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ale girá | irrealism‑s & realism‑s |

diffjustdiff | experimental ‑ thinking |

| urban ‑ engitecture |

| architecture + urban planning + engineering |

... for the future ( and for the present )

intro+

bringing the present from the future
bringing reality from imagination



diffjustdiff basic (disruptive) idea is that buildings are obstacles that condition, limit and hinder us: both mobility in general and the quality of public spaces are directly affected by them in a very negative and permanent way. The solution I propose is to free the ground level by ‘elevation’. This simple idea also provides another series of additional advantages of great importance with respect to security, stability and quality of life conditions in general:

At present time (and since 2009) diffjustdiff mainly researches on the concept of macro-city.

diffjustdiff explores the actual possibilities in engineering, urban planning and architecture starting from simple issues such as building another type of city, drastically reducing pollution while improving living standards, guarantying structural stability despite considerable heights in high-raise building, fostering transportation and mobility at different heights, offering multiple escape alternatives in emergency cases, freeing the ground level for its use as public space, having good lightning, ventilation and sight qualities for everyone, generating community feeling. In brief:

– improving structural stability
– safety
– free ground-level
– green mobility (easy, economic, ecological)
– more and better urban public-spaces
– better and wider architectural living-conditions
– social/community feeling/belonging
– improving life quality standards



Will global sustainability goals be reached if we keep doing the same things? … read more
  • Will small, one-off actions and initiatives push our society enough to achieve a real breakthrough preventing us from spiralling to our impending doom?
  • Could we make it without strategic urban planning and design being part of the solution?

The short answer,… is NO

Do you think a better Urban Planning & Architecture would be possible? I do.

Is this an utopia? Could this be real? … Yes!

It could be possible and real, cities for the present and for the future: macro-cities

irrealism-s ™ & realism-s ™ is an in-depth study of unconventional architecture and urban design insights that will get the reader thinking … ‘Now, like this, it’s possible’
To achieve unconventionally elevated goals we MUST resort to unconventional thinking, design and architecture.
We are so used to doing things in the same way that we forgot that another way is not only possible, but better.
We have no second chance this time, no do-overs, we must take action  and embrace irrealism-s ™ & realism-s ™.
Get to know ale gi, architect and author of the books that will show the lead forward to possible solutions for the global sustainability issues, from the architectural point of view.
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Conventional construction characteristics:

  • Higher slenderness (long structure vibration periods)
  • Low resistance towards horizontal actions (earthquakes, wind)
  • Only downwards emergency escape exit option
  • Ground level obstacles (limited public space)
  • Intercommunication exclusively at ground level
  • Constrained public spaces
  • Low social/community feeling/belonging
  • Low quality of living condition standards
  • Low topography adaptability
  • 5054
    Macro-structure characteristics:

  • low slenderness (short structure vibration periods)
  • High resistance towards horizontal actions (earthquakes, wind)
  • Multiple emergency escape exit options (downwards + sidewards + upwards)
  • Free ground level (obstacle-free public space)
  • Intercommunication at different heights
  • Wide public spaces
  • High social/community feeling/belonging
  • High quality of living condition standards
  • High topography adaptability
  • vision+

    (super- +  real-) realism‑s 

    | AI digital ‑ sketching



    … latest production


    (super- + real-) realism-s

    I would dare to say that the living conditions of many inhabitants of large cities are worse (in some ways) than those of those so-called ‘underdeveloped’ places.

    After this sentence (which does not claim to be absolutely true, but rather the reflection of an intuition) I’ll clarify what I consider that the term ‘quality of life’ (somewhat diffuse and imprecise in its general use) could mean:

    – Amount of space per inhabitant, both private and public in their nearby living environments.
    – Quality of said nearby spaces (own and common), that is, air pollution, noise pollution, light and visual pollution (disharmonious and unnatural objects).
    – Personal and psychological security (little possibility of violence of any kind: intimidation, theft, aggression (verbal and/or physical), manipulation.
    – Quality of human relationships (empathy, friendship, belonging to the community) and towards the environment that sustains our lives (respect for our own, other people’s and common environments).
    – Less exposure to consumerist manipulations and commercial marketing in all its manifestations.
    – Contact with the natural environment and roots in its culture.

