029 Mekong Delta Market (1) 2 (2)029 Mekong Delta Market (2) 1029 Mekong Delta Market (3) 1029 Mekong Delta Market (4) 2029 Mekong Delta Market (5) 2

Author’s description:

Project Statement:

Mur_Muration. A Mekong Delta Market

The project engages in establishing a market typology and prototypical landscape masterplan within a design framework that has evolved through a trans-scalar research of the environment it is situated in: the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. It is one of the most agriculturally productive and biodiverse eco-regions in the entire world and has been destabilized by aggressive hydro-electric development and industrial aquaculture farming and deforestation. At their core, Deltas are ever-changing and restlessly transforming geological entities between the dynamics of wave erosion and sediment growth and have been considerably harmed by human efforts to arrest and organize these landscapes.
The masterplan attempts to create an effective impact of structural interventions on multiple correlated scales, which aim to sustain and grow the geological and biological complexity of its surroundings. A long-span market structure and an aquaculture farming layout are integrated into the naturally evolved ecological system. They positively interfere with other co-habitants by productive manipulations of neighboring and overarching processes that shaped this landscape: the formation of the Delta through sediment accumulation from the river, sea waves impacting on the coast, and a dense network of Mangrove forests stabilizing the dynamic soil.

These environmental processes are abstracted and geometrically translated into agent-based simulations of interconnected spaces, fields and forms to understand and complement its surroundings with human inhabitation and sustainable farming and trading organizations. These could benefit the quality of produce and strengthen inhabitants’ position against large-scale processors and brokers in the food market.

The methodology opposes the modernistic 20th-century design approach aiming to control and block out external variables in grids of undifferentiated universal spaces. Their rigidly ordered and non-adaptive geometry has proven to be devastating when unleashed in an environment as ecologically rich and dynamic as the Mekong Delta. Modern methods and notions of design and building practice are ill-equipped to formulate an actual response to critical questions raised by the global environmental transformations in the last decades that become especially pressing in such vulnerable ecologies: how are we going to inhabit this world? How are we going to deal with landscapes that will be fundamentally transformed over the course of the current century? How can we utilize technological advancements to formulate a building platform that interacts cooperatively with environments and non-human actors?

Their needs, habits and properties have to be incorporated and expressed with higher urgency and importance in a broadened range of parameters for design. So eventually architectural practice may facilitate the development of coordinated organizations of people, spaces, forms and ecologies that operate on equal positions within technology, society and nature.

David Rüßkamp B.Sc, M.Arch; The submitted project was developed as a master thesis at the Greg Lynn Studio, Die Angewandte, Vienna, and completed in January 2020.

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