system changes. Forget about confirming proper motor rotation on start-up. Don’t bother to insert bearings with sealed in lubricant, they should be avoided on all 9200 series models after 9215. No lubrication is required. Models 9218 and 9220 use cast iron, pillow block, sealed type bearings. Re-lubrication is unnecessary under most operating conditions, and rightly so! If lubrication is required, just ignore it.



fan dimsF15
performance dataF17


Technical Data:

Description: All purpose heavy duty fan with weather resistant insulated cabinet for indoor and outdoor installation.

Fan: Quiet FC blowers operate at low RPM.

Finish: Attractive green corrosion resistant high solids enamel paint finish on zinc coated outer panels.

Body: 1/2” fiberglass insulation to reduce cabinet condensation and energy costs. Access panels for convenient motor and drive installation and servicing from either side.

Motor: Motor mounting hardware as required: -1-15 HP motor platform for 9218.

Bearings: Heavy duty ball bearings suitable for –650 F to +2500 F

Type: Pillow block bearings for models 9218 and 9220

Shaft: All models have 1″ keywayed shafts both ends for CW or CCW drive

Frame: Reinforcing angle frame standard on all models

Wheel: 18.5″.

Tip Speed: 4.76 RPM = FPM.

Support: Fan blower is mounted on 2 steel reinforcing channels which also contain the mounting holes for suspension installations.

Sound Power Level: 47 decibels.

How it Functions:

A centrifugal fan contains a wheel with blades, which turns in a scroll housing of sheet or cast metal. Centrifugal force throws air outward from the blade tips creating a pressure at the fan outlet, and a drop in pressure occurs at the center of when which draws air through the inlet in the side of the casing. The blades may be forward-curved, backward-curved, or radial. The blade shape affects the air velocity and noise generated at a given speed for equal diameter roots. Forward-curved blades impart the largest velocity, but backward-cured blades can operate at a higher speed without generating unduly high noise levels. Fans may have a single or double width rotor. In the latter case, a center ring at the middle of the blades stiffens them. In unitary equipment such as cabinet unit heaters, more than one wheel casing may be on a single shaft. Various dries, mountings, rotations, and other options are available to meet numerous applications. Capacities range from about 150 to 700,000 cfm at outlet velocities of 700 to 4000 fpm. Static pressures generated for overcoming duct and other equipment friction range up to 6 or 7 in. W.G. with lower pressures being more common. Motor sizes range from 1/000 to nearly 1000 horsepower. (Kenzy and Sharp. Environmental technologies in architecture. P332)

Normal Centrifugal Fan Noise:

Fans naturally operate with a below conversation sound level of 50 decibels. A fan will be noisier if it works at a high speed – a 5dB increase in sound level is caused by a 20% increase in speed. Speed increases air handling. The noise phenomena which is created by air handling is called vortex shredding. It is the noise by air separation from the curved blade surface and front and back edge-tip, where eddies in fluctuating pattern with vortices are shed. Clearance at the bladetips governs how much noise is generated. If there is turbulent air entering the inlet portal this will further increase noise . But reducing fan capacity by ‘throttling’ at a damper also produces noise. If the manufacturers are restricted in terms of impeller diameter, tip speed, outlet velocity and efficiency, it might be impossible to offer a fan that will operate on the stable part of its characteristic where pressure increases with volume reduction. When a fan is designed for low noise operation system disturbances are most frequent cause of noise because it is sensitive to inlet and outlet disturbances. If card guides are placed against the face of the fan for card cooling, the fan may develop a large pure tone if it is done on the inlet side, on the discharge side the effect may be much less.

wheel designsF19

The scroll/wheel/impeller of a centrifugal fan is designed like an involute, its radius of curvature increasing with the angle turned through from the cut-off. Consequently, static pressure in the body builds from the inlet to discharge but there is a sharp fall in static pressure as the inlet is passed again, resulting in noise being produced at each blade frequency/rotation. Non-aerodynamic noises are generated by out-of-balance impellers; bearings, particularly ball or roller; driving motors, giving noises largely of magnetic origin that are notably bad with single phase motors than the smallest size. Couplings and vee-belt drives seldom cause complaint if properly selected. (Jones, William Peter. Air Conditioning Applications and Design. P294.)

Vibration can be caused by the components and mechanism within the fan, such as residual unbalance, bearings, rotor to stator eccentricity and motor mounting. Motor mounting noise is difficult to define.

Abnormal Centrifugal Fan Noise (the squeaking noise) – Belt Misalignment:

Terms such as chirp, squeal, rumble and yelp have been used to describe noises caused by friction-induced vibration in belts. The following report by the Gates Rubber Company shows primary causes.

To the educated ear, belt noise can be as distinctive as the notes on a musical scale.


All sounds that are audible to the human ear have their origins in some vibrating surface. Intermittent chirping is the result of belt vibration caused by misaligned drive pulleys — a leading cause of belt noise. As a misaligned belt span enters the grooves of a pulley, initial contact is made with only one side of the V-groove. The greater the misalignment angle, the greater the radial sliding length experienced by the belt ribs as the belt seats in the pulley causing frictional vibrations, or chirping.

Radial Sliding Motion

Low belt tension, contamination and belt vibration are other common sources of belt noise.

A tapping or grinding noise caused by a pebble embedded in the belt is a common occurrence. Grinding sound also can result from damaged bearings, which must be replaced, aligned and lubricated to eliminate the noise and further damage.

Vibration and noise can develop over time as drive components such as pulleys and spring tensioners wear out of tolerance, as bearings and brackets loosen, or as belts wear and stretch.

At the Gates Belt Testing Laboratory in Denver, engineers have gained the following insights to noise resulting from misalignment:

  1. Chirp noise caused by drive misalignment occurs upon entry of the span into the pulley as belt ribs seat into the pulley grooves, not as the belt exits.
  2. Belts are less likely to generate misalignment noise when they are in new condition. As belts wear in, they develop a smooth, glossy surface which increases the likelihood for noise. This wear-in process is accelerated when misalignment conditions exist in the drive.
  3. The angle between belt span and pulley is the critical factor responsible for causing the “chirp” associated with misalignment noise. Misalignment angle can result from many different combinations of pulley positions — parallel and angular are two typical examples (see Figures 2 & 3).

Parallel misalignment

parallel misalignmentF20
angular misalignmentF21
  1. Misalignment noise occurs most frequently on the shortest spans in a drive, most often between a backside pulley and an adjacent accessory pulley. Proper pulley alignment is particularly critical in these locations.
  2. Flat or crowned pulleys have no grooves to guide the belt and can be a common source of drive misalignment.
  3. Smaller diameter pulleys exhibit less sensitivity to misalignment noise due to their smaller area of sliding contact between the belt and pulley.
  4. Misalignment noise is generally loudest at idle speed and diminishes with increasing rpm.
  5. The presence of high humidity (or a damp belt) often increases the likelihood for misalignment noise to occur.

(Troubleshooting Belt Noise. The Gates Corporation.


How it Functions:

A traction machine transmits a lifting force to the hoist ropes through friction between grooves in the machine drive sheave and the hoist ropes. The ropes are simply connected from the car to the counterweight and wrapped over the machine drive sheave in grooves. The weight of both car and the counterweight ensure the seating of the ropes in the grove.

Normal Elevator Noise:

A certain level of sound emitted from the elevator is normal during operation, those include: the car door sliding open, the counterweight or an elevator passing in the hoistway/shaft causing sound and vibration to be transmitted through the walls and structure, and a “puff” sound can be heard as an elevator passes a floor and air currents eddy at door landings and pockets.

Abnormal Elevator Noise:

The scraping sounds heard as the elevator climbs the hoistway/shaft is the sound of friction caused between car wheels and the rail guide. This would be caused by deflections in the steel rail guide by differential settlement over time of hoistway walls for which the rail guide is connected. (Strakosch, George R. Vertical Transportation: Elevators and Escalators Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Toronto, Canada. 1983).

elevator05 F22

“Calculating work in purely quantitative terms that can be treated mathematically is claimed to be the basis and the starting point for the mechanical.” Henry Petroski, The Evolution of Useful Things.

Environmental Analysis (physical phenomenon): Acoustics

The following acoustical analysis is undertaken with the aid of Audacity 1.3.9 Sound Editing software using audio-lossless FLAC format audio files.

(Free Lossless Audio Codec) FLAC is an audio compression technology. It is used to compress CD audio files to at least 50% of their original size (2:1 ratio). Unlike MP3, which provides much greater compression but eliminates content, FLAC restores the music to the original PCM 44kHz, 16-bit audio stream of CD audio. ‘The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia.’ The Computer Language Company Inc., 2006.\


Upon slowing down the recording to find one oscillation as the basis of analytic comparison of the propagation of the squeak noise over the Lindsay Building basement, a sound wave pattern recorded from the fan – a complex wave – with a fundamental harmonic made of similar accumulated minor harmonies (reflections of sound wave pattern off different materials at different rates) is heard repeated in the sound field.

Fourier Analysis of a complex wave shows it is made of accumulated smaller waves:

Ergo, the product of the fundamental harmonic is the accumulation of sound waves in the mechanical room with two peaks in amplitude indicating the two contact points where the belt hits the pulley as it enters, the successive waves is the vibration of the belt back and forth, with air flowing through the centrifuge detected in the wave valleys.


belt section

Point 1 (0.0m from point source) (65dB)

Harmonic Period of Fan

Point 7 (6.0m from source – Center of Mech Room) (60 dB)

Harmonic Period of Fan behind fire stair door

Point 10 (12.0m from source – Behind Fire Stair Door) (dB)

Harmonic Period of Fan lobby

Point 11 (16.0m from source – Center of Elevator Lobby) (dB)

harmonic period wc

Point 12 (20.5m from Source – Water Closet) (dB)

Untitled-1 copy_TEETH

Visible wave cycles over one belt rotation punctuate the number of pulley teeth.

Modulated Wave_1


Typical behavior of waves captured – a constant fundamental harmony perturbed by changing minor harmonies.

Looking more closely at the wave heard, each oscillation contributes to the production of a modulating sound wave. So while a fundamental harmony might be heard, closer analysis shows the major harmony to be comprised of fluctuating minor harmonies that shifts in topological character over each successive wave.

Through comparison of one oscillation at point distances further and further from the centrifugal fan it is apparent that sound pressure diffuses un-uniformly. Sound waves slow in time and elongate in space depending on distance, spatial configuration and material absorptivity of its medium. The recording from behind the fire stair door at 12.0m from the point source is quieter then from a distance of 20.5m in the water closet without the door closed. In a free field, a field without reflecting surfaces, sound and vibration from a point source decreases logarithmically (dB=20log[d1/d2]) at a uniform rate of 6 decibels for every doubling of the distance from the source (figure 25 below).

Given Distance (ft) 3 5 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
3 0 – 4.4 -10.5 -14.0 -16.5 -18.0 -20.0 -22.5 -24.4 -26.0 -27.4 -28.5 -29.5 -30.5
5 4.4 0 – 6.0 – 9.5 -12.0 -14.0 -15.6 -18.1 -20.0 -21.6 -22.9 -24.1 -25.1 -26.0
10 10.5 6.0 0 – 3.5 – 6.0 – 8.0 – 9.5 -12.0 -14.0 -15.6 -16.9 -18.1 -19.1 -20.0
15 14.0 9.5 3.5 0 – 2.5 – 4.4 – 6.0 – 8.5 -10.5 -12.0 -13.4 -14.5 -15.6 -16.5
20 16.5 12.0 6.0 2.5 0 – 1.9 – 3.5 – 6.0 – 8.0 – 9.5 -10.9 -12.0 -13.1 -14.0
25 18.0 14.0 8.0 4.4 1.9 0 – 1.6 – 4.1 – 6.0 – 7.6 – 8.9 -10.1 -11.1 -12.0
30 20.0 15.6 9.5 6.0 3.5 1.6 0 – 2.5 – 4.4 – 6.0 – 7.4 – 8.5 – 9.5 -10.5
40 22.5 18.1 12.0 8.5 6.0 4.1 2.5 0 – 1.9 – 3.5 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 8.0
50 24.4 20.0 14.0 10.5 8.0 6.0 4.4 1.9 0 – 1.6 – 2.9 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 6.0
60 26.0 21.6 15.6 12.0 9.5 7.6 6.0 3.5 1.6 0 – 1.3 – 2.5 – 3.5 – 4.4
70 27.4 22.9 16.9 13.4 10.9 8.9 7.4 4.9 2.9 1.3 0 – 1.2 – 2.2 – 3.1
80 28.5 24.1 18.1 14.5 12.0 10.1 8.5 6.0 4.1 2.5 1.2 0 – 1.0 – 1.9
90 29.5 25.1 19.1 15.6 13.1 11.1 9.5 7.0 5.1 3.5 2.2 1.0 0 – 0.9
100 30.5 26.0 20.0 16.5 14.0 12.0 10.5 8.0 6.0 4.4 3.1 1.9 0.9 0

In a reverberant field, shown in figure 26, the sound field within which these recordings were taken, shape, distance and material properties of objects in space cause sound waves to be reflected, absorbed and transmitted un-uniformly to the construction of a complex wave with a fundamental harmony constructed of small modulating harmonies of perturbation from chaotic interaction of emitted, reflected and re-emitted sound waves at different velocity as pointed out above, see figure 26 -30. The material objects within the space effect reflection-absorption due to their relative porosity and or modulus of elasticity, because an object whose material is less porous and has stronger and stiffer molecular bond, i.e. concrete, will reflect more sound and absorb less than a material whose bond is more elastic or flexible. The sound reduction indices of common building materials, figures F25 -28 below evidences this. Highlighted in the indices are the materials that are affected in the field recordings and used for calculating transformation within drawing notations.

