Conjured Context

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    Adam E. Anderson

    I’m interested in what other LA’s think about the Palm Jameirah project in Dubai? Revolutionary feat of Engineering or an abomination of sustainable design.

    See my blog Design Under Sky for my side.




    Netherland is not an abomination and its an all country design as the palm (built by Netherland guys again).

    Lisa Town

    This kind of topic is not necessarily specific to the palm. The entire area of Dubai and the many projects is has that are built, currently being designed and are currently under a competition, could be subject to this very question.

    It really is amazing the lack of vegetation planted on the palm. It looks rather deserted and I don’t see how a row upon row of the same house with nothing but the structure and a piece of sand is all that appealing. Call me crazy but some lushness could’ve been nice and maybe helped with the erosion problem. I don’t even get how all that sand stays in place and can support all those structures.

    Rico Flor

    Hi Guys. My two fils worth, based on my two years worth of practice in the UAE.

    For sure the various Palm Projects aren’t sustainable in the current “Brundtland Commission” context (taken in the context that the landform has to be regularly checked for erosion, plants have to be drip irrigated and sprayed to maintain its measure of lush, there would appear to be no existing coastal and terrestrial ecology to “continue”, conditions have to be created for comfortable human occupancy). Seen in a different light, the Palm Projects are grand experiments “sustaining” life where “none” existed, or maybe it would be better phrased as sustaining human habitation where none stood before. This has been an age-old endeavor and I guess you can add Mohenjo Daro and Pocahontas’ Jamestown to this (minus the grand scale and engineered grandeur)…

    At this point, I tip my hat off to the previous reference to the Netherlands since it is a likewise effort, though it stemmed from a quite different impetus of recovering land for utilitarian needs. The Palm, the Universe and similar UAE projects, meanwhile, are more property driven, and as I perceive it with a measure of national pride for the Emiratis.

    The picture would not be complete if one ignores the political impression of such a project. Political in the sense that some people would deem the expense to build it more worthwhile spent on other pressing needs such as food, health care, education….while others would disagree.

    Having said those, I tend to choose the “ecumenic” path. I see the above projects as grand engineering feats, bold visionary projects. Two quakes just this month and it’s still standing (whew). Quite remarkable if you see that several nations aren’t laden with the resource to undertake such an effort. A nod to a project the Emiratis are truly proud of (and they have a lot of similar projects with the like ROI’s) They’re not really sustainable and might have a lifespan of a couple of lifetimes, unless the input stream is maintained or increased. Maybe the grandeur of Versailles would be akin to the Palms’ in Versailles’ heydey. There might be more pressing issues that might not seem the recipient of the required focus, but then again, we just might not be aware that these are being addressed altogether, we not being privy to the UAE government concerns.

    If you define abomination as something out of scale or proportion, may be so, but I wouldn’t use the word because it is laden with so many negatives and would surely be misconstrued.

    If you ask me, though, if this would be my dream project, I’d have to say no. Still aching to get back to co-designing with a group of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. Or an equivalent, something similar to the great Hitesh Mehta’s topophilic initiatives.


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