    With these six points (I’m sure there could be more) I try to define what I think the term ‘quality of life’ could mean in terms of people’s well-being and ‘well-feeling’.

    Of course (as Maslow already defined with his pyramid of human needs) the maintenance of life basically requires the provision of food and environmental health as fundamental elements on a physical level.

    I think that, currently, in large cities it is difficult to satisfy the other six points mentioned above, being perhaps satisfied to a greater extent in small-scale urban environments, included in many of those that are classified as underdeveloped.

    With this I do not intend to downplay the serious problems that exist in ‘underdeveloped’ countries, but rather to draw attention to the poor living conditions endured by many of the inhabitants of large cities in many so-called ‘developed’ countries, or, what I would call, ‘mal-developed’ countries.

    I consider that this poor development has occurred mostly in recent decades and as a consequence of multiple (countless) partial, local and minor actions in the form of a chaotic accumulation of ‘solutions’ to specific problems, lacking planning with a vision of the future and without order or concert.

    This form of action and cumulative, erratic and punctual growth has led us to the current levels of unsustainability and low quality of life in many urban environments.

    I believe that bad urban environments and low quality of life affect us on many levels, including psychological, emotional, coexistence, trust, hope, etc., in addition to the functional levels of mobility, comfort…, as well as those other less ‘objective’ ones such as aesthetic and ethical.

    Added to this aforementioned deficient urban planning in many places is the economic system, which favors it by superimposing individual benefits over general interests.

    Also added to this panorama are the differences, confrontations and/or separation between disciplines such as engineering, architecture and urban planning, each acting largely on its own.

    I do not believe I have the solution to this entire complex network of problems, but I can clearly imagine that the solution could begin by carrying out another type of planning that is more efficient, more coordinated, less fragmented, less surgical, and, above all, with more vision of the future and fewer particular (economic) interests.

    I propose what I call ‘urban-engitecture’ as a concept of collaboration and mutual commitment between the three previously mentioned disciplines.

    I believe that we have important knowledge that is being ignored, underused, pigeonholed, mutually between these three disciplines; very useful knowledge if it is combined properly, if we cooperate, if we look for joint solutions beyond the usual, beyond particular interests and, above all, with a long-term vision.

    I also believe that this phenomenon of ‘mal-development’ (or urban obsolescence) is very widespread, and that the countries that will be able to implement a real solution will be those with the greatest capacity to radically transform their urban fabrics towards more efficient organizations.

    My interesting experience as a professor of architecture and urban planning in China tells me that this country will be, given its characteristics, one of the most capable of making drastic and radical changes in its urban fabrics. Its policies in this sense can be carried out given the great operational capacity in both the short and long term.

    During my stay in China in 2013 I was able to witness this great operational capacity for eviction and regeneration (reconstruction) of entire neighborhoods, even central ones, with large-scale and ambitious projects. I consider this capacity necessary in order to be able to effectively deal with the new demands to which urban environments are and will be subjected in the present and in the future. Other countries without this operational capacity will only be able to continue trying to solve specific problems by accumulating partial solutions, but with little success at a general level.

    Perhaps the ‘mystery’ of the construction of ‘ghost cities’ in China responds to this idea and policy of mass evictions for the effective and rapid reconstruction/regeneration of large sectors of other obsolete urban environments.

    Towards this sense of radical urban reform is what I have directed and direct my efforts and my work: I consider that urban environments are an integral part of our organism as a species, and that, as Darwin already defined, ‘the species that last are those with the greatest capacity to adapt to change’, or to change, I would say.

    In my humble opinion, I allow myself to advocate in favor of the convenience of opting for urban regeneration rather than continuing to carry out costly urban reform works to try to solve problems derived from obsolete urban fabrics or unadapted to current and future needs.

    I raise this question even knowing that it may be wrong, inadequate and/or considered unviable.

    I am aware that economically and in the short and medium term these actions of adding to what already exists can be advantageous and/or affordable. However, I believe that in the current situation of unsustainability and lack of adequate habitability conditions for many cities and buildings it might be more advisable to think and act in the long term.

    Surely, and sooner than expected, these additive works based on and on top of what already exists will once again become obsolete and insufficient, and their execution will in turn respond to the provision of a real estate stock that is deficient from the beginning.

    I believe that it is more durable and beneficial in the long term to make economic investments along the lines of architectural and urban regeneration with new criteria of sustainability and habitability.

