‘The supporting actors makes the movie’

October 10, 2018

Ronald Rael is in his book; Boundary line infrastructure discussing the border wall between Mexico and the United States. In the extraction from pages 76-82 and in multiple lectures he is particularly discussing how efficient the existing wall is in terms of its main purpose; to stop or slow down the stream of immigrants coming from Mexico to the United States and he is comparing it to relevant alternative solutions. As many of his proposals for the border wall are seemingly infeasible, he is questioned whether his book and speculations are merely a social project, or if it is a design project as well. He responds with “why can it not be both?” and adds that more surreal projects related to the border wall has already been ventured. He refers to his seemingly reasonable proposal of building a small library at the border and compares it to a project where people were launched over the wall with a canon. Whether one agrees that it could be a design project or not, his work definitely sheds light on an important issue and an interesting opportunity; to allow other social functions to ‘piggy-back’ onto the seemingly lasting infrastructural system that is the border wall. He also argues that these bi-functions, or components if you like, may help or even do a better job in preventing unwanted immigration across the border.

The Drone Port concept by Johnathan Ledgard has the complete opposite goal from that of a traditional border wall. The Drone Port’s main objective is to connect people rather than to separate them. However, the same idea of having other functions ‘piggy-back’ onto the main function could help tackle other issues in the community. In contrast to the border wall project, Ledgard and Fosters incorporated positive bi-functions into the project from the very beginning. As mentioned in previous posts, the Drone Port will not only act as a port or a station for the drones connecting the communities, but also as a small hub for the immediate community. The initial concept includes additional ‘components’ such as a health clinic and eventually it will include a postal service. In addition to this it is to be expected to create a scene for other components as well; such as markets of different kinds. Like a maritime port and other historical precedents, one can argue that the Drone Port will attract different activities due to its ‘physical connection’ to the outside world. I am using the term physical connection in terms of the possibility to transport physical objects and to separate it from connections such as phonelines and the internet. The immediate connection to the drones arguably makes a good place for a health clinic and the clinic will in addition to the interest in the drone port itself bring people to the area. The stream of people would then most likely invite different activities to take place and with the implementation of a postal service where people can send and receive goods one can argue the stream of people will increase. Essentially, the Drone port is an empty shell architecture that will house several different and somewhat uncertain components.

Task 3 // Henrik Holte

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