Column 6th The Prototype of Innovative Architecture
Contemporary Taiwanese architecture faces contextual issues of local conditions and tectonic issues of local materials, and finds inspirations from everyday life and looks for opportunities within everyday architecture. At the front of Taiwanese architecture, a group of amateur architects have acquired vital tectonic and contextual concepts of architecture from the environment; professional architects and designers, on the other hand, should play a more active role in this battle. Every great leap in architecture was usually caused by breakthroughs in materials or construction techniques, propelling architecture into a new phase. For example, Crystal Palace used glass and steel to quickly construct a lightweight structure, and created an unimaginable new spatial sensation.
For Taiwanese contemporary architecture to move into the next generation, it should identify crisis and discover issues in the environment, and look for opportunities within local architectural environment and solutions from traditional manufacturing industries. Architects are no longer playing the role of providers of “creativity;” they should be providers of “value.” Not only should architects provide economic value, they should also provide social value, responding to the needs of the environment and society. Architects should walk into everyday life and see what people need and desire, providing them possibilities of innovation so that architectures are not just the personal expressions of great architect, or chaotic expressions of collective individual consciousness; architecture should answer to everyone’s needs, and satisfy the collective imagination for future environment.
Facing the issues of global warming and the widening gap between professional architecture and everyday life, Taiwan Pavilion’s “Re:Made in Taiwan” tries not to directly tackle the heavy topic of architecture, but to respond to daily needs and environmental issues with innovative construction methods through R&D and applications of innovative materials. By probing deep into contemporary architectural phenomena in Taiwan, the exhibition aims to present the possibility of innovative architecture through developing different prototypes in response to different contexts in rural and urban areas. This is Taiwanese people’s report on the front of architecture; not only should architecture improve the relation between natural environment and human civilization, it should also alleviate the gap between professional designs and everyday life.
In 2016 Venice Biennale Taiwan Exhibition, we present the prototypes of innovative architecture and its possibilities which were the collaboration between TDIS and YFY, a design-research brain-trust lab and a world renowned enterprise, dedicates itself to“zero emission green vision” project.
The Prototype is made of Npulp, which is made from straw which is considered ultra-rapidly renewable because harvested two to four times per year in each climate zone. Npulp is then produced through a proprietary enzymatic process. Additionally, the Npulp sustainability supply chain is supported with a logistics system and infrastructure to facilitate harvesting and collection. Excess straw, formerly considered waste, becomes a cash crop for farmers.
Npulp, the technology and the material which has been developing in the past 12 years, was named 2014 Edison Award Finalist and is now transforming itself into building material and system by TDIS Lab. Npulp into the “21st Century Brick” that becomes the “rock-the-world” groundings to push the frontier of architecture. In a nut shell, as long as there are rice growing, there will be housing for those in need.
With this prototype, rice/wheat straws are recycled into Npulp “Paper Brick.” By learning from the cow digestion system, the whole farming-building system is a bio-mechanism: “Landscape Digestion System.” Instead of quarrying stone, clay and soil in the process of building; rather than burning wasted straws in the cycle of farming, Architecture and construction is now truly cradle-to-cradle practice.