The climate is changing and its effects are already beginning to notice. Temperatures increased and the dangers of incinerations increased proportionately. 2017 was a year marked by large fires that claimed many lives. Consider the case of Portugal with more than 200 thousand hectares of burned area, or the case of Canada with more than 300 houses burned. All over the world the fire burned without mercy. The same fire that gives us light and heat may be the same fire that gives us darkness and smoke. The planet is a living fuel for the strength of a flame and it is not difficult to hear of world tragedies caused by uncontrolled flames that devastate populations and forests. Nature is not controlled, it is a fact, but, as rational beings that we are, we can minimize the damages if we are alert and create the favorable conditions to beware of purposeful human actions or unforeseen natural actions. Watchtowers have been used for many centuries, in varying forms, on land, and at sea. Why not take advantage of the teachings of secular experience and innovate it, once again, in search of this almost perfect balance that nature offers us every day?
Fire: extravagant, egocentric, impulsive, strong, irresponsible and adventurous. One of the 4 elements of nature and the greatest achievement of the human being, which allowed the survival of the species. With fire, Man developed the protection, the comfort of cold nights, the search for light and discovered the cooked food. He controlled it for his own benefit, changed survival habits in a dramatic way, and nowadays, fire can be a symbol of destruction and danger, giving it a negative connotation, or a symbol of rebirth and renewal of forces divine. Fire can be heaven or hell, peace or war, a small ou big flame. One thing is certain, whoever plays with it can get burned.
Objective: In this exercise, we propose you to design a fire watch tower. More than that, we propose to reflect on a broader fire prevention strategy. You must consider the possibility of replicating your tower so that can disseminate by the forest. They should be part of an overall strategy and they should see each other.
Program: - Number of people: A forest guard by tower.
- Spaces: Room, toilet, kitchen, workspace and balcony for vigilance, storage room, garage for one fire vehicle and a water tank.
- Localization: Not specified
- Areas: Not defined; Height: min. 6 meters - máx.15 meters, depending on the topography and vegetation of the terrain.
The panel must have a descriptive text of the proposal (English), concept, idea. Scale – Appropriate to the submitted elements.
Team: Marta Wróblewska, Małgorzata Radaj, Maciej Marszał, Paulina Gocoł
Team: Yue Zhang
Team: Eduard Untaru, Mihaela Petran
Team: Georgi Stoyanov, Ventzislav Alexiev
Final comments to the winning proposals - 24H 22th edition – fire
"24H challenge is a very productive way of coming up with fresh ideas on problems that range from today to the distant future. It is very inspiring for me that every edition references to an existing phenomenon, but interprets it into a speculative frame that encourages creativity. In this sense, “Fire” follows the tradition of referring to a “real world problem” from a fresh perspective to foster new ideas and to construct new perspectives. A lot of the proposals in this edition bring up new (sometimes sci-fi like) ideas and provide different perspectives to consider the problem at hand. It was also amazing to see so many well-crafted presentations that are designed and prepared in such a short period." Onur Özkoç
"Wildfires can cause injuries, deaths and damage ecosystems. As we are suffering a global crisis into the climate change, we can't wait for further destructive consequences and need to bring new ideas about how we can prevent and control the fire. This competition raise this discussion by bringing different and innovative solutions in how we can avoid this kind of disasters. It was interesting to analyze how ideas conceived in just 24 hours combine new technologies, tradicional references and care with nature to address such a delicate subject. After the result, it is clear that the research and knowledge, constantly evolving, will introduce us to new ways of dealing with natural disasters." Victor Delaqua
“This competition is a real challenge!
Being able to reflect on what to do in such a short time means being capable of understanding the problem, analyzing the possibilities, and proposing a solution. And after all that, having enough time left for the production of the material for the competition.
This theme, FIRE, is ravishing, as fire is, and required a rapid response, as fire does.
For me, this competition brings the best out of the competitors, and makes them think while doing, and do while thinking.
It is a powerful learning tool for designers and challenges everyone to their limits.” Susel Biondi
“Esquisse or fast sketch is an educational tool we often use in the design workshop I direct. It gives the student an opportunity to focus their analysis, formulate their logic and strategies, and choose a design concept very quickly. I think the best project is always the one that asks itself the best questions. In this sense, this contest’s striking name and short duration is provocative and leaves the fate of the project up to intelligence.
