Pratt Institute hosted a three-part series of events on the occasion of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference (UNWC) which took place at the UN, on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, and at the newly launched Pratt Research Yard. Layered upon one another, Condensations, Parts 1-3 examined how design and the built environment intersects with issues of permanent climate change and adaptation using three primary lenses: Policy, Value, and Action.
Combined, the events cut across sectors, evoking meaningful, in-depth discussions, brought together over three hundred attendees and constituent representatives from over six countries including but not limited to India, Thailand, Singapore, and Chile, from five C40 cities, from six academic institutions, and from over a dozen governmental organizations. The events concluded in a voluntary Water Action Commitment entitled the “Archipelago Agenda” between Pratt’s Center for Climate Adaptation, Pace University, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) and Anant National University.
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This all-day workshop brought together five international institutions of higher education, their faculty and students to work with various local, national and international stakeholders on one of three particular communities and sites in NYC. One of three parts, this was the last event Pratt hosted for the UN Water Conference.
Representing three water challenged urban typologies (Inland, Island, Tributary), “Condensations, Part 03” sought differing scales and approaches for the development of nature-based green, gray, blue infrastructures and complementary non-structural solutions.
Located in Brooklyn and Queens, the sites represent a sampling of water challenges facing Long Island (the densest island in the US and 17th densest on the planet) and the 32–46 islands comprising the NYC Archipelago.
Teams were formed across sectors including a mix of students, academic leads, industry experts, government officials, community organizations, representatives from the UN and NGOs. Non-human AI counterparts visualizing conversations and input from teams, trained and monitored by Pratt students.
The work shown here foregrounds collaborations with Artificial Intelligence engines; a counterpart to the workshop and each team’s envisioning of their proposals. Trained and monitored by Pratt students alongside each cross cutting team, the AI imagining serves as a complementary set of adaptive possibilities.
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This one-and-a-half day suite of events brought together students/ faculty from Pratt Institute and SUTD alongside the leadership of various Singaporean governmental organizations to discuss and propose methods of climate adaptation along the Eastern coastal region of Singapore; the second densest country on an island.
Looking at defending, wilding and absorbing, three teams studied green/gray/blue adaptive infrastructures using coastal to inland, lowland to upland, localized, neighborhood “transects” perpendicular to the shoreline. Each transect spans across the existing coastline, extending out to the proposed boundary of future reclamation.
A fourth team worked parallel to the coast, through an “islanding” scheme that prospectively ties into the transects. The newly formed ecology amplifies and harvests critical water and food resources through a hybridized green/gray/blue infrastructure of artificial barrier islands.
All four teams worked alongside one another using similar Artificial Intelligence workflows as those used in Condensations 1.0 (see description on the reverse wall), as well as base documentation to develop these initial proposals over the course of the full day workshop.
Condensations 3.0, hosted by University Del Desarrollo (UDD) and took place in Patagonia, Chile December 5-11, 2023. The workshop built upon two prior workshops convened in 2023 with the United Nations and Singapore University of Technology and Design. Erdman convened the workshop, alongside UDD leadership and faculty, on an expedition through the Patagonian Archipelago that included over 40 students. Using a fleet of drones and Artificial Intelligence, the focus was to better understand the archipelago’s latent resources, behaviors, opportunities and challenges in the built and natural environment. As with all Condensations workshops, the week-long ensemble of events included discussions, lectures and engagements with various local officials, scientists and other stakeholders in the region.
This panel brought together cross-cut representation from high-level government officials to innovative designers, financial leaders and policy makers. The title is intended to be a play on “AI” and denote the intelligence of how land scarce/water scarce, island-based habitats could inform future urban development on islands as much as the “(ing)” is intended to insinuate an active role in exploring the subjects/themes denoted below.
Over one tenth of the world’s population currently lives on islands. By 2030 more than 50% of the planet’s fastest growing urban areas are on and/or contain islands within their borders. Archipelagos, formed by clusters of islands, are among the most densely populated and climatologically vulnerable areas of the planet and include a wide array of cultures and races. They harbor both historic and prospective future practices of climate adaptation.
Infrastructural capacity and policy need to be discussed and understood for archipelagos. Understanding decentralized, island-based systems is critical to protect, learn from and test models of development in line with UN SDG’s, Kyoto and Paris Accords, for these amphibious “third’’ zones.
Adaptation(s) collects four exhibitions in Pratt’s Indoor Public Programming space on Governors Island located within Nolan Park. Each exhibition centers on differing aspects of climate adaptation and includes world leading architects (like Bjarke Ingels Group and SO – IL), alongside students from Pratt’s School of Architecture and various local and international community partners who collaborated on workshops/events Pratt hosted surrounding the UN Water Conference in March 2023.