Reverberant fieldF26

“The one who lays the contents plays the object. He is an artisan; he is a scientist as well, but it is only the master of the world, subtle, wily, but not cheating. The one who plays the position plays the relations between subjects; thus, he masters men. And the master of men is the master of masters of the world.” Michel Serres, The Parasite

All of this data is used to understand the truest approximation of the phenomena for mapping in the notational drawing. The point of this project is to reveal, reveal by closing the gap between ones self and the world, the unknown, this takes place because one thinks and analyzes in order to schematize or bring order and certainty to uncertain perceptions detected by the senses. Only through this can one actually become MASTER, not through conjectural fuzzy logic of intuitions, but only through a rational mechanical understanding can one begin to control, manipulate and work in the world. Intuition recognizes patterns, orients the body to meaningful things in the environment, it as Heidegger says, ‘gathers’ and ‘reveals,’ but as Merleau-Ponty says, rationality then calls us to understand their origins, the cause of those effects, and bring them to order. So what is schematized is a complex and highly specific, counter-intuitive, non-linear, unexpected, reverberant sound field created between interactions of sound and vibration emitted by a dominate mitigating frictional vibration/oscillation with other random-non-random ancillary sounds and the idiosyncratic spatio-material configuration within which it is propagated, the Lindsay Building basement.

Distribution of sound energy thru wall p40F28
Diffraction at Edges p53F29

Sound and vibration behavior in a sound field – reflection, absorption, re-emittance and diffraction.

* If two rooms are connected by a doorway as far as the receiving room is concerned the doorway is the source of the sound.

sound insulation p116F31

Sound reflectivity of building materials.

sound reduction indices of Building Materials 1 p120F32
Sound Reduction Indices of Building Materials 2F33
Sound Reduction Indices of Building Materials 3F34

Sound reduction indices of building materials (relevant materials highlighted).

Scan-091123-0004 copyF35
Scan-091123-000 8u 09uo4 copyF36
Scan-091123-0005 copyF37

Sound absorption coefficients for common building materials (relevant materials highlighted).

Threshold of hearing 0 dB   Motorcycle (30 feet) 88 dB
Rustling leaves 20 dB   Foodblender (3 feet) 90 dB
Quiet whisper (3 feet) 30 dB   Subway (inside) 94 dB
Quiet home 40 dB   Diesel truck (30 feet) 100 dB
Quiet street 50 dB   Power mower (3 feet) 107 dB
Normal conversation 60 dB   Pneumatic riveter (3 feet) 115 dB
Inside car 70 dB   Chainsaw (3 feet) 117 dB
Loud singing (3 feet) 75 dB   Amplified Rock and Roll (6 feet) 120 dB
Automobile (25 feet) 80 dB   Jet plane (100 feet) 130 dB

Typical average decibel levels (dB) of some common sounds (Figure 38 Above).

Calculations of sound transfer through the basement:

In order to accurately map the sound phenomena quantitative data is required. That data is the decibel level or sound power level as correlated to its sound amplitude height relative to heights at the other points and their sound field context. The first level required for calculation is the sound power output level leaving the casing of the centrifugal fan. The factory specifications note that the sound level of the fan is 47 decibels. This is when it is operating in perfect condition, so in the failed condition the best that can be done is to find something operating at a comparable level of sound intensity. Sound intensity being measure in decibels. From the list in the chart directly above an automobile is 80 dB at 25 feet, a food blender is 90 dB at 3 feet, a subway (inside) 94dB, a diesel truck (30 feet) 100 dB, Chainsaw (3 feet) is 117 dB. Through process of elimination: Listening to the recording of the fan at zero meters and comparing it to the sound of an automobile at 25 ft it is clear that the fan is louder, therefore it is louder than 80dB at 0.0m. Comparing it to a chainsaw at 3 feet it is not as loud, thus it is less than 117 dB. Listening to trucks passing at 3o feet at 100 decibels and gauging the intensity indicates it is not as loud, likewise for a motorcycle at 30 feet, therefore it must be between 80 and 88 dB at the source. Taking the median, it will be approximated that at 0.0m the sound power level is 84dB. In order to calculate the sound power level for subsequent points the distance from the source and the room reverberance have to be considered – the direct field must be subtracted and reverberant field added to the source output level of 84dB.

SPL at point inside room with sound source:

SPL = Combined Field (SWL at source + Reverberant Component) – Inverse Square law =

SWL at source + 20log (Q/4(pi)r2 + 4/R) – 20log (d)

SWL = Sound Power Level at the source, 20log = Inverse sq. law, Q = directivity factor of source {wall corner on ground = 8, center wall on ground = 4, center of room on ground = 2, exact center of all room surfaces = 1}, r = distance to observer (m), R = Sa/1-a {S = total surface area of room in meters cubed, a = average absorption coefficient of room)


SPL for the Point 7 – the Mechanical Room:

84 + 20log (8/4(3.14)(6) + 4/{334m.cubed(0.03)/1-0.03} – 20log(6m) = 84 + 20log (8/75.36 + 4/10.3) = 84 + 20log(0.104 + 0.038) – 18

= 84 + 20log (0.1498) – 18

= 84+ 0.1352 – 18

=66.1352 dB


Point 8 (Mechanical Room Door Open):

SWL at source + 20log (Q/4(pi)r2 + 4/R) – 20log (d)

84 + 20log (8/4(3.14)(12.5)2 + 4/334m.cubed(0.03/1-0.03) – 20Log (12.5m) = 84 + 20Log (0.004) + (0.038) – 22.5

= 84 + 0.005 – 22.5

= 61.495 (point source no. 2)


Point 8 (w/ Mechanical Room Door Closed):

SPL at point in room outside room with sound source:

SPL = Source Room SPL – Sound Reduction Coefficient + Inverse Square Law x Area of Separator + Inverse Square Law x Reverberation Time in Receiving Room / 0.16 x Volume of Receiving Room

SPL = Point 8 SPL – R + 20logS +20log T/0.16V

SPL = 61.495 – (23+18/2) + 20log(1×2) + 20log (0.161 (184.485m.cubed) / 88.914 x 0.03)/0.16 x 184.485m.cubed

= 61.495 – 20.5 + 2.6 + (22.5 /2,963.8)/ 29.1576

= 61.495 – 20.5 + 2.6 + 2.6

= 46.195 dB


Point 10 (Behind Fire Exit Door):

SPL = Source Room SPL – Sound Reduction Coefficient + Inverse Square Law x Area of Separator + Inverse Square Law x Reverberation Time in Receiving Room / 0.16 x Volume of Receiving Room

SPL = Point 8 SPL – R + 20logS +20log T/0.16V

SPL = 61.495 – 43 + 20log(2) + 20log(0.161(24m.cubed) /72m.sq x 0.02)/0.161 x 24m.cubed

SPL = 61.495 – 43 + 2.6 + 0.436

= 21.531 dB


Point 11 (Middle of Elevator Lobby):

SPL = Source Room SPL – Sound Reduction Coefficient + Inverse Square Law x Area of Separator + Inverse Square Law x Reverberation Time in Receiving Room / 0.16 x Volume of Receiving Room

SPL = Point 8 SPL – R + 20log T/0.16V – 20log(distance to point source 2)

= 61.495 – 10dB + 20log (0.161 (184.485m.cubed)/ 88.914 x 0.03)/0.16 (184.85m.cubed)

= 51.495 + 20log (29.701)/(2.667)/0.16 (184.85m.cubed)

= 51.495 + 20log 11.136/29.576

= 51.495 + 1.3 (0.3765)

= 51.495 + 3.5

= 54.95 – 20log(distance to point source 2)

=54.95 – 1.3/7m or 22ft

=54.95 dB – 16.5dB

= 38.45dB


Point 12 (Water Closet):

SPL = Source Room SPL – Sound Reduction Coefficient + Inverse Square Law x Area of Separator + Inverse Square Law x Reverberation Time in Receiving Room / 0.16 x Volume of Receiving Room – Inverse Square Law:

SPL = Point 8 SPL – R + 20log T/0.16V – 20log(distance to point source 2)

= 61.495 – 10dB + 20log {(0.161 (69.1m.cubed)/ 23.1m.sq x 0.02)}/0.16 (69.1m.cubed) – 20log(13m)

= 51.495 + 20log (11.125/0.462)/11.056 – 20log(13)

= 51.495 + 20log(2.17) – 22.5dB

= 51.495 + 1.69dB – 22.5dB

= 30.685 dB


Point 12 (Electrical Room):

SPL = Source Room SPL – Sound Reduction Coefficient + Inverse Square Law x Area of Separator + Inverse Square Law x Reverberation Time in Receiving Room / 0.16 x Volume of Receiving Room – Inverse Square Law:

SPL = Point 8 SPL – R + 20log T/0.16V – 20log(distance to point source 2)

SPL = 61.495 – 10dB (door opening) + 20log {(0.161(286.5m.cubed) / 375.6m.sq x 0.02)}/0.16 (286.5m.cubed) -20log(16.8m)

= 51.495 + 20log {46.1265 /7.512} /45.84 – 25

= 51.495 + 1.3(0.133) – 25

= 51.495 + 9.1 -25

= 36.294 dB

Receiving SPL + SWL + Reverberant Field – Direct Field

= 36.294 + 25dB (electrical panel hum) + 20log (Q/4(pi)r2 + 4/R) – 20log (d)

= 36.294 + 25 + 20Log (4/4(3.14)(6.7m) + 4/(375.6mx0.03/1-0.03) – 20log6.7m

= 36.294 +25 + 20Log (4/84.125) + 4/(11.265 /0.97) – 20log6.7

= 36.294 +25 + 20Log (0.0475) + 4/(11.61) – 20log6.7

= 36.294 + 25 + 27.6 + 0.3445 – 17 db

= 72.285 dB

with the door open 72.285 dB, with the door closed 72.285 – 18.5dB(sound reduction coefficient) = 53.785dB


Point 16 (Elevator Car):

SWL at source + 20log (Q/4(pi)r2 + 4/R) – 20log (d)

50 + 20log (8/1(3.14)(1) + 4/{8m.cubed(0.03)/1-0.03} – 20log(1m)

= 50 +20Log (8/3.14 + 4/0.2474) – 1.3

= 50 + 1.3 (2.5 + 16.16) – 1.3

= 50 + 13.3

= 63.3 dB


‘Architecture of the future has to come to grips with theatre, atmosphere, seductiveness, tactility , narrative, we just can’t sit back on cerebral diagrams, however clever, we can’t just sit back on mathematics.’ Peter Cook

Drawing the problem – Pattern Recognition


(work in progress)

“Our ultimate desideratum in evaluating an acoustical environment is its effect on people. How we hear and respond to sounds around us is a complex subject. It is relatively easy to define physical characteristics of sound such as frequency or sound pressure level. The human response to sound involves physiological and psychological reactions, which are complicated by the person’s environment by various experiences, personal prejudices, and so forth.” Kinzey & Sharp – Environmental Technologies in Architecture

‘For architects, the fundamental creative challenge is how to position themselves relative to the Spectacle and the form their practice takes as a response.’ Peter Cook

Cultural/Behavioral Analysis (psycho acoustical)

The frenetic sounds captured from the centrifugal fan and elevator reveal the technological object visible to our affective awareness. At this most base level of visceral a priori understanding the relentless high pitched squeaking sound and vibrations captured emanating through the armature of the centrifugal fan and the scrapes and vibrations captured within the elevator car reflexively registers to the body as the threat of the uncertain failure of the dwelling to shelter and protect. To the intellect it simply means the sound of friction caused by misalignments of belts or wheels – which is probably why these problems have not been fixed, they’ve been denounced by reason as non-threats. But this interactivity or subsequent lack thereof between body and envelope, body and environment, body and technological extension serves as evidence for a couple of things. Firstly, that the mechanical objects that are the most affective are ones that we say have failed. Secondly, that there is a desire by reason to repress this affect.

It is interesting to observe that the mechanical objects that are rendering themselves visible in the recordings are ones that are emanating signs of failure. Which says something substantive about our relationship with technology. Martin Heidegger in “Being and Time” gives an example of what happens when a person uses a hammer:”The equipment while in use begins to “withdraw” from our perception, as we concern ourselves with the larger objective of the task itself. This will continue to be the case unless the tool breaks down in the course of use and, will suddenly step forward and assert itself as an object in its own right.”[iii] Another way of seeing this is as a deviation from the norm or the ideal. So, the further the object moves from the norm or ideal the more it asserts its presence. A study has shown that when in a crowd of people the faces which are most likely to be detected first are those that deviate the most from neutral expression, faces showing anger, or faces that deviate the most from the average of the populations facial feature proportions. Likewise, in the Lindsay Building the features which are asserting their presence the most, are the pieces of mechanical equipment whose loud sound and vibration indicates that they functioning the furthest from ideal, because for mechanical equipment the ideal or norm is to function with as little sound as possible. Abject artist Mike Kelly is quoted as saying in the essay Informe without Conclusions, that ‘people see the manufactured object, by virtue of its “untouched” quality, as a perfect object, and yet how the object fails to attain that.’ [iv]


Essentially because time and experience changes things, it makes and remakes as Henri Bergson says. Heidegger’s hammer falls from perfection because repeated stressing of its materials over time weakens their bond to the breaking point. Time and experience’s deviation from ideal form interrupts use and asserts presence, but only to the modern is this presence threatening. Because as mentioned in the book On Weathering, only in modern times has weathering, also meaning deviation/change, been associated with deterioration, with failure.[v] For instance, the Renaissance architect, Leon Battista Alberti, who Peter Eisenman claims is one of the first moderns, said ‘rustication expressed a rugged and threatening aspect.’[vi] And Le Corbusier, the most well-known modern, also quoted in On Weathering for the same reason, says that ‘he tried to eliminate fault. Restricted exposure and retarded deterioration, as well as the use of larger areas of a single material, tended to prolong the life of buildings.’[vii] Which means, essentially, that for modern architects signs of deterioration were thought to be threats, to be extinguished.

