Machinaria : investigating transport architecture as a key driver for Durban progressing as an ecological city: towards the design of an inter-modal transport network node.
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Machinaria is an exploration of an architectural and biomechanical hybridity as part of a 21st century paradigm for architecture and environmental sustainability. The dissertation investigates the potential of transport architecture as an urban catalyst – a mechanism with which to regenerate urban environments and reintegrate socio-economic systems through an ecological architectural lens. In an attempt to redefine the perception of public transport and transport architecture in 21st century Durban, mitigate urban inaccessibility caused by spatial oppression through the apartheid regime and redefine Durban’s identity as an African city, the investigation is based on an ‘urban wasteland’ which is reprogrammed as part of a new African urban ecology. The dissertation therefore blurs the perceptions of present day distinctions between social, economical and natural space and ecologies while at the same time placing focus on the global cultural dependence of transportation. If humankind is to survive the predicted crises of our time, a 21st century approach to design must shift the modern day understanding of architecture as ‘Machines for living’ but rather towards that of architecture as a living machine – a more complex approach to the ecologies within architecture, both outward and inward. Machinaria alludes to new ways of adaptive architectural typologies in a rapidly changing world.