The Strawberry Effect
Meriç Arslanoğlu / Istanbul Technical University / 2016 / 8th Semester/ Graduation Project / Archiprix TR 2016, National Graduation Project Competition | 1st Prize / Jury; Ayşe Şentürer, Hakan Tüzün Şengün, Kerem Piker, Deniz Aslan
DESCRIPTION OF CONCEPT
“The Strawberry Effect” takes place in the factory of the man-made experience where the natural ceased to exist, beside the Hudson River and at the end of the “High Line” promenade. The project investigates artificial environments of future and speculates about innovative synthetic materials with the help of biochemical experiments.
The relationship between New York City and nature depends on artificial experiences, just like the acquired strawberry flavor. Imagine in the early ’60s, when strawberry flavors were not common, people would have to say; “Wow, this artificial flavor just tastes like real strawberry!” Fast forward some 50 years to now, you would probably hear; “Actual fruit of strawberry doesn’t taste like the instant flavor anymore.” We have slowly acquired a taste of a strawberry far from the true fruit.“ Totally designed instant chemicals, but we call it “strawberry” flavor. It reminds living in NYC.
Main social elements of Manhattan’s city structure such as “Central Park”, “High Line Park” and in the future “Lowline Park” are man-made environments that pretend to be natural. Designers of the “High Line Park” point out that it is highly designed for looking natural, just like “Central Park.” This city transforms a post-industrial railroad to a promenade with the wild meadows, creates forest from a rectangular lot. What if we try to design an environment which doesn’t pretend to be natural? It means designing artificial experiences and synthetic ecology, designing the instant flavor without imitating strawberry.
The project mainly uses primitive cells which are called “Protocell” and chemical compositions as an indicator of the site’s specificity. For example, industrial wastes of Hudson River are considered as post-industrial heritage (just like High Line Railroad) and play a vital role in the project’s synthetic environments.
“The Fish” swims inside of the transparent main space which comprises “Protocell” solution. This total liquid space provides opportunities for flexible architectural spaces with intelligent skins. The solution is covered by three layers of thick acrylic glass. “Interactive Flexible Surfaces” & "Geotextile Layer" decrease the liquid pressure on the surrounding structure. Also, these elements create “stream beds” for the “protocells”. “The Fish” floats and can transform the flexible structures inside of the liquid space.
“Protocell Solution Pipes" leak the chemical compositions and these instant chemicals activate the process of crystallization. Crystals cling to the skin as a riverbed. After a while, architectural space which is frequently used begins to solidify itself with its intelligent skin.