This makes for the second major point.


It is evidence which suggests, as discussed in the book The Transmission of Affect, and many times of over in other media that ‘the privileging of reason in modern times has meant the repression of affective response.’[viii] Though I’d say that reason has in modern times acted towards repression of threatening affective responses, those that trigger response to deterioration, decay, deviation, to evidence of time, given that they yield unstable, turbulent, uncomfortable, unpleasurable feelings. For which reason’s effort to ameliorate the sources of these feelings mollifies us into stable, and thus functional and efficient surrogates. Which can be a good thing. Canada ranks as country with the highest quality of life, and it is because, as posited in the book the Efficient Society, we are the most efficient. The amelioration of sources of threat gives us problems to work on, things to occupy our time. But this is pragmatic handling of threat. When a problem arises and an object asserts its presence to threatening affect, the pragmatic response is to apply reason as a means of action towards it’s amelioration. An alternative application of reason which ameliorates affect, but precludes action, is recourse to ideology, through the narcissistic maintenance of one’s lifestyle, or the maintenance of a false ideal of reality as perfection. To which architecture has become implicated, as:

‘Architecture has become the backdrop for the showtime of programmed distraction, a system of commerce, a sound state for affluent lifestyle, a pragmatic infrastructure that sustains flights of individual desire. New buildings are efficient and flexible, taciturn and interchangeable. They are like laboratory clones, alike in motive and geometry. Our appreciation of surfaces and details is drowned out by the piped-in jingles and the shelves of products that express our culture’s omnivorous materialism.’ [ix] and

‘Does not enjoyment of conspicuous consumption hide the real fears of the affluent society as we approach the end of the 20th century? The more hectically we throw ourselves into the race to acquire material things, the more forcefully we thrust aside all knowledge of our own mortality. Cosmetics, glamorous clothes, sex appeal, all promise eternal youth, eternal beauty, eternal life. Dead people are cosmetically treated in a way that makes them look more radiant, healthier and fresher than they did when they were alive. [x]

The last quote was from a book on Andy Warhol that I picked up while searching for Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Diptych, an image I thought summarizes this second point: that the repression of affect is of a consequence of reason’s drive to end time and history, or in Warhol’s case, ‘making time standstill,’ through repetition of one’s ideal, in other words, ideology, in order to extinguish the need to confront sources of affect. As reason’s objective is to find the solution to end all solutions, to write the last word, with ideology being the outcome when a solution gets deeply rooted. To modern architecture this meant the repetition of the white cube (followed by the decorated shed), for pop culture, as Warhol noticed, it meant the ubiquity of Marilyn Monroe vision of eternal beauty (followed by Twiggy?). But the artist, as a purveyor of truth, seeks to act by revealing the hidden reality, the desolation of repetition, of ideology, through cognitive dissonance, through contrasting the ideal against reality, Marilyn as potent symbol against Marilyn as decomposing symbol. As Warhol points out, the compulsive drive to keep the object alive forever through repetition is ironically what wares out its potency, causing it to die – and be replaced in a process of distracted consumption. Which today, sped up through digital technologies of reproduction over production has resulted in what Fredric Jameson agrees is the ‘waning of affect;’ because the speed at which information flows, the speed at which trends cycle, has meant, quote, ‘the margins have been incorporated into the mainstream,’ ‘anything can combine with anything else without producing a sense of shock.’[xi] Reality multiplied a hundredfold and presented in precise form loses its terror.[xii]

Sources of affect are all around us, I hear sirens in my apartment all day without giving a thought as to the emergency they might be responding to, news anchors day in and day out juxtapose awful murders against news about the upcoming fair without anybody blinking an eye. Multiplied many times over reason’s will to be efficient and functional causes us to make rationalizations which keep us preoccupied or distracted by one deviation, lifestyle or ideology, our work or play, and thus unaffected by the presencing of multiple signs of failure or deviation. Except, reality multiplied a hundredfold and presented in precise form loses its terror until it is certain that the body is implicated in the threat of terror, then we are affected by the presence of the object. I may not be affected by sirens when I am in my apartment, but when I am on the road, hear sirens and pull to the side of the road, then I am affected by no longer being distanced, but immediately threatened by my engagement in the event itself.

Upon hearing the recordings of the sounds emanating in the basement of the Lindsay building one is affected by sounds of deterioration or ware and mechanical equipment is made to presence itself. But living in the building and hearing the sounds one is not affected, the equipment is working fine to facilitate ones life, and is invisible. In the former we are affected because a technological extension to our ability to hear has amplified the sound to such an extent that we are made uncomfortable and thus aware with certainty that time is running out on the mechanical equipment’s utility to facilitate one’s life without interruption. Hence the equipment is rendered visible. In the latter case distance made it uncertain. The sound was unable to bypass reason, which works by certainty of cause and effect, form and affect. So, what this brings about is proximity or distance. Technological extension of the phenomenal field changed proximity and distance and enabled with direct certainty to the senses the evidence of the body’s implication in dynamic change.

In an essay by Gillian Rose called Building A Restless World she refers to insights made by Richard Mabey. Who upon being sick and stuck at home with nothing to do was made to write and document his attention to the experiences immediately surrounding him in his house. He says ‘days and minutes carried the dynamism of that place as plants shooted, blossomed and died back, migrant animals came and went, and his house responded to heat, wet, cold and wind.’ From this Mabey suggests that, ‘as he looks, listens, and thinks about his embeddedness in the world’ that ‘there is a need for this mediated responsiveness to flows and territories’ because ‘mediation gives pause,’ ‘interrupts our relation to worldly things.’ It can, as he further suggests, ‘help us think beyond our two obvious responses to globalization,’ ‘being overwhelmed by its force or the need to seek refuge in naive relations with why and who we are.’ ‘That coming closer to relations in the world’ is quote, ‘a moment when those relations might change.’[xiii] This postulates that a mediated or technological extension is necessary, in his case a diary, in my case a microphone, to draw one closer and make the invisible to become visible, for the mechanical to come into presence, prior to finally becoming aware of its presence. Only upon being awoken by its presence of meaning through a prion knowledge, knowledge of the affective terror that our body is immediately implicated or threatened by its death, loss, or failure.

Conclusion – Laws of Spatial Translation of Phenomenal Behavior

From this analysis syntactical laws governing the behavior of the sound and vibration phenomena can be adduced for accurate translation into drawing and architecture:
  1. Form notating sound is transformed from max. to min at a uniform velocity of 6 units per doubling distance from its origin.
  2. Form notating sound perturbs uniform rate by degree of shape, distance, volume and density/porosity/solidity/material properties of surrounding envelopes.
  3. Form notated towards the bias’s of its audience.
  4. Form notated is comprised of an accumulation of parts.
  5. Form notating sound from the fan must exhibit circular motion.
  6. Form notating sound from the elevator must exhibit orthogonal motion.
  7. Form notated has a weight proportional to it’s density.
  8. Form notating sound from the fan must be in pairs slightly offset from each other.

‘Notations are a set of instructions for realizing another artifact.’

‘Notational maps or diagrams are not “decoded” according to linguistic conventions but rather their internal relationshipsthe behavioris transposed, moved part by part into a new organizational context.’

‘A consideration of drawing as notation also directs attention toward all the intangible of the real that cannot easily be set down in graphic form.’

Quotes from the essay ‘Mapping the Unmappable’ by Stan Allen, ‘Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation.’

‘Science is about model building, not facts. Every experiment is a model, a form imposed on a piece of world to produce an effect, isolate behaviors, generate a fact that can be transposed into another mileu.’

‘The idea that science is part of culture that speaks about found reality.’

Quotes from the Essay, ‘THEORY & SCIENCE; Reconciling the Heuristic and the Philosophical; Architecture and Science,’ a conversation with Architecture Theoretician Sanford Kwinter, published in ‘Manifold’ Rice University School of Architecture yearly architecture journal.

Process Drawing 1

Pre-Analysis Notation Concept Drawing

Notation Drawing_8 copy

Post Analysis Notation Drawing (Conclusion made through Drawing)

Sequence of Translation

  1. Extent/magnitude of sound power level at recording points (reverberant + free field composite)

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 2 copy

  1. Boundary attenuation by magnitude of sound transmission

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 3 copy

  1. Magnitude of sound transmission through envelopes inscribed

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 4 copy

  1. Demarcation of sound source on the field – the pulleys

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 5 copy

  1. Detailed elaboration of clarity of sound character at points over the sound field

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 6 copy

  1. Vertical Misalignment of pulleys – Hierarchical ordering of sound intensity

Notation Plan Drawing_translation drawing 7 copy



Publish and Lecture – Phase 4: Translation into the Material – The Fan and Elevator Re-adopted

(The Emmiter)

“Form follows Failure”

“The form of made things is always subject to change in response to their real or perceived shortcomings, their failures to function properly.”

Quotes Henry Petroski, ‘The Evolution of Useful Things.’

Through analysis of the phenomena recorded a set of fundamental laws of behaviour contributing it’s construction have been extracted. Those laws will be used as the fundamental rules for translating the immaterial, albeit tangible, physical (immediate/absolute/effective) and psychological (distant/relative/affective) phenomenon of sound into the materiality of architectural space. The rules of construction have been annotated graphically/visually as the first step in translation to the material/bodily. It represents the establishment of network nodal points whose lines of force and influence will be hybridized for the invention of an adapted piece of technology, a ‘quasi-object’, which for this project means a piece of architecture.

Translation of the fan and elevator sound into an Adapted (Improved) Archi-Technological Object

Options Considered for Re-Adoption

Wind Turbine

Wind Turbine colorF40

Anaerobic Digestion Facility

anarobic digestion b&wF41

Cyclone Air Filter

Cyclonic Air Filter ImageF42

Proposed: Air Filtration Machine – Inertial Collector (Cyclone)

I decided to use the cyclone air filter because it was the most flexible of the options, because it can be placed anywhere. It does not require a lot of space as with the anaerobic digester and it does not require particular micro-climatic or geographic conditions as is the case with the wind turbine. The filter blends into an industrial site quite well and can be paired with a variety of interesting architectural programs. Finally, and most importantly, it can be perfectly inserted into the cylindrical geometry of the silos at the proposed ‘emmeteur’ Montreal site.


Particles aggravate bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. Certain subpopulations of people are sensitive to PM effects, including those with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and elderly people. Particles can also damage structures, harm vegetation, and reduce visibility. [xiv]

One of the methods of controlling air pollution is removal. For pollution removal to be accomplished, the polluted carrier gas must pass through a control device or system, which collects or destroys the pollutant and releases the cleaned carrier gas to the atmosphere. The control device or system selected must be specific for the pollutant of concern. Filtration is an important technology in every aspect of environmental engineering (i.e. air pollution, waste water treatment, drinking water, and even hazardous waste and sediment cleanup). [xiv]

Basically, filtration consists of four mechanical processes: (1) diffusion, (2) interception, (3) inertial impaction, and (4) electrostatics. Diffusion is important only for very small particles (< ol1 um diameter) because the Brownian motion allows them to move in a “random walk” away from the air stream. Interception works mainly for particles with diameters between o.2 and 1 um because the Brownian motion allows them to move in a “random walk” away from the airstream. Interception works mainly for particles with diameters between 0.1 and 1um. The particle does not leave the air stream but comes into contact with filter medium (e.g. a strand of fiberglass or fabric fiber). Inertial impaction, as explained in the cyclone discussion, collects particles sufficiently large to leave the air stream by inertia (diameters >1um). Electrostatics consist o electrical interactions between the atoms in the filter and those in particle at the point of contact, as well as electrostatic attraction. These are the processes at work in large-scale electrostatic precipitators that are employed in coal-fired power plant stacks around the world for particle removal. Other important factors affecting filtration efficiencies include the thickness and pore diameter or the filter, the uniformity of particle diameters and pore sizes, the solid volume fraction, and the rate of particle loading on the filter. [xiv]


Inertial Collector – The cyclone

Inertial collectors, whether cyclones, baffles, louvers, or rotating impellers, operate on the principle that the aerosol material in the carrying has stream has a greater inertia than the gas. Since the drag forces on the particle are a function of the diameter squared and the inertial forces are a function of the diameter cubed, it follows that as the particle diameter increases, the inertial (removal force becomes relatively greater. Inertial collects, therefore, are most efficient of larger particles. The intuit is also a function of the mass of the particle, so that heavier particles are more efficiently removed by inertial collectors. These facts explain why an inertial collect will be highly efficient from removal of 10-um rock dust and very inefficient for 5-um wood particles. It would be very efficient though, for 75-um wood particles. [xiv]


In a cyclone air is rapidly circulated causing suspended particles to change directions.

Due to their inertia, the particles continue in their original direction and leave the air stream. This works well for larger particles because of their relatively large masses, but v3ery fine particles are more likely to remain in the air stream and stay suspended. The dusty air introduced in the cyclone from the top through the inlet pipe tangential to the cylindrical portion of the cyclone. The air whirls down to form a peripheral vortex, which creates centrifugal forces. As a result individual particles are hurled toward the cyclone wall and, after impact, fall downward where they are collected in a hopper. When the air reaches the end of the conical segment, it will change direction and move upward toward the outlet. This forms an inner vortex. The upward airflow against gravitation allows for additional separation of particles. The cyclone vacuum cleaner applies the same inertial principles, with the collected dust hitting the sides of the removable cyclone separator and falling to its bottom. [xiv]

SITE for the proposed Cyclone:

Lachine CanalF46
Lachine Canal FactoryF47
Montreal SiteF48

Site: The Silos, Rue St. Patrick.

