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Deluge Diagrams

To postulate that the design of cities is in fact the design of economies.

Automation and Excess in digital Urbanism

Instructor: Karen Lohrmann
SCI-Arc: Summer 2020
Design Of Cities: Lab III


Deluge Diagrams – Design Economies explores the implications within the increasing scales of architectural production in the delivery of cities.

The commodification of architectural products has stretched into the spectrum of the extra-small and the extra-large. Rather than merely the mass production of housing and new towns – we are witnessing the capabilities that concentrated capital and management technologies has in the production of entire cities and their subsystems (read: products and services).

Perhaps as an extension of ecological thinking, we play with the notion that city design becomes the design of transactions and flows. This project postulates that at the scale of the XS and XL the design of cities becomes fundamentally the design of economies.

Triptych Set 1: Optics and Landscapes

Optics and Landscapes explores the relationship between instruments for measurement and the image production known as landscape. This set investigates the history of mapping as it relates to fundamental issues of projection and the module by which a map is drawn from. Historically, mapping has been a tool deployed for navigation (for exploration) and asset tracking (for extraction). How might we begin to conceptualize the map as tool that is predicated on imaging systems in transformation?

Triptych Set 2: Phantom Networks & Wicked Topologies

Phantom Networks questions our contemporary ideas in network visualization and explores the notion of connective tissue. Phantom Networks poses that we might find models for networks in the geometric qualities already present in surface creation. The potential for geometry which has undergone violent collision reveals a topological structure that presents and ‘object-in-object’ of phantom operations.

Triptych Set 3: Mutabolics and Maelstrom Mannerisms

Mutabolics refer to the phenomena of transaction itself. The ability to “transmute” material from one to other. Negation becomes synthesis. A portmanteau of mutations and metabolisms – we might come to think of transactional qualities as itself an organism that feeds on it’s own excess.