AA Inter 3

The Lung of Phnom Penh by mayalait
April 7, 2014, 1:32 pm
Filed under: 2013-14


With this drawing I was trying to explore the floating experience of living in the sky over future Phnom Penh. I was curious to investigate the spaces inside/under the floating balloons, and imagine how the previous residents of Boeung Kak Lake would inhabit them. The light bamboo structures would be hanging from the inflated ones, providing fragile bridges and platforms where people would settle down, grow their plants or open up small shops in the sky along the main paths. Birds would build their nests next to the people, and workers would constantly run back and forth tightening wires, fixing holes and keeping the “air machine” going. The floating “Lung of Phnom Penh” would be a retreat for the poor once being told to give up their homes, livelihood and their city to “the modern development of the future”. But no skyscraper can build higher than the flying ones… With time a city of air would develop above the capital itself, providing shelter for the previous residents of Boeung Kak Lake, and later also other refugees. The Cambodian, rural culture would be hanging by a thread, in the sky… but it would exist.

3 Comments so far
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Hi Maya,

Great development. The image evolved substantially and now conveys even more qualities of the proposal. The aspect of how idyllic it is sometimes comes to mind (too heavenly peaceful?). It is important to balance the tone of specifics of their way of living – even more.

The constraint view helps tremendously, on that spirit it would be good to see how people can appropriate the structure even more. At the moment they seem to be doing exactly the same they would do without any help from a flying building (how do that aspect enables them to carry on with their life and business in a new way – invisible man anecdote).

How is the TS going? What steps have you taken in the last week and how are planning to finalize the study? A final model or prototype could be a great way to bring it all together finalizing the chapter of performance (lighter than air structures/how) of the project.

Comment by tutor

Dear tutors 🙂

I have been working a lot with research on pnaumathic structures and different test models the last week. In order to get something fly, I managed to heat a 4mx2,5m big mylar cushion and make it rise on the hot air. I have studied the scale-weight differences and what it can carry, and will try to calculate on it in a bigger scale too. I have finalized more or less the document til now – but I am still struggling a bit to develop my project and the techniques further (as there are so many things happening at he same time). I am going to focus on further developing the project, and the mechanisms (how it works) this week, and make the final prototype… Right now I am still deciding whether to focus on the shading device (inflating and deflating with the sun) made of mylar, or sew a huge balloon of nylon (5 m high) and make it fly with hot air (based on the last drawing) too see what it can carry of weight. I have not managed yet, with a hairdryer to heat the surface of a balloon enough to make it inflate (if bigger than 30 cm), that is why I am not sure my idea of a self-inflating shading device will work….

Maybe it could be nice to have a chat with you. What would you recommend me to go further with? Manja told me to focus on the breathing and what it can provide for the structure, and Kenny the scale-weight relationship…?

Hope you have had a good Easter break 🙂


Comment by mayalait

Hi Maya,
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like is going on the right track. If you like we could meet tomorrow morning/Thursday 24th. Would it be helpful?

Comment by tutor

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