Bleak and brutal, the Lachine Canal Sector on the southwest Montreal island stands out like a scar as wall of factories and warehouses that offer access to the canal and its transhipment facilities. The scar/wall, the grain elevators, the silos (belonging to Dominion Flour Mills or Canada Malting), and the warehouses have been rooted in the section for decades, they were once the epicenter of canada’s largest manufacturing sector. They play a structuring and catalyzing role in the urban development of the surrounding wards and municipalities, offering work in factories and warehouses, which are now used for a mix of industrial, residential and commercial land uses, access to cheap energy (hydro-electric) and water for pumping into their facilities, as well as access to transportation via boat, truck or train. (Desloges, Yvon and Gelly, Alain. The Lachine Canal Riding the Waves of Industrial and Urban Development 1860 – 1950. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2002)

Silos Birds Eye_B&WF49
Silos Aerial PhotoF50

Study of The Lone or Nomadic Archi-Technological-object:

The Photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher.


“objects or motifs become humanised and destroy one another, as in Nature where the older is devoured by the newer.”

“when the images are viewed together they provide, ‘an anatomy lesson,’ that is an account of the relations between constituent parts.”

“putting this idea of network or system or series or sequence in more historical terms.”

“‘grammar’ as embodied expression, as a form of ‘comportment’ or bearing toward the world, and as such as a sign or symptom of a social relation.”

“Cathected a politically and morally charged myth of the past to contemporary events.”

“We need make only the most rudimentary comparisons to see that theirs is a project about modernisation.”

“This distinctive method of cultivating aesthetic response is consistent with the 1920s and 1930s project of aesthetic appropriation of scientific or systemic method.”

“Wedged between a passionate, trance-like fascination with the great progressive democratic ambitions of modernism and an equally ardent renunciation.”

“they revitalize the claims of taste and tastelessness by exercising those claims on the turf of instrumental reason, that is, by making art out of industry.”


‘The obsessive attempts to give utopia a bad name, remain fundamentally ideological and locked in a discursive battle with residual and emerging utopian thinking in the here and now.”

“to both remember and let go of the failed”

‘By means of machinery, chemical processes and other methods, it is continually transforming not only in the technical basis of production, but also the functions of the worker and the social combinations of the labor process.. [It] incessantly throws masses of capital and of workers from one branch of production to another.’ This movement is the ‘nomadic’ quality of modern industry that the Bechers rely on to make their point – it is this, they say, that is’like nature.’

“It is a view of industrial history as if it were nature, as if it were an organic process unto itself.”


“of how the political past is negotiated within our sense of the present and how that settlement inhabits the realm of the aesthetic.”

“continued embrace of modernism, its faith in the power to reveal and comprehend the hidden material conditions of the world, its faith in the project of Enlightenment.”

“Bechers’ work distances itself from most of the affective attachments of the engineer-cum-worker ideal of their forebears, it does share with that ideal (in a manner that is fully modern) faith in the more abstract aim of system (network).”

“By creating the circumstances for such experience using aging industrial structures still resonant with the memory of all their great modern ambitions, the Bechers create a powerful sense of that disavowal of instrumental value, that purposiveness without purpose, as Kant named it.”

“They have successfully incorporated “the past into the present and weld[ed] that present to a future,” and have done so, “at a stroke,” as Merleau-Ponty put it, that is, in and through their bearing toward the world, through their standpoint between distance and proximity, their gaze that looks neither up nor down but instead “straight-on” so it does not “hide or exaggerate or depict anything in an untrue fashion.” [xv]


Cyclone – Inertial Collector Phyla

cyclone phyla


Inertial Collector the archi-techno object with the adaptation of Sound Affect.

” Close reading, textual analysis as an interrogation of the work while creating it, leads to its complexity. The critical in this sense is allied to the creative, to the discovery of new links in a work that is unfolding in the creator’s mind and on the canvas. Concentrating on internal meanings may highlight and double coding of post-modernism or the cross-coding of many texts. In both cases it reveals ‘organized complexity.’ Jencks, Charles. “Critical Modernism – Where is post-modernism going.”

“The topo-logic history of architecture is traced within each journey to sophistication.” Wes Jones.


 The constituent elements of the world in dynamic relationship.

Abstraction of Wisdom, and the abstraction of such wisdom from memory.

 “Without the protection of goodness the edge will just give way where newness pushes it; without the stimulus of the new the good will ossify into a repressive conformity. The balance has been lost today.” Wes Jones

Symmetrical Binary Reconciliation and its Integral Relationship with Asymmetrical Binary Separation Through Acknowledging the Existence of Good and Evil

The Nature of Evil and Its Distinction from Tragedy

Outlined by Bruno Latour: The further humans separate the unknown v. known binary, separate good from evil, the greater the asymmetry, the more humans seek to schematize and simplify, that paradoxically the closer, the more interconnected, the more complicated, the binary relationship becomes. As I mentioned before, underlying the binary is a network connecting the two poles, what that increase in the gap is, is the expansion, creation, complication of the network with more nodes/stations and lines or paths in between them, to use Michel Serres’s terminology. Thom Mayne has said the appearance of the chaotic may not be a lack of order but the appearance of a complex order. The complication of the network and widening of the gap is just that, the appareance of an increasing complex order. What this suggests is that symmetrical and asymmetrical cosmologies exist simultaneously and we should not prejudice one or the other. The more we separate, the more we hybridize so says Latour. That is to say that essentially advocates of the symmetrical line along which Nietszche started to elucidate, Aristotle if you’re picky, and that Post-Structuralists like Lacan, Derrida, Barthes and Baudrillard sought to schematize further to pull us further away from Plato’s cave of shadows, is a moral that is only half right. They were right to point out the existence of a complex reality behind ideology – religious, political, cultural, scientific, take your pick, but wrong to have damned those ideologies as negative. Ideologies, which is also to say technologies, while they harm us by acting on reality through an oversimplifying, intolerant, psychotic, ignorant evil, they are also adaptations, ‘sign posts,’ as Jean Paul Sartre said, which we develop to comfort, protect and give security and peace of mind in the face of the complex unknown or the infinite. Therefore, the Cartesian positivistic moral line that crystalizes ideology/knowledge which the Structuralists, the Bauhaus, the Functionalists, the Modernists, the Metabolists, take is only half right as well, it has the potential to help and harm.

To quote Heidegger’s proverbial aphorism, “Where danger is lies the saving power.”


To enter the unknown, the infinite, is dangerous, as psychologist Jordan Peterson said in his lecture (linked above), it means becoming conscious of and admitting ones vulnerability. Which is, as previously stated, why we seek to hide in ideology and reason. But the problem isn’t ideology or reason for points mentioned – it is the act of turning away; turning away from wisdom and confrontation with the infinite, the dangerous, time and experience, in the context of this project failure from decay, because one believes they have the final answer. Because time and experience will inform otherwise whether one likes it or not. Denying this will only further validate and reveal the existence of the unknown as evil by turning life into hell. This means good is real. Heroism is real. It is not dead (not in a minor but in a meta-narrative sense via mid-century CIAM, Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs protagonism). And it happens when one willingly accepts the unknown or the infinite as a tenuous condition of life that has to be confronted constantly, and in heroic fashion for sake of the continued becoming of the good.

“Goodness operates from the center (where the giants dwell – Mies, Corb), but its example percolates to the edge, saying emphatically from the inside what is architecture.” Wes Jones

So one battles the unknown, finds stable ground, the known, ideology, religion, empirical knowledge, but it slips away, it is contradicted by time (see Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions to understand the contradiction of what we think are scientific facts/certainties), one has to jump and find more stable ground, one has to revise and complicate ideology, revise and complicate religion. Not abandon it totally. This would be to jump for stable ground and jump too far, like Icarus climbing for glory but getting too close to the sun. This is to confront the unknown and fall by forgetting the wisdom gained from all previous falls (Corb, Mies, FLW, Gropius, the history of the profession, architectural ideology). And it means heroism through constant expansion and complication of the known order through confrontation with the unknown, with the infinite, with danger, again, confrontation with the failed.

And how does the heroic confrontation take place, how does expansion and revelation of the symmetrical network take place? (see figure55) Through play, exploration, experimentation, research, through questioning, through critique, through learning, through parsing good out from evil. This is where architectural theorists like Sarah Whitting with Bob Somol and Architect Rem Koolhaas are wrong to say the critical is actually counter productive, that we should be ‘projective’ instead. As Charles Jencks said above, ‘the critical is married to the creative,’ it is its twin, it is naturally ‘projective’ by default of the inherent necessity to establish the meaning/purpose for creation. Being critical means confronting the unknown or the infinite – the origin of creation. Form, creation, follows failure, the unknown, as presenced by affect and confronted via problem solving which begins with inferences and deductions, or rather, criticisms of originating causes of effects that triggered affect (for that which reinforces death/failure of goals – intra-psychic stress, or for that which reinforces success towards goals – happiness, joy). And while not all creation is critical, it is not for necessarily for children, but is for adults because of the level of consciousness/knowledge of meaning informing behavior or action (see epistemological hierarchy in figure 55), which can happen at any time of great affectiveness from loss or success, but not overwhelming so until the late teens/early twenties onward when an epistemological maturation happens in consciousness which causes our subjective perception of reality to rapidly speed up such that the feeling of the passage of time becomes more apparent and death more imminent – with death/failure as a dominate a priori trigger for affect – translated into intra-psychic stresses – emotional effect responses such as fear, terror, anger, sadness, joy, anguish, which in turn effects behavior towards the good (confrontation) or bad (ignorance/hiding/paralysis); and thus the choice of appropriate or inappropriate adaptive responses (the sum of which = consciousness = the cultural leviathan = the network underlying the known-unknown binary as mapped into our neural network through experience = the human brain). The summary of which means the resolution to intra-psychic stressors by integrated interaction between thought and action, not thought or action independently, but both mutually interacting and influencing. Socrates said the courage to act without wisdom leads to recklessness. Which is why when confronting the unknown or infinite you want to take small steps, not giant leaps – if on a cliff and blinded you don’t start walking in any direction, you stick out one foot to see where the stable ground is, you gain experience, in a short time mastery of the environment, the memory of success and failure, wisdom, then step and repeat the process.


Publish and Lecture: The Proof of Concept for the Emitter on Silo Site

Cyclone Pulley Design Research Data:

Introduction. Belts, friction pulleys, and other types of power transmission that depend upon friction are subject to slippage and hence do not transmit a definite and invariable speed ratio. Chains and gears are used when positive drives are necessary, and, when the center distances are relatively short, toothed gears are preferred.

Although large sped ratios have been obtained, it is customary to limit the reduction to 6:1 for spurs gears, and 10:1 for helical and herringbone gears. For larger reductions two or more pairs of gears are used. Before undertaking a study of gear design, the student should thoroughly understand gear nomenclature, gear standards, and gear geometry. Familiarization with gear fabrication would also be helpful. Essential principles and terminology will be reviews in this treatise.

Power may be transmitted by friction between two rotating cylinders or cones when they are pressed. Together positive driving action without slippage will only be obtained if teeth are built upon these surfaces to form gears. The surfaces upon which the teeth are built are called the pitch surfaces, and the intersections of these surfaces with plaines perpendicular to the axes of the rotation are called the pitch lines, or pitch circles. The diameter of the pitch circle designates the size of the gear.

Spur gears are cylindrical in form, operate on parallel axes, and have straight teeth parallel to the axis. A gear may be either external, with the teeth formed on the outer surface of a cylinder or cone, or internal, with the teeth formed on the inner surface of a cylinder or cone. A rack is a pure gear of infinite diameter, i.e., its pitch surface is a plane surface and the pitch line a straight line. The common parts of spur gears are defined in Fg. 11-3. The circular pitch p of the gear is the distance from one face of a tooth to the corresponding face of the next adjacent tooth, measured along the pitch circle. The diametral pitch P is the ratio of the number of teeth to the pitch diameter, i.e., the number of teeth per inch of diameter. The base pitch p (sometimes called normal pitch) of involute gears is the distance between corresponding tooth profiles of adjacent teeth measured along the line of action, along the circumference of the base circle from which the involute-tooth outline is generated. The arc of action is the arc traversed by a point on the pitch circle which any tooth is in contact with its mating tooth, and the angle of action is the subtending angle. The addendum is the height of the tooth outside of the pitch line and the addendum is the depth of the tooth inside of the pitch line. The sum of the addendum and addendum is the whole depth. Clearance is the amount by which the addendum in a given gear exceeds the addendum of its mating gear. Working depth is the depth of engagement of two gears and is the sum of their addenda.

Tooth profiles. In order that the teeth of mating gears will transmit uniform angular velocity, the common normal to the mating tooth surfaces at their point of contact must always pass through the same pitch point, i.e., the point where the line of centers intersects the pitch circles. Tooth profiles fulfilling this requirement may be generated by rolling a template, with a suitable tracing point, on the outside of one pitch circle and on the inside of the mating pitch circle. Ds

Templates of many shapes may be used, but only two are commonly employed in modern gear practice. These are the cycloidal teeth are seldom used in gears at the present time, although in the composite system a portion of the tooth contour is cycloidal.

The cycloidal tooth curves are generated by rolling a circular template, or generating circle, on the outside and the inside of the pitch circle. The tracing point p traces the epicycloids pb, or face curve, when the circular template G is rolled on the pitch circle B, and traces the hypocycloid pa, or flank curve, when rolled on te hiside of the pitch circle A. In an interchangeable set, all gears should operate properly with every other gear of the set. This condition is obtained by using the same size generating circle for the faces and flanks of each diametral pitch.