    Furthermore, additive works, especially mobility engineering, often add even more habitability problems to their immediate surroundings, and/or provide means of transportation that may be of poor quality (without natural ventilation or lighting, with security problems in cases of emergency, and complicated accessibility on many occasions).

    Sooner or later, we will find ourselves in the forced situation of regenerating our urban environments, of improving the quality of buildings, of acting in a comprehensive and integrated manner.

    I believe that many urban environments are at the point of having to decide between continuing in that kind of current irresponsible flight forward, or facing our long-term needs in an effective and lasting way. Even if it takes longer. Better slow but well-written, in my humble opinion.




    The big problem of skyscrapers

    The big problem of high-rise buildings is not their height (personally I am fascinated by heights), but their excessive slenderness (little base for a lot of height).

    Slenderness is inversely proportional to its structural stability. The slenderer they are, the less structural safety and the greater the risk of collapse in the face of horizontal actions (forces) such as those caused by earthquakes or winds. I think the exposition is, so far, clear and sufficient:

    – The big problem with tall buildings is not their height, but their narrowness, which leads to structural instability.

    In my opinion, structural stability is a fundamental characteristic and of great importance to guarantee the life (survival) of its inhabitants/users. Perhaps the most important and priority question in architecture, above any other argument or interest.

    The next point would be how to solve/avoid this serious structural and public safety problem of high-rise buildings. The answer is also simple:

    – If, instead of building ‘isolated’ high-rise structures, we built them horizontally interconnected at different heights, we would make them function as a single superstructure, greatly limiting horizontal displacements due to earthquakes or winds, and largely avoiding the possibility of overturning and/or collapse.

    Additionally, these horizontal ‘connecting’ elements at different heights can be used as ‘bridges’ of communication between one building and another, as high-rise public spaces, or any other use that our imagination may suggest to us, like, for example, providing multiple sideward escape options in emergency cases.

    No more, no less.



    (@- + i- | ab- + diff- | future- + inner- | another- + new- | super- + real-) realism‑s 

    | AI digital ‑ sketching

    by ale gi

    r‑evolution …

    To situate (us) and put (us) a bit in the context of the present, I consider that we are in what I call the era of ‘r‑evolution’. It is no longer a question of ‘revolution’, understood as a process of ‘totalitarian’ change from ‘one’ reality to ‘another’. Rather, we are immersed in the era of constant evolution at all scales, levels and sizes, which, in short, makes up a panorama in a permanent state of change, of search, of ‘r‑evolution’.

    (hyper | super) irrealism‑s 

    | digital ‑ sketching

    by ale gi

    Do you think urban planning & architecture could help improving sustainability, mobility, safety and general living conditions for all?

    … landscapes of chance

    Before it becomes a reality, it is a project; Before, a thought; Before, an idea; Before, a possibility; Before, a hunch; Before, a chance; Before, it is a reality.

    Would building another type of city be possible?

    I believe yes!, by joining Engineering, Urban Planning and Architecture together to build Macro-cities.

    Would reducing pollution drastically while improving living conditions be possible?

    I believe yes!, by building more efficient geometric Urban environments.

    Would guarantying structural stability despite high raise building be possible?

    I believe yes!, macro-structures reduce slenderness drastically, what means much more stability and security.

    Would facilitating transportation and mobility at different heights be possible?

    I believe yes!, macro-structures also favor and permit communications at different levels.

    Would offering multiple escape alternatives in emergency cases be possible?

    I believe yes!, macro-structures’ horizontal communications at different heights also allow multiple escape options.

    Would freeing the ground level for its use as public space be possible?

    I believe yes!, macro-structures may have distant support points, which allows an almost full release of the ground level.

    Would having good lightning, ventilation and sight qualities for all be possible?

    I believe yes!, at the same time, macro-structures may offer good quality for lightning, ventilation and sight conditions.

    Would generating community feeling be possible?

    I believe yes!, another good point of macro-structures consequences.


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    ... diffjustdiff [ experimental ‑ thinking ] ...

    (hyper | super) irrealism‑s & (@- + i-ab- + diff-future- + inner-another- + new-) realism‑s

    ... by ale girá [ thinker, PhD. architect designer & urban planner, and artist ]

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