The three winning projects were in my top ten, although not in that order, but I am glad that they attained the top spots. It was not easy. Within my selection, I chose those that were critical with the great impact it would cause to carry out the task literally, and those that managed to resolve it with the least possible action.
The graphics, the synthesis of the theme and the aspiration towards beauty were the elements that guided my evaluation.” René Poggione
1st PLACE - ID 0001580:
"The winning proposal 'Symbiosis' proposes a smart concept of fire and nature network within a ecosystem. The network allows nature balance by the simple stick like measurement tower which is well designed and resolved the fire issue by simple deployment of elements; drone and balloon. Also the idea of this project is clearly represented but also brilliantly convinced its own argument." Chang Kyu Lee
“The proposal suggests a rather simple and down-to-earth proposal, yet manages to introduce innovative solutions in its simplicity. The scale of the towers are in harmony with those of the surrounding trees, which may easily blend in with the forest. Providing a space to recharge and control the patrol drones would be an improvement for the overall scheme.” Onur Özkoç
“Considering the fire as an inherent element of the ecosystem and as something essencial to preserve balance on the nature, this proposal comes with an intelligent solution: not extiguish the fire but contain and control that in enclosed areas. This way the cycle of life remain existing but the destructive consequences are softened.” Victor Delaqua
“This proposal ponders the balance between life and death; and fire as an ending, but also as a new beginning. From this point of view, the possibility of controlling but not necessarily extinguishing fire sounds compelling...
The low visual impact of the towers in the forest is also important, it stands for a low impact intervention, with slim towers that include only the basics.” Susel Biondi
“Being one out of many is the greatest virtue of this beautiful and nurtured project. The use of technology and the concept of a balance between life, death, and rebirth makes this project highly poetic.” René Poggione
2nd PLACE - ID000140:
"'Earth Metabolism' demonstrates a very interesting idea of fire and the idea of watch tower and controlling system is carefully managed and arranged in a single image. While its representation of fire watch tower is carried out in a simple manner, but the project embodies a very complex concept of an energy transition flow as a series of collected objects and moments." Chang Kyu Lee
“Earth Metabolism” introduces an idea for a global network rather than a specific zone, and aims to address various geological problems as well as proposing a system for fire prevention (or containing fire, as the proposal reads). Relating the design problem to large-scale issues such as floods and draughts is an interesting approach that inspires a person to think further on the addressed issues. The presentation of the idea is skillfully crafted." Onur Özkoç
"This is a high-tech solution combined with a lot of creativity. The project is inspired by the exocytosis in biology and adopts different nature elements and resources to work in a sustainable way and prevent the spreading of wildfires." Victor Delaqua
“This ambitious high-tech proposal is interesting in the way it understands a mechanism as an organism, and the way it intends to interact with Earth's ecosystems, trying to restore the balance lost in hydrological cycles.” Susel Biondi
“This project is replete with ironic design for a future that never was. I like how at the same time as it is highly technological, it also strives to be a primeval machine, almost animal-like, like Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs. The idea that stands out most and is highly attractive is that of floating and balancing out nature’s excesses.” René Poggione
3rd PLACE - ID0001900:
"‘The Column and The Panopticon’ presented unique concept and narrative about the fire at the beginning of the project. The project gives a great opportunity to rethink about the idea of fire, and firefighters in a very simple yet different way. Even the representation is very effective and powerful including super configurations of concept, depth and spaces." Chang Kyu Lee
“The proposal references Bentham’s panopticon and brilliantly adapts it to the issue at hand, fire surveillance and prevention. The idea of slanting the tower to attach the staircase on the façade saves considerable space within the structure, which enables the designers to provide solutions in a very compact and functional scheme. The textual and graphic presentations are very well handled and communicate the idea easily.” Onur Özkoç
“Going for little impact on the surroundings, this project is idealised as a column not a tower. Mixing this idea with the Panopticon, conceived by Jeremy Bentham and analyzed by Foucault, the proposal comes with a more poetical point of view in how we can monitorate the forests and prevent wildfires.” Victor Delaqua
"This proposal is the most poetic of all. It stands back and reflects on the theme, the program and its subject, the impact upon the object, and proposes a utopian project: a column for a hero, a watch-tower for the gentleman who cares for the forest. But he cares for it even before the fire, and this person is not willing to sacrifice the natural condition of the forests in order to keep them safe." Susel Biondi
“I must admit that of the three, this is my favorite. It is smart, full of wry humor and poetry, from the choice to the description of the character. The design is resolved with elegance and critical defiance.” René Poggione