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Balancing Human Progress and the Environment : Creating Sustainable Growth in Turkana

Thomas, Owen

Titre : Balancing Human Progress and the Environment : Creating Sustainable Growth in Turkana

Auteur : Thomas, Owen


Grade : M.Arch. 2014

This paper investigates the relationships between natural resources, cultural development, and flows within a living environment and ultimately applies these concepts to a current collision of anthropic, natural, and cultural forces in the Turkana Basin in North-western Kenya. A drought stricken region with a receding lake in danger of disappearing due to up-river damming and irrigation in Ethiopia, Turkana finds itself in a transitional period which brings conflict, friction, and opportunity. The added discovery of 5 aquifers totalling 250 billion cubic meters of water in the Turkana desert creates a dynamic relationship between scarcity and abundance, natural forces, and human engagement. With an abundant water supply below this arid region, a transition from fishing to agricultural livelihood will immerge. Centralized around access to water, the proposed stepwells and community gathering spaces will create a catalyst for growth and well-being. This gathering space combines natural resources, human nourishment, and social gathering, forming a platform to foster healthy growth of new communities. This paper investigates the driving factors that have shaped the world as it is today, with the hope of illuminating a beneficial path for future growth in places like Turkana. Through integration of historic research, including anthropic forces such as transportation, agriculture, and water use, and their roles in the anthropocene with varied cultural relations to the natural world, the paper sets the stage for thoughtful and informed growth. The forces and bodies that make up the world are intrinsically enmeshed, and the human, built, and natural environment are not as separated as modern thought has striven to make them. In fact this desire to separate, regulate, and control has in the long term created an adverse effect. Investigating the relations and forces that form the assemblages and bodies in the world alters the perspective of human/non-human, built/natural, and organic/inorganic, and illuminates a world that is much less divisible and highlights the symbiotic potential of things. Process, flow, flexibility, and balance begin to describe an ever-changing living environment that cannot be fenced in, stopped, or fully controlled.

Mots clés  : Turkana, Architecture, Communication and the arts, Stepwell


Page publiée le 4 février 2015, mise à jour le 29 décembre 2017