Involute Gears. The involute curve is the basis of nearly all tooth profiles now in general use. The tooth profile is the involute of a base circle. When A is rotted, the tracing point describes the involute eta on the disk A and the involute but on the disk B. The tracing point is always on the tangent to the circles A and B and the tangent is always the normal to the tooth curves at their point of contact; hence p is the pitch point and Ap and Bp are the radii of the pitch circles. Pressure transmitted between the tooth surfaces will always act along the common normal; hence angle is a constant.

The Gear –design Problem. The determination of the proper gears to use in a particular application is a complex problem because of the many factors involved. First, the gears must operate together without tooth interference, with a proper length of contact, and without undue noise. The solution of this problem requires knowledge of gear geometry. Second, the gear teeth must have the ability to transmit the applied load without failure and with a certain margin of safety. They must resist not only the load resulting from the power transmitted but also the increases in load due to impact and shock caused by inaccuracy of tooth contour. The teeth must also be able to resist tooth deflection and accelerations, and stress concentration at the root of the teeth. The total resulting load is commonly referred to as the dynamic load. Third, the wearing qualities of the teeth must be considered. This is known as the wear load.p259 The Design of Machine Members

Belt Design

There are two methods for the selection of belt drives. The basic fundamental method is based upon an analysis of the belt tensions caused by the transfer of power from one shaft to the other. The procedure takes into account the strength of the belt material, arc of contact, center distance, effect of centrifugal force, the coefficient of friction, belt thickness and width, and a working stress. An equation which considers these factors is developed in terms of the horsepower and is known as the fundamental belt equation. Adjustments are then made for belt, joints, multi-ply, and inclined belt drives.

The other method of selection is based upon the fundamental equation but uses tables, curves, and nomograms developed by manufactures and standards associations to take into account the various factors of involved and to make solution easier. This method is based upon tests of actual drives including both the belt and pulleys. In some belts drives including both the pelt and the pulleys. In some belt drives, all the quantities needed for the fundamental equations are not available. In this text both methods are used in some cases. Space does not permit a full presentation of the second method. Because materials and construction of belts have improved the designer should refer to the latest literature of the manufacturer of the particular type of belt.

Ratio of Belt Tensions. Referring to consider the forces acting on a short section of belt, dl inches long. These forces are the belt pulls, F and (F+dF), the pulley force P, and the centrifugal force C.

From the conditions of equilibrium

P + C – F sin d0/2 – (F + dF) sin d0/2 = 0

And (F+dF) cos do/2 – F cos d/o/s – f=0

Flexible-connector drives are simple devices used to transmit torques and rotational motions from one to another or to several other, usually parallel shafts. Power transmitted by a flexible element (flexible connector) placed on pulleys, which are mounted on these shafts to reduce peripheral forces. The transmission ratios of torques and speeds at the driving and driven pulleys are determined by the ratio of pulley diameters. Peripheral forces may be transmitted by either frictional (non-positive) or positive locking of the flexible connector on the pulleys.

Because of their special characteristics, flexible-connector drives have the following advantages and disadvantages as compared with other drives:


stress distributionF56

Nonpositive flexible-connector drives transmit the peripheral force by means of friction (mechanical force transmission) from the driving pulley to the flexible connector and from there to the driven pulleys. The transmissible torque depends on the frictional coefficient of the flexible connector and the pulleys as well as on the surface pressure on the pulley circumference. The power transmission capacity limit of the drive is reached when the flexible connector starts to slip. By use of wedge-shaped flexible connectors, the surface pressure can be increased, with shaft loads remaining constant, so that greater torques are transmitted. Since nonpositive flexible-connector drives tend to slip, synchronous power transmission is impracticable.

The positive flexible-connector drive components {pulley diameter, center distance, datum length (pitch length) of the flexible connector} and the operational characteristics (speed ratio, angle of wrap, included angle) are directly interrelated.

The dimensions of the different components (pulley diameter, center distance, datum length (pitch length) of the flexible connector) and the operational characteristic (pitch length) of the flexible connector} and the operational characteristics (speed ratio, angle of wrap, included angle) are directly interrelated.

Two-pulley drives. For the standard two-pulley drive, the geometry is simple. In general, this drive is designed with the center distance and the speed ratio as parameters. The individual characteristics are related as follows: speed ratio:

Forces in Moving Belt p31.6

Friction is employed in transmitting the peripheral forces between belt and the pulley. The relation of the friction coefficient u, the arc of contact b, and the belt forces is expressed by Eytelwein’s equation. For the extreme case, i.e., slippage along the entire arc of contact, this equation is

F1/F2 = exp ubpi/180

For normal operation of the drive without belt slip, the peripheral force is transmitted only along the active arc of contact resulting in a force ratio between the belt sides:

The transmission of the peripheral force between the belt and the pulley then occurs only within active arc of contact with belt creep at the driven pulley and the corresponding contraction slip at the driving pulley. During operation, the belt moves slip-free along the inactive arc of contact, then with creep along the active arc of contact. If the inactive arc of contact equals zero, the belt slips and may run off the pulley.

Along the inactive arc of contact, the angular velocity in the neutral plane equals that of the pulley. Along the active arc of contact, the velocity is higher in the tight side of the belt owing to higher tension than it is in the slack side. Since this velocity difference has to be offset, slip results. This slip leads to a speed difference between the engagement point and the delivery point on each pulley, which amounts up to 2 percent depending on the belt material (modulus of elasticity) and load:

For practical design purposes the calculation of a belt drive is usually based on the entire arc of contact b of the smaller pulley (full load), since the active arc of contact is not known, and the belt slips at the smaller pulley first.

Centrifugal forces acting along the arcs of contact reduce the surface pressure there. As these forces are supported by the free belts sides, they act uniformly along the entire belt:

Equation 31-6

With increasing belt velocity v, constant center distance e, and constant torques, the forces F1 and F2 acting along the belt sides as well as the peripheral force (usable force) Fu remain constant, whereas the surface pressure and the usable forces F1 and F2 in the belt sides are reduced. Usable forces in belt sides:

Equations: 31-17

Bw becomes greater, until the belt slips on the pulley with the smaller arc of contact, when Bw = B. When F1 = F2, there are no usable forces, that is, Ff=F2, there are no usable forces, that is, f’2=f’1=fu=0. In this case, no torque can be transmitted. If belt velocity v is increased further, the belt runs off the pulley.

With only centrifugal forces acting, the belt is in equilibrium. They do not act on the pulleys at all. Hence, the shaft load F of a belt drive only results from the useable forces F1 and F2 in the belt slides

The force rating defines the minimum shaft tensioning force required for peripheral force production as a function of the friction coefficient u and the arc of contact B.

The rated output K=Fu/F1 = 1-1/m defines the peripheral force Fu which can be produced by the permissible force F1 as a function of the friction coefficient u and the arc of contact b. The reduction in rated output with decreasing arc of contact is defined by the angular factor Cb, based on B=180, that is, a speed ratio of I=1.

The tensions in a homogenous belt result from the forces acting in the belt and the belt cross section, A=bs. For multiple-ply belts, these tensions can be used only as theoretical mean values.

Bending of the belt around the pulley produces the bending stress. This stress can be calculated from the elongation of the belt fibers with respect to the neutral axis.

The strain increase s with decreasing pulley diameter d. For practical design purposes

The maximum power transmission capacity of a belt drive can be determined as follows. The power transmission capacity

P=Fuv =

Equals zero if the velocity either equals zero or reaches a maximum, at which the belt safety stress limit is approached by the centrifugal and bending stresses along, so that:


The belt velocity should be as high as possible, the higher the belt speed, the smaller the belt width and thus the shaft load.

In calculating drives with changing loads or cyclic variations, you should determine to what extent damping properties of the tension ply materials can be utilized.

The requirements for smooth running of the belt are as follows: parallelism of both shafts, smooth pulley faces, static balancing up to belt velocity v of 25 meters per second and dynamic balancing for velocities above 25 m/s. When certain aluminum alloys are sued, abrasion may occur, reducing friction between belt and pulley to such a degree as to make power transmission impossible.

Pulley diameters, standard sizes have been specified. When these pulley diameters are used, standard speed ratios will result. Pulley diameters below minimum values recommended values recommended for the belt section in question should not be used because the higher bending stress materiality reduces belt life.

Distance between shaft centers:

Recommended lower limit e is greater than 0.7 (d2 + d1)

Recommended upper limit e is less than 2 (d2 + d1)

Shaft center distances that are too short result in high bending frequencies, causing excessive heating. Shaft center distances that too long may result in belt vibrations, especially of the slack side, also causing higher belt stress.

Adjustment of shaft center distance:

X is less than or equal to 0.03 Lw mm X is less than or equal to 0.015 L mm


The transmissible power of the belt is given by P=2piNM

M=known torque and n=speed of the corresponding pulley

Based on the selected pitch diameter of the smaller pulley, the corresponding speed, and speed ratio can be derived from tables. These tables contain nominal values of service-correction values [xvi]

Syntax Applied to Proposed Lachine Canal Cyclonic Air Filter

Sound Translation Sequence

1. Extent/magnitude of sound power level at recording points (reverberant + free field composite)

SIte Notation Translation 1

2. Magnitude of sound transmission inscribed in sound field

SIte Notation Translation 2

3. Boundary attenuation by magnitude of sound transmission

  SIte Notation Translation 3

4. Magnitude of sound transmission through envelopes inscribed

SIte Notation Translation 4

5. Demarcation of sound source on the field – the pulleys

SIte Notation Translation 5

6. Detailed elaboration of clarity of sound character at points over the sound field

SIte Notation Translation 6

7. Vertical Misalignment of pulleys – Hierarchical ordering of sound intensity

SIte Notation Translation 7

Preliminary Proof of Concept Sketches

Prelim Sketches3

Prelim Sketches2

Prelim Sketches5

Prelim Sketches4

Prelim Sketches3b


Lachine Canal Concept Plans

Random Photos 5

Proof of Concept Model

Emmeteur Model Pic 1b

Model Photo 3b

Emmeteur Photo 2b



Term 2: Translation into Architecture

Phenomenology leads from conscious experience into conditions that help to give experience its intentionality,’ Quote from the Encyclopedia of Phenomenology.

‘Space determines the distribution of matter. The relationship between form/space and matter is dictated by usage, the tool-like qualities of the object, and this ‘usefulness’ is not something that can be added at the end. The usefulness is paramount at the beginning.’ Martin Heidegger

‘As Zeno Pointed out, the beginning is always complicated: either there is a point of origin or there is not. The only possible understanding of the existence of origin occurs in its evolution, through complication of the status of concept (meaning, use, function, program).‘ Quote from ‘Origin Vs. Existence and Language,’ Wes Jones.


(Programme to be created once the phenomenal and affective sound aspects of the project have been produced in the design apparatus {scaled up laser cut model forthcoming})

Human beings assess their environment in terms of needs and purposes, it is a search for meanings, in other words, symbols and corresponding meaning/program/use. (critical is sensory information for gaining understanding/meaning from the environment)

Architecture is not informed solely by the immediate context of use. In today’s globally interconnected world and through chaos theory we understand that the immediate is contaminated or influenced by the distant. Our experience happens by dynamic interactions between various scales. When mathematical formulae is used to design structure, certain ratios and proportions used in formal composition, technologically advanced systems and components used, abstract knowledge is applied; this is all a product of our distant-general-global modern context of sharing and developing knowledge as the larger project of human civilization towards order. When particular materials are chosen, spatial orientations established, paths and routes made, room sizes determined, building heights, property lines established, spatial atmosphere explored, signs and symbols considered this is all a product of local context, local knowledge specifying or customizing order to complexity on the ground in immediate practice and use. Both local and global, immediate and distant sources of knowledge are equally, symmetrically, important in the becoming of the design and comprises the underlying network constructing a quasi-object, which here is a piece of architecture. Network = Conciousness – ‘Design is the arrangement and metamorphosis of objects to correspond to the ambiguous demands of human consciousness (included in our consciousness now, is an awareness of our unconsciousness).’ Martin Pawley, Time House.

‘We have to be in two orders of realty: we have to confront what we’ve lost and anticipate what’s ahead of us; that’s our brand of fatality… But it’s hard to understand because the idea of modernity is for all that idea of a continuous dimension where it’s clear that the past and future coexist… We ourselves may no longer be in that world – if we ever were! = for it may be no more than a kind of apparition.’

‘It could be that certain places were expressly conceived and designed, at a specific period in our history, to satisfy this free play of consciousness and retrospective imagination.’

‘Jean baudrillard from ‘Mass, Identity, Architecture’


Alain PAIEMENT Dia logue divers éléments trouvés sur place fonderie Ives & Allen.

Walter Benjamin’s Metropolis

The modern reveals itself as ruin. This notion of ruination is rooted in a recognition of the importance of an object’s ‘afterlife’. For Benjamin , the truth of an object or event is only discernible when it is on the point of oblivion. this is more than a simple appreciation of the wisdom of hindsight, however. The origins of such a conception of ruin and afterlife are to be found in Benjamin’s understanding of the task of criticism derived from early Romanticism and his preoccupation with the allegorical gaze underpinning the German Baroque. For Benjamin, the truth content of a thing is released only when the context in which it originally existed has disappeared, when the surfaces of the object have crumbled away and it lingers precariously on the brink of extinction. This destruction of deceptive appearance facilitates a process of reconstruction. Benjamin is fundamentally concerned with the rescue and preservation of the artefacts, images and ideas liberated through this process, and with their subsequent reuse or refunctioning in the pressing political struggles of the moment. History itself is a construction of the present age and must always be read backwards from the ruins which persist in the here and now. It is to be conceived as both a destructive and fundamentally redemptive enterprise….

….Benjamin is engaged in an archaeological excavation of the city to salvage its fragments so that they can be refunctioned. Each element recovered is monadological, containing within it the totality whence it came, and is also illuminating as part of the new montage in which it is assembled.

