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Thick Matters - De-optimizing Infrastructural Redundancies_2015



‘Thick Matters’ - De-optimizing Infrastructural Redundancies

Closed systems have produced infrastructures that anticipate only a single lifetime use. This approach has burdened many urban areas with defective infrastructure in need of perpetual modification and repair. The next generation of public infrastructure needs to exceed its technical specifications and seek ways to create spatial reciprocity among systems. This thesis calls for a renewed understanding of redundancy, or thickening, in order to strategically infuse infrastructure with public agency and diverse utility. Such an approach has the potential to yield greater systemic outputs and a more productive lifespans, allowing future infrastructures to be positioned both as a collective good and a resilient service.

In pursuit of infrastructural thickening, this thesis explores relationships between structure, space and form as a means to generate redundancies that have the capacity to address issues beyond the bridge’s physical footprint. Topics such as storm water run-off, waste management, and public space are central to the design agenda. In response to these urgent issues, a system of structural cones is deployed that mediate flows of water, cars and people into a unified, heterogeneous interlace. This thesis envisions the next generation of infrastructure as thick matter – a new
public territory that provides people the opportunity to engage and participate in mutually productive dialogue with issues of urban, spatial and environmental urgency.
(text by Marco Ravini, thesis advisor: Julie Larsen)

Student Names:

Marco Ravini

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