Quotes from Graeme Giloch’s – Myth and the Metropolis – Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project

Environmental Knowledge: Distant Context (Global)

Trade and technology globalized the world but soaring energy prices are going to localize it again. Today the service sector industry comprises 70% of the labor market, in the 1950s it was in the 50%. The shift happened because cheap fuel prices made it more economical for companies to produce their goods in countries overseas and have them imported. Currently the reverse is beginning to happen. The price of importing goods from overseas is increasing because material advances in other countries has increased the demands on an overstretched global oil supply that is diminishing and becoming more expensive to extract. This means that at some point in the near future the manufactured goods industry will find it cheaper to repatriate and manufacture and distribute locally again.

The current recession has suppressed oil demand and brought down oil prices, like other recessions in the past. And no doubt future recessions will also see oil prices decline. But motorists have already probably noticed that prices never go back to where they once were. Instead, with each new recovery, gasoline gets more expensive.

What that record plunge in oil prices from $1147 per barrel to $40 per barrel over the recession clearly shows is that oil consumption and economic growth go hand in hand. As long as every new unit of global GDP requires someone somewhere in the world to burn more oil, the ability to grow the global economy is constrained by the ability to grow oil supply. If we can no longer grow oil supply, we will no longer be able to grow the economy

The services many of us are going to be providing in a smaller world will involve actually making things.

The Recession and the collapse in financial markets have challenged our faith in free trade and in laissez-faire markets. Where as government regulation used to be a dirty word they are now a beacon for new policy from Washington to Brussels.

Environmental Knowledge: Immediate Context (Local)

Lachine Canal of Yesteryear

Dirty Industrial Past


Panoramic view of the Montreal portion of the Lachine Canal, 1896. Image shows a diversity of uses around the canal.

foundry 2F60

Steleco Blooming Mill, circa 1935. The first iron rolling mill in Montreal on the Lachine Canal – formerly Montreal Nail works.


Built in the late 19th century as a fabrication plant for industrial equipment and heating supplies, the renovated Darling Foundry is now a cutting-edge exhibition space …

printing press (1)F62

Printing machines.

 printing press (2)F63

Interior of textile mill, 1905. During the 20th century industries replaced shafts and pulleys with electric motors and group drive.

Lachine Canal of Today

“Incomplete information constitutes a hot medium….Hot with tears and the receding and distorting effort of the empathetic pursuit of fugitive images. The act of completion is an act of distortion. We end up filling the gaps in the object evidence of the past with energy of the present. ” Martin Pawley – Time House

Present Context

“Imagine a green Griffintown

You grab your workout clothes off the clothesline, call your dog and head off for a jog down Peel St. and out along the Lachine Canal. On the way home, you stop at your community garden to pick a handful of raspberries for your cereal.” (Heading Published in The Gazette (Montreal) April 19, 2008)

“Lofty Aspirations for Old Buildings

For years, Montreal boasted a plethora of decaying buildings that dated back to the industrial age. Hulking brick-and-stone structures that had once housed a vast range of manufacturing operations, they stood empty or half- used and were largely unappreciated.

Sometime during the 1980s, Montrealers began to discover the value of their industrial architectural heritage, says Christian Champagne, head of the city’s Heritage and Toponymy and Expertise. And once that happened, he says, developers began to see the value in recycling industrial buildings into housing.

“We always see a lot of open houses in single-family homes and duplexes, but now we’re seeing more units in former industrial buildings,” he says. “These are in urban neighbourhoods, such as Old Montreal and along the Lachine Canal.”

The availability of such housing on the Montreal market reflects a wave of redevelopment that has been ongoing for the past 25 years. Before it began “there was a widespread attitude that our industrial heritage was not worth looking at. But now, we’re shining a spotlight on these buildings. They’re buildings that have a warm ambience. Recycling them gives people an opportunity to live in an urban environment in buildings that are filled with light and are not at all standard.” (“Lofty Aspirations for Old Buildings,” Canwest News Service, Friday, October 2nd, 2009)

Bird's EyeF64
Mixed Use – Urban Living and Recreation Spots Beside Industry and Places of Work.

The Lachine Canal at the Old Port.


Darling Foundry Today – Art Centre – Yesterdays Factories, Todays Housing and Creative Industry Spaces.


Factory loft conversions along the canal juxtapose the continued historical industrial site uses inside the district.

Silo Site Context Photos




Site Panoramas

North East Intersection

Site_Axo copy2


South West Intersection


Land Uses – Residential v. Commerical-Industrial

Montreal Site Birds Eye View.pdf





Options considered:

Using this studio project as a means to explore my interest in seeing architecture in the context of technological adapation, the technological object, a fan, that was focus of the first semester became the subject of this exploration. In the end of the last semester the centrifugal fan was reintroduced into the project as an inertial separator cyclone inserted into the silos at the proposed Lachine Canal emitter site. The captured sound of failure of the Lindsay Building basement fan became the adaptative solution to the inertial separator fan on Lachine Canal site. Therefore the first defining factor narrowing down possible architectural programmes for consideration beomes that it has to require an interial separator – so the following programmatic options for consideration connect to global-local site context and is also a program stipulated for usage with inertial cyclone as written in it’s technical literature.

Textile Factory – As mentioned, with rising cost of fuel it will become more feasible to manufacture goods near the point of sale. The option for a textile factory means repatriation in space and time. The Lachine Canal district historically had textile factories. By considering the reintroduction of the textile factory you are connecting to the former meaning of the site as place of industry, but this connection is a linear one entails confining the district to it’s industrial past as movement away from this past.

Artisian Workshops –

Medical or Pharmaceutical Drug Testing Labratories –

Vertical Farm –

Print and Paper Shop –

Technical Highschool –

Trades College –

 Mechatonic Factory AssemblyF67

Elaboration of Concept – ‘Complication of Concept’

Vertical Translation Study – Circular Motion

The work Russian Constructivist Iakov Chernikhov (1889-1951). Drawings entitled, ’Machine Forms’, circa 1931.

Iakov Chernikhov3bF77


Iakov Chernikhov5cF77
Iakov Chernikhov4bF77

Synthesis iteration/exploration on spatial syntax possibly extruded down through the hight of the Silo for experience up close vs Figure/Ground seen in Proof of Concept Model, the spatial translation focused up top and experienced as immediate, and distant, industrial landscape feature.

Circular Motion Study.psd

Affect Study – Fear Anxiety v. Happy Amusement

Affect of failure translated as Amusement-Entertainment v. Fear-Anxiety inducing.

The Mechanical Absurdities of British Cartoonist William Heath Robinson (1872-1944).


Typical of W. Heath Robinson to depict complex pulley configurations in drawings. The cartoons are a critical commentary of machine technology.


W.H.Robinson Machinic Oddity 2 – Burglar Training Apparatus


W.H. Robinson Machinic Oddity 3 – Bombcatcher


W.H. Robinson Machinic Oddity 4

Kinetic Sculpture – Mechanical Physics-Affect Study

Studied the Kinetic Sculpture – The ”fantastical Machines” – of American Sculptor/MIT Prof. Arthur Ganson (b.1955 -)

“A Wishbone Hauling it’s Own Dream”

“A wishbone hauling its own dream machine across the floor may not have a clear meaning, but that takes second place, he says, to “communicating the intensity and patience I put into getting the thing to walk.” Arthur Ganson

567w bvq2v 354wF85

“Ganson creates machines that are exquisitely engineered from low-tech materials to “express a feeling or a thought or a question.”

Mechanical Analysis Sketch: “Machine with Wishbone table design”


Study – Personal Phenomenal Experience of the Unfathomable or Excessive Technological Object

Central Grain, Archibald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Mechcanodial Levithan

Industrial Gothic Organ Contraption copy

Mechcanodial Accumulations Rearching to Each Other

Mechcanoidal Parts

Mechcanoidial Organ Flutes




Central Grain

Central Grain North Elev

Shop Drawings for Interactive Architecture Design Research Apparatus of the Silos dans Montréal.


shopdrawing1 copy

Further Design Development + Substrate/Apparatus Sketches

Prelim Sketches6

In these sketches a the direction of the design is towards a figure-ground relationship, why does it similar most desirable, this quote from the book Sensory Design elucidates:

Humans prefer an information level neither too high nor too low, a concept that oddly reflects Gombrich’s comment that delight lies between chaos and boredom. Coherence refers to our sense of order, our knowledge of the larger milieu. These two aspects, taken together, suggest a figure-ground relationship. In fact we contend that legibility, the ability to form a clear mental image, relies on this correlation. The data that comprise complexity and coherence, however, are comprehended through our senses and subjected to memory; hence we have made provision for these later two elements. Finally mystery refers to hidden (albeit available to extended scrutiny) information in locales that provides a measure of delight in their contemplation. (Vodvarka, Monica Joy and Malnar, Frank. ‘Sensory Design.’ University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2006. p 234)



Circuit Board (Arduino w/ Motor Shield) and Motor


Electronic Equipment:

HP 990Cxi Motor x 4

Motor HP picF87

Description: This is a DC motor appropriated from a HP printer (Thanks Tony).

Technical Data:

max voltage 24V
medium voltage 15V
Max current 1.6A
no load current 0.1A
no load speed 3540 rpm
max power 8.72
starting voltage 3V
resistance 11.6 ohms
volts at 1000 revolutions: 6.4V
inertia 50 (gm.cm2 ?)
moment on the shaft of 6.08 N*cm/A
max moment 9.4 N*cm

Arduino Duemilanove (2009)


Description: Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple i/o board and a development environment that implements the processing/wiring language. Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software on your computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). A microcontroller board based on the ATmega168 or ATmega328; it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. Arduino Duemilanove can be programmed with the Arduino software. The Arduino Duemilanove can be powered via the USB connection or with an external power supply.

Technical Data:

Microcontroller ATmega168
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins 6
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 16 KB (ATmega168) or 32 KB (ATmega328) of which 2 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 1 KB (ATmega168) or 2 KB (ATmega328)
EEPROM 512 bytes (ATmega168) or 1 KB (ATmega328)
Clock Speed 16 MHz

Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield for Arduino


Description: A motor shield is a platform for robotics and mechatronics, able to power many simple to medium-complexity projects.

Technical Data:

2 connections for 5V ‘hobby’ servos connected to the Arduino high-resolution dedicated timer – no jitter!  
Up to 4 bi-directional DC motors with individual 8-bit speed selection (so, about 0.5%resolution)  
Up to 2 stepper motors (unipolar or biopolar) with single coil, double coil, interleaved or micro-stepping  
4H Bridges: L293D chipset provides 0.6A bridge (1.2A peak) with thermal shutdown protection, 4.5V to 36V  
Pull down resistors keep motors disabled during power-up  
Big terminal block connectors to eaily hook up wires (10-22AWG) and power  
2-pin terminal block to connect external power, for separate logic/motor supplies  
Tested compatible with Mega, Diecimila, & Duemilanove  

Electronics Notes

Electronics_Notes 1

Electronics_Notes 6

Electronics_Notes 5

Electronics_Notes 4

Electronics_Notes 3

Electronics_Notes 2

Cardboard Mock-Up


Study of Heavy-duty Industry Engineering, Design and Spatio-Materiality

Indry_FC_photo12345  F90
4324qdsasdfsdfLouiseBlastFurnaceatNewBosto DetroitSteelF102


Silo Program: Vertical Farm


What is Vertical Farming and What is the Argument

“Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University in New York City, developed the idea of vertical farming in 1999 with graduate students in a medical ecology class. He had originally challenged his class to feed 50,000 Manhattanites using 13 acres of useable rooftop gardens. The class calculated that, by using rooftop gardening methods, only 2 percent of the 50,000 people would be fed. Unsatisfied with the results, Despommier thoughtlessly suggested growing plants indoors, vertically. The idea sparked the students’ interests and gained major momentum. By 2001 the first outline of a vertical farm was introduced and today scientists, architects, and investors worldwide are working together to make the concept of vertical farming a reality. In an interview with; Despommier described how vertical farms would function:

“Each floor will have its own watering and nutrient monitoring systems. There will be sensors for every single plant that tracks how much and what kinds of nutrients the plant has absorbed. You’ll even have systems to monitor plant diseases by employing DNA chip technologies that detect the presence of plant pathogens by simply sampling the air and using snippets from various viral and bacterial infections. It’s very easy to do.

Moreover, a gas chromatograph will tell us when to pick the plant by analyzing which flavenoids the produce contains. These flavenoids are what gives the food the flavors you’re so fond of, particularly for more aromatic produce like tomatoes and peppers. These are all right-off-the-shelf technologies. The ability to construct a vertical farm exists now. We don’t have to make anything new.”

(Walsh, Bryan. “Vertical Farming.” Time Magazine Issue Dec, 2008. Accessed March, 2010.,9171,1865974,00.html.)

“Vertical farming is a proposed agricultural technique involving large-scale agriculture in urban high-rises or “farmscrapers”. Using recycled resources and greenhouse methods such as hydroponics, these buildings would produce fruit, vegetables, edible mushrooms and algae year-round. Their proponents argue that, by allowing traditional outdoor farms to revert to a natural state and reducing the energy costs needed to transport foods to consumers, vertical farms could significantly alleviate climate change produced by excess atmospheric carbon. Critics have noted that the costs of the additional energy needed for artificial lighting and other vertical farming operations might outweigh the benefit of the building’s close proximity to the areas of consumption.”

“Why would we want to build skyscrapers filled with lettuce when we’ve been farming on the ground for 10,000 years? Because as the world’s population grows–from 6.8 billion now to as much as 9 billion by 2050–we could run out of productive soil and water. Most of the population growth will occur in cities that can’t easily feed themselves. Add the fact that modern agriculture and everything associated with it–deforestation, chemical-laden fertilizers and carbon-emitting transportation–is a significant contributor to climate change, and suddenly vertical farming doesn’t seem so magic beanstalk in the sky. Vertical farming could allow food to be grown locally and sustainably.”

“At Valcent’s El Paso lab, potted crops grow in rows on clear vertical panels that rotate on a conveyor belt. Moving them gives the plants the precise amount of light and nutrients needed, an optimization that Kertz says lets him grow 15 times as much lettuce per acre as on a normal farm, using 5% of the water that conventional agriculture does. The company aims to finish a commercial-scale facility by early 2009.”

“Primarily, an agricultural shift towards vertical farming, away from traditional horizontal field farming, would have a twofold affect: controlled crop production and reforestation. Food production would fall completely under human control as all farming would be relocated indoors within controlled environments, preventing crop failure, eliminating pesticide and fertilizer usage, allowing for direct distribution of harvests, and permitting year-round production. And with farmlands no longer needed for crop production, countless acres could be reforested, restoring untold amounts of hardwood forestry to temperate and tropical areas. “The re-growth of hardwood forests could play a significant role in carbon sequestration and may help reverse the current trends in global climate change,” Despommier wrote in an essay on vertical farming.”

“It’s also important that vertical farms imitate natural functions in order to create a sustainable system of growth. A large part of this is “mimicking the ecological process;” a kind of natural recycling. Despommier wrote that vertical farms must recycle “everything organic, [as well as] used water—human and animal waste—turning it back into drinking water.” In fact, vertical farms can potentially create a completely new source of fresh water. “[Vertical farms would convert] black and gray water into potable water by engineering the collection of the water realized through evapotranspiration,” Despommier wrote.

Supplying power to one of these behemoth buildings is not something out of reach, either. Despommier believes that several different energy outlets could successfully power a vertical farm. He considers wind power, solar energy, tidal power, and biogas production all as viable outlets of energy. Jacobs also recognizes the vast potential in a wide variety of cutting-edge technologies, such as Maglev wind turbines. “

Flow inventory

Table 1: Flow inventory for the vertical farm. Includes probable flows during start-up, steady state, and shutdown. Input, output, and major internal flows are included

  Input Recycled within Output from farm
Initial Permit for building or structurally viable abandoned buildingRedesign of current building or construction of new buildingConstruction of and equipment for aquaponic and hydroponics systems.Compost anaerobic reactor with methane-based energy production capabilitiesInitial organic matter: From parks and surrounding homesBlackwater treatment system, with health precautions for handlingTools for gardening and fish farmingEst. cost=UnknownArea: 167 sq m    
Steady-state Organic wasteBlackwater waterMinimal workforce: UnknownEnergy for temperature reulation, equipment etc not derived from methaneMaintenance of equipment Organic waste – compostWaterMethaneWorms Agricultural ProduceFishAny broken equipment
Final WorkforceFuel   Equipment from all systemsConstruction materialsLeft over organic waste/compost

Quotes and Data from:

(A study conducted by: Kristin Anderson, Nicola Areshenko, Alan Brown, Jennifer Buskey, Amanda Colligan, Marisa Dahlman, Catherine Dell’Orto, Catherine Tuglus Course Director: Dr. Dickson Despommier. Columbia University, Spring 2003. Accessed, March 2010.

Programmatic-Functional Components

Clean Rooms, Male and Female Waterclosets, Anerobic Digester {wet input resturant waste, black and grey water effluent digestion container, dry (compost) and wet (filtered and sterilized water) output storage containers, sludge mixers, pumps, pipes, water filter), Electrical Room with Biogas (Methane) Power Generators (500kwx3=1500kw for 30,000 sq.ft. building), Power Storage, Energy Sub-station, Mechanical Room, Waste Removal – Inertial Cyclonic Particle-Air Separator, Pipes, ducts and converyer belt (organic waste, dust, dirt, dead organic matter, watercloset black and grey water), Nutrient Distribution (compost – nutrient rich soil from digester, water, carbon-dioxide from digestor), Evapotranspiration Technology – Moisture-Air Exhanger/Air Ventilation (stack effect – releasing moisture and oxygen into the city through exhaust stacks), Thermal controls (Methane gas heater – heats glycol circulating heat or cold radiation through pvc pipes), Watering Equipment, Fruit-Vegetable-Flower Vertical Grow Substrate-Grid, Barrier-free accessiblity, Vertical Transportation, LED Grow Lights, Active and Passive Thermal Contol (louvers, vent stack, operable glazing units), Superintendents Office/Security Personelle, Janitor’s Closet, General Storage, Market Vendor Slots, Wet waste Drop off and Dry Compost pick-up area.

Vertical Farm Precedents

A vertical farm has yet to be built, the following examples are proposals, the first has gone through the most design development and is the one most likely to be built.

Ex. 1

Designed by Chris Jacobs and the lead researcher of vertical farming Dickson Despommier (Columbia University). It is the only vertical farm under serious consideration for construction (In one of the burroughs of New York City).

Chris Jacobs – Vertical Farming Theorist

Distribution is a key factor that makes the concept so enticing.”



Ex. 2 Proposal for Los Angeles



(To be summarized)

“La Tour Vivante – Footprint 1200 sq m / 0.3 acres, height 30 stories, 130 apartments, 8700 sq m office floors, 7000 sq m / 1.7 acres of arable land, 650sq m nursery and library, 6800sq m supermarket, 475 parking places. One of the most notable designs is made by Paris based Atelier SOA. In La Tour Vivante, The Living Tower, houses and offices are combined with farming in a tight and integrated relationship. This results in a considerable savings in energy use.”

Ex. 3 (site unknown)



Building Systems for a Vertical Farm – Mechanical Ecology


Systems Diagram


Building Systems Components

Inertial Particle Separator-Cyclonic Air-Dirt Particle Collector-Ventilator

cyclopex cyclonic tubular bag filterF115

Negative pressure configuration

  1. During normal operation, the dust is drawn down the supply duct (1) and into the Cyclofilter.
  2. Upon entering the Cyclofilter, the air and material are diverted into a spiral motion around the inside perimeter (4). The centrifugal force applied by the side wall allows the heavier material to fall out of the air stream and out of the material discharge (5) at the bottom of the collector.
  3. All of the filter bags (6) are contained within a specially designed perforated cylinder (7) which protects the bags from abrasion. The perforations also allow air through which reduces the upward velocity of the remaining air.
  4. The dirty air collects on the outside of each filter bag (6) while the clean air passes through to the middle. A “tube sheet” (7) holds the bags open at the top and allows the clean air to escape into the clean air chamber (8) and into the air outlet. (9) From there, duct work connects the clean air outlet to the main fan (2).

Impeller Designs:

Chip Impeller

Particale ImpellerF119

Clean Air

clean air impeller F120


chip impellerF121

Examples Of Particle Collectors in Agricultural Use

Ex. 1

Solution: Agriculture – 110 Bourgogne, France

Name and country location of installation – 110 Bourgogne, France

Industry – Agriculture

Application or process – Soil, cereal dust

Date of Installation – July 2006

Filter type and size – Cyclopac 4Y9 + 4Y7 type

Airflow volume – 148 000 m3/h

Filter material – Oleophobe antistatic

Fan type and other major components – 2 BLC 30 + 2 BLC 36

Reason for installation – Setting to ATEX standards for silos and removal of cyclones

Special site conditions – Waste into containers, Noise insulation


Ex. 2

Name and country location of installation – Capla, France

Industry – Agriculture

Application or process – Dust extraction from conveyors, elevators, cleaners

Date of Installation – August 2005

Filter type and size – Cyclopac 4Y2 type

Airflow volume – 9000 m3/h

Filter material – Hydro Oleophobe

Fan type and other major components – Fan BLC 15 type

Reason for installation – Standards setting

(Data from, Accessed February, 2010)

Anerobic Digester



Needs to be summarized

“The initial biogas anaerobic reactor will produce 1 m3 of about 55% methane, 45% CO2 gas for every cubic meter of digester volume (14). The resulting effluent will have an acceptable BOD5, but will conserve a large amount of nutrients not conserved in other aerobic digestion methods. It will not, however, remove all pathogens; therefore a follows the reactor, which will prepare the effluent for UV radiation/Ozone treatment to thoroughly disinfect the effluent of pathogens (19). Because anaerobic processes often emit strong, obnoxious odors, lime treatment may also be used to increase the pH and eliminate odors if necessary (30). Activated carbon control may also be utilized for odor treatment.

Wastewater Summary

  Advantages Disadvantages
Greywater Less nitrogen than blackwaterBreaks down faster than black water – less smellContains fewer pathogensRealized technologyMore acceptable to the community Treatment needs separate wastewater lines for greywaterTransportation of water to the Vertical Farm not provided
Blackwater Treatment does not need separate sewage linesCurrent city system supports its useTransport to Vertical Farm is currently possibleRealized technologyHigh nutrient possibilities Not acceptable on the community levelHigh content of pathogensHigh nitrogen concentration

Post-Consumer Organic Wastes and Treatment

Post-Consumer Organic Wastes consist of food waste that may be composted as a potential fertilizer source. It is estimated that NYC landfills over 7 million tons of compostable organic wastes each day, which emit approximately 1.8 million tons of greenhouse gas (20). If composted properly, this waste could create nearly 16.1 million tons of rich fertilizer, which could be utilized as a supplemental effluent to processed greywater or blackwater. The basic nutrient content of mixed organic waste compost according to FoodFen study is 6.6 kg N, 3 kg P2O5, 5.4 kg K2O, 1.08 kg Mg, and 0.96 kg S per ton (24). Currently in the U.S. only 6% of organic wastes produced are composted (4).

In some systems unneeded organic waste may be digested to produce energy through biogas production using an anaerobic biogas reactor similar to the blackwater anaerobic treatment schematic. With the help of an anaerobic reactor to add nutrients to a solution, compost can also be used for use in hydroponics (7).


  • Common and publicly accepted,
  • simple to set up
  • very inexpensive


  • vermin and pest attraction
  • space requirements

Any organic material can be used for composting, however, the addition of materials that might compete with or destroy fungus or bacteria should be avoided. The ideal pile for composting is 3 cubic feet, which will lead to 1.75 cubic feet when the composting process is complete, i.e. after anaerobic digestion.

Worms will be used to aerate the compost. Full Circle is currently conducting a vermiculture waste management project that uses 100,000 pounds of earthworms to process about 200 cubic yards a day of waste from horse stables at the Louisiana Downs racetrack into compost and worm castings. Not only does this process save the track thousands of dollars in annual avoided feces disposal, the castings are then sold as a soil amendment product, marketed under the Growers Pride label. Earthworms can be expected to convert at least half of their body weight per day into rich worm castings. For the purpose of the vertical farm, the worms would be used to speed the composting process, and would then be fed to omnivorous fish grown within the farm.

The primary purposes of an anaerobic digester are twofold. First, it is an efficient method for breaking down and recycling nutrients from treated blackwater, organic material shipped into the vertical farm, and wastes produced by the vertical farm, in order to nourish both the agricultural and aquacultural operations of the farm. Second, it is an excellent mechanism for generating energy for the vertical farm by producing methane, which can be burned to produce electricity and heat. Additional functions of the digester are to eliminate pathogenic organisms, to provide carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, heat, and adjustment of pH of the nutrient solution (1).

Anaerobic digestion is not a new concept. The first anaerobic digester was built in India in 1859. In 1985, energy from anaerobic digestion fueled street lamps in England. In 1998, it is estimated that 600 farm-based digesters were in use, only 31 of which were in operation in the USA (1).



System Matrix


Bio-digestion Reactor

A diagram of the anaerobic digester is provided in Figure 6. The digester will be of sufficient size to hold 70 L of organic waste and water, and will be located adjacent to the vertical farm. The main components of the anaerobic digester are: 1) an insulated vessel to hold and process the blackwater, organic materials, and wastes (insulation is used to reduce heating costs and maintain a homogeneous temperature within the digester); 2) a hardwood pallet (or base); 3) effluent inlet and outlet pipes to bring in treated blackwater and macerated wastes; 4) an effluent retention sump; 5) a solids outlet to recycle sludge; 6) a gas outlet to collect methane and carbon dioxide generated by the digestion process; 7) a gas collection overflow tube to prevent excess gas pressure from building up in the vessel; and 8) a gas agitation jet, to churn the mixture in the digester vessel.”

“Composted material and other organic wastes, which have been macerated and shredded, are mixed with treated blackwater and added to the digester vessel through the effluent intake pipe. The influent total solids concentration will range from 5-8%, of which approximately 55-65% will be organic matter (3).

The digestion process occurs in two steps. First, “acid-forming stage,” volatile solids in organic waste are broken down to fatty acids. This step is carried out by a group of bacteria called “acid formers.” In the second step, another specialized group of bacteria called “methane formers” are responsible for conversion of the acids to methane gas and carbon dioxide (4).

The digester is continuously rotated for several reasons. First, rotation prevents scum buildup on the sides of the vessel by a gas agitation jet and to homogenize the mixture. Second, mixing facilitates digestion by continuous contact of bacteria with the waste material. Third, rotation distributes the heat generated more uniformly (4).

Gases, methane and carbon dioxide, are emitted and are collected via the gas collection pipe at the top of the vessel. The typical proportion of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the decomposition of organic matter in an anaerobic digester is 60%, and 40%, respectively. A trace amount of hydrogen sulfide is also produced (1).

Methane is an excellent fuel source, producing about 900 BTU/ft3 . We shall use a standard engine generator set (not described) to produce electricity. This set has about 20-40% efficiency in converting BTU’s of methane to electricity (1). For every pound of volatile solids, approximately 0.4 ft3/day of methane is produced (1). Assuming 500 pounds of volatile solids from food waste, fish waste, and blackwater sludge are processed per day, we expect to produce 200 ft3/day of methane, or a total of 180,000 BTU electricity per day.

Carbon dioxide is essential for photosynthesis of the hydroponic crops, to maintain temperature (acting as a greenhouse gas) in the digester and the agriculture space, and to adjust the pH of the solution in the digester (3).

An enriched nutrient solution flows out of the vessel through an outlet pipe, which feeds into the effluent retention sump. Based on measurements conducted on a system at Berea College in Kentucky which composted cafeteria food waste, expected measurements from sludge, and a ratio of 75% compost to 25% blackwater, we estimate that the nutrient composition of finished compost will be approximately 2.1-2.8% nitrogen, 0.60-0.68% phosphorous, 0.98-1.25% potassium, 0.35-0.51% sulfur, 0.41-0.51% magnesium, and 3.40-3.75% calcium (5). This solution will be used for feeding the crops and fish.

This device provides a reserve that will suck liquid into the digester rather than air in the event of a vacuum. Solid waste flows out of the bottom of the vessel through the solids outlet. A re-circulating sludge pump will be used to recycle the sludge to the next batch of composted material (2).

The average length time required for anaerobic digestion of each batch of compost and treated blackwater will be approximately 15-18 days (1).


As should be readily apparent, anaerobic digestion is beneficial to the Vertical Farm, and to the environment as a whole. In addition to the recycling of nutrients and production of energy, this system results in substantial pathogen control, because pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Cryptosporidium cannot survive the high temperature of the digester. Moreover, anaerobic digestion destroys more organic compounds and produces more gas than aerobic digestion does. Processing bacteria in the digester leads to a significant reduction in odor-causing compounds, and fly eggs are killed during anaerobic digestion. With regard to the environment in general, the digester represents an efficient and renewable process for disposal of and utilization of organic waste. Furthermore, the conversion of methane to energy translates into the reduction of release of methane to the atmosphere, which is far more potent than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.”

Quotes and Data from:

(A study conducted by: Kristin Anderson, Nicola Areshenko, Alan Brown, Jennifer Buskey, Amanda Colligan, Marisa Dahlman, Catherine Dell’Orto, Catherine Tuglus Course Director: Dr. Dickson Despommier. Columbia University, Spring 2003. Accessed, March 2010.

Biogas (Methane) Electricity Generator (500kw x 3 = 1500Kw for 30,000 sq.ft. silo building)


Cogeneration Units for currently operating anerobic digester


Biogas Power Station



DC Electric Motor


Electric Drive Motor for Turbine


Large Gear Scale of Materials and Structure for Engineering and Design



Vertical Vegetation Growth Substrate



Ball-Bearing Design


Description (Need to Summarize):

Rolling-element bearings Everyday experiences demonstrate that rolling resistance is much less than sliding resistance. This principle is used in the rolling-element bearing which has found wide use. In the development of the automobile, ball and roller bearings were found to be ideal for many applications, and today they are widely used in almost every kind of machinery.

These bearings are characterized by balls or cylinders confined between outer and inner rings. The balls or rollers are usually spaced uniformly by a cage or separator. The rolling elements are the most important because they transmit the loads from the moving parts of the machine to the stationary supports. Balls are uniformly spherical, but the rollers may be straight cylinders, or they may be barrel- or cone-shaped or of other forms, depending upon the purpose of the design. The rings, called the races, supply smooth, hard, accurate surfaces for the balls or rollers to roll on. Some types of ball and roller bearings are made without separators. In other types there is only the inner or the outer ring, and the rollers operate directly upon a suitably hardened and ground shaft or housing. Figure 5 shows a typical deep-grooved ball bearing, with the parts that are generally used.

Deep-groove ball bearing. (Marlin-Rockwell)

These bearings may be classified by function into three groups: radial, thrust, and angular-contact bearings. Radial bearings are designed principally to carry a load in a direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation. However, some radial bearings, such as the deep-grooved bearings shown in Fig. 5, are also capable of carrying a thrust load, that is, a load parallel to the axis of rotation and tending to push the shaft in the axial direction. Some bearings, however, are designed to carry only thrust loads. Angular-contact bearings are especially designed and manufactured to carry heavy thrust loads and also radial loads.

A unique feature of rolling-element bearings is that their useful life is not determined by wear but by fatigue of the operating surfaces under the repeated stresses of normal use. Fatigue failure, which occurs as a progressive flaking or sifting of the surfaces of the races and rolling elements, is accepted as the basic reason for the termination of the useful life of such a bearing.

Antifriction bearing

A machine element that permits free motion between moving and fixed parts. Antifrictional bearings are essential to mechanized equipment; they hold or guide moving machine parts and minimize friction and wear.

In its simplest form, a bearing consists of a cylindrical shaft, called a journal, and a mating hole, serving as the bearing proper. Ancient bearings were made of such materials as wood, stone, leather, or bone, and later of metal. It soon became apparent for this type of bearing that a lubricant would reduce both friction and wear and prolong the useful life of the bearing. Petroleum oils and greases are generally used for lubricants, sometimes containing soap and solid lubricants such as graphite or molybdenum disulfide, talc, and similar substances.


The greatest single advance in the development of improved bearing materials took place in 1839, when I. Babbitt obtained a United States patent for a bearing metal with a special alloy. This alloy, largely tin, contained small amounts of antimony, copper, and lead. This and similar materials have made excellent bearings. They have a silvery appearance and are generally described as white metals or as Babbitt metals.

Wooden bearings are still used for limited applications in light-duty machinery and are frequently made of hard maple which has been impregnated with a neutral oil. Wooden bearings made of lignum vitae, the hardest and densest of all woods, are still used.


Some of the most successful heavy-duty bearing metals are now made of several distinct compositions combined in one bearing. This approach is based on the widely accepted theory of friction, which is that the best possible bearing material would be one which is fairly hard and resistant but which has an overla of a soft metal that is easily deformed. Figure 1 shows bearings in which graphite, carbon, plastic, and rubber have been incorporated into a number of designs illustrating some of the material combinations that are presently available. {(J. J. O’Connor, Power’s Handbook on Bearings and Lubrication, McGraw-Hill, 1951)) Accessed March, 2010.}

Grow Lighting- LED grow lamps:


Description: (yet to be summarized)

LED panel light source used in an experiment on plant growth by NASA. Pictured plant is a potato plant.

Recent advancements in LEDs have allowed for the production of relatively cheap, bright, and long lasting grow lights that emit only the wavelengths of light corresponding to chlorophyll’s absorption peaks. These lights are attractive to indoor growers since they do not consume as much power, do not require ballasts, and produce a fraction of the heat of HID lamps. There are four chlorophyll absorption peaks and LED grow lights use four different types of LEDs to hit all four peaks (two red and two blue). It should be pointed out that there is no peer reviewed scientific evidence supporting the claims of higher growth rate using LED grow lights versus HID lighting; however a number of non-scientific grow tests can be found online.


Grow lights are most used for indoor gardening, plant propagation and food production, including indoor hydroponics and aquatic plants. Although most grow lights are used on an industrial level, some small-scale/domestic usage of these lamps has also been found.

According to the inverse square law, the intensity of light radiating from a point source (in this case a bulb) that reaches a surface is inversely proportional to the square of the surface’s distance from the source. So if an object is twice as far away, it receives only 1/4 the light. This is a serious hurdle for indoor growers, and many techniques are employed to use light as efficiently as possible. Reflectors are thus often used in the lamps to maximize light efficiency. Plants or lights are moved as close together as possible so that they receive equal lighting and that all light coming from the lamps wind up on the plants (rather than partly besides it). Often, the distance between lamp and plant is in the range of 24 inches (with incandescent lamps), up to 4 inches (with other lamps as compact, large and high-output fluorescent lamps). Some home gardeners cover the walls of their grow-room with some type of reflective material, or alternatively, white paint to maximize efficiency.

A commonly used covering is 6 mil (150 µm) PVC plastic sheeting that is white on one side and black on the other. The plastic is installed with the white side facing in to the room to reflect light, and the black facing the wall, to reduce fungus and mold growth. Another common covering is flat white paint, with a high titanium dioxide content to maximize reflectivity. Mylar sheeting is also sometimes used, along with Astrofoil (which also reflects heat), and Foylon]] (a foil-laminated, reinforced fabric).

Light requirements of plants

To determine the appropriate lighting (and the lamp to be best used), the specific needs of the plant need to be determined. To arrange optimum lighting, the lighting present in the plant’s natural environment need to be imitated. Of course, the bigger the plant gets the more light it requires; if there is not enough light, a plant will not grow, regardless of other conditions.

For example vegetables grow best in full sunlight, which means in practice that as much light as possible must be supplied to grow vegetables indoors (fluorescent lamps, or MH-lamps are thus preferred). Foliage plants (e.g. Philodendron) grow in full shade and can therefore grow normally with relatively little artificial light (thus for the latter, regular incandescents may already suffice).

In addition, plants also require both dark and light (“photo”-) periods. Therefore, lights need to be timed to switch them on and off at set intervals. The optimum photo/dark period depends specifically on the species and variety of plant (some prefer long days and short nights and others prefer the opposite, or something in between).

For indoor gardening, one of the most important topics is light density, measured in lux. Light density is the amount of light incident on a surface. One lux equals one lumen (unit) of light falling on an area of one square meter. A brightly lit office would be illuminated at about 400 lux. In Imperial (pounds-feet) terms, a foot-candle, or the intensity of a standard candle on an area of 1 square foot, is about 10.76 lux. In professional farming PAR watt or microeinstein per squaremeter second is used instead of lux, because lux is optimized for human vision, not for photosynthesis, and can be very misleading in case of non-white lightsources, like the purplish-looking LED growlights.” (“grow lights” Accessed March, 2010.

Micropore Waterfilter

micropore water filterF137



Absorption Chiller

Plant Layout


Design Development Sketches:

Architectural Sketches6


Architectural Sketches3

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Architectural Sketches4

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Architectural Sketches9

Architectural Sketches7

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Further Development Sketches

Architectural Sketches16

Architectural Sketches12

Architectural Sketches13

Architectural Sketches14

Architectural Sketches15

Architectural Sketches17

Architectural Sketches 001

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Architectural Sketches 003

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Architectural Sketches 007

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Mechatronic Model Sketches














Architectural Sketches 008

Technical Plans



Mechatronic Model









Project Summary

The objective of this project was to capture and analyze the transmission of sound or light phenomena through the built environment and then in term two to use the uncovered phenomena behaviors as the generative material for an interactive architecture proposal that re-emits the phenomena. I chose the sound of a broken centrifugal fan to investigate. The sound of the fan had an affective impact on me fortuitously related to my personal research.

I’m interested in questioning the interaction between humans and technology, architecture as a form of technology which explicitly envelopes human being or being human, so the effect the broken fan had on me was to open the question of the supposed invisibility of the utilitarian technological object. As Martin Heidegger mentions in Being and Time, ‘while in use the technological object recedes from view, but once the object starts to fail it begins to assert its presence.Therefore the intention behind the project became exploring the use of the sound affect of failure of the centrifugal fan to give spatial/atmospheric presence to a technologically explicit or ‘utilitarian’ architecture. And that this visibility meant engagement in an underlying process of technological adaptation, showing that ‘form follows failure.’

Project exploration began through a sound composition which communicated the phenomenological human experience of the sound. Research into the physical-mechanical, acoustic and human psychological-behavioural aspects of the phenomena was then used to create a notation drawing that began to translate the phenomena behaviors architectonically. I then translated the notations, the rules of behavior, on to the proposed architecture site for term two, pairs of concrete silos on the Lachine Canal in Montreal. Finally, the phenomena were translated architecturally into the silo site through a mechanism, a useful-purposeful utilitarian technological object that re-emitted the phenomena. I chose an inertial dust-air particle separator as the mechanism with which to insert into the silos because it had the most proper shape and scale to fit inside the cylindrical geometry of the silos. In term two the mechanisms re-emitting of the phenomena became the generative material for its integration into design of a larger, more complex, mechanical-biological technological object, the design of a vertical or urban farm. The design of which was the re-ordering of our technical-mechanical-ecological-infrastructure life-support systems, our food-waste cycle systems, to contemporary resource management needs/problems, bringing them out from hiding, invisibility, bringing us closer, making our relationship with them a more conscious, affective, effective, interactive, experience.

The importance of this project for me was: In demonstrating technological adaptation as a creative critique of that which has failed – technology that uses failure to affect, besides adaptive purposeful effect, as a way of attempting to reconcile the complex and contradictory needs of humans and nature. In taking technologically explicit architecture beyond representation, designing a real, useful, functioning, “interactive” machine. In using drawing, building, as well as writing, as a means to intuit/search, think/analyze, and derive insights from research for growth of my personal polemic and spatial language (which has been the case since the ‘decentring’ of man with the Copernican-Galilean paradigm shift of the 15th century Italian Renaissance as Mario Carpo, Peter Eisenman, Manfredo Tafuri state begins in Architecture with Alberti’s Ten Books). In determining that sound ornamentation can augment affective visual spatial presence – what is the unfathomable, mysterious, sensuous, formally excessive, because technically complex, technological object. Originally I thought sound might be a non-material means of replacing excessive formal ornamentation that appeals to sight, but as I discovered, dynamic sounds come from complex and unique material organizations and operations, and sight, as I confirmed through experimental research in my course on neuro-esthetics, is the most powerfully affective sensory input, which sound works to further increase affective spatial power and presence – but not replace. Finally, in showing how an architecture of technical parts allows for the synthesis of complex and contradictory layers of knowledge which arrive over time and experience of design development by allowing the concept, the whole, to be contaminated by the addition of more concepts by the addition of more technical parts.

Thanks for reading. 



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