Please consider donating: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-floating-art-centre-for-phnom-penh#/
Thank you to Alex and Dana for the tour. An amazing space with fantastic potential.
Please consider donating: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-floating-art-centre-for-phnom-penh#/
Thank you to Alex and Dana for the tour. An amazing space with fantastic potential.
Thank you: to Limkokwing for hosting me, to Heng Pisey for organizing,and to Nick Senske for the long distance support from Iowa!
Nick Senske, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Iowa State, YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/nsenske
Resources from the workshop:
Rhino is a surface modeler that uses NURBS, Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines, are mathematical representations of 3-D geometry that can accurately describe any shape from a simple 2-D line, circle, arc, or curve to the most complex 3-D organic free-form surface or solid.
Basic Rhino Tutorials
Everything Rhino Related
Tons of video tutorials (Rhino TV)
Digital Fabrication (Rhino FabStudio)
Jewelry & Fashion & Furniture Design (GJD3D)
Videos to watch:
Intro to GH interface / parametrics:
Variables and relationships:
Repetition and loops:
Distribution and logic:
Just over a month ago a terrible fire burned down the JavaArts office and storeroom in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The homes of 9 families were destroyed, leaving many people homeless. Fortunately no one was hurt.
We are devastated, however, by the loss of 150 artworks by eight artists. Many of whom JavaArts has been working with for many years. Those works were moved there just that day from our gallery space which we were kicked out of when the house owner sold it a few weeks before.
The work of eight artists: Anida Yoeu Ali, Chath PierSath, Genevieve Marot, Neak Sophal, Nicolas C Grey, Oeur Sokuntevy, Qudy Xu-Min and William Graef are valued at $20,000 and accounts for about 10% of the available works on the art market in Cambodia.
Our initial shock turned into grief, and grief turned into thinking about real and practical things. Each of these artists depends on the sales of their artworks to live, to maintain visibility and to continue making art – it is an important part of who they are.
For 15 years, JavaArts has provided support, space for exhibitions, and artwork storage for artists in Phnom Penh. It is an important and needed platform for the incubation and production of contemporary art in Cambodia. While many of the artists affected by the fire will continue their work, Cambodia’s art history suffered because those 150 artworks are gone forever. This terrible accident just shows how fragile the Cambodian art scene really is.
Without insurance or other means to cover the artists’ loss of income, we are turning to the community for support.
$20,000 – This amount of the money raised will go to the artists to cover their individual losses. The 150 artworks are in fact valued much higher, but this will cover the loss of income that they would have received if the works were sold.
Over the goal – We also see this as an opportunity to reinvent and demonstrate resilience. Any money raised over $20,000 will be put in a fund for an artist-led project to be developed by the eight artists affected by the fire.
JavaArts continues to support artists in Cambodia through its exhibition platform and is committed to nurturing emerging talents now and in the foreseeable future.
Without your support, none of this would be possible. Thank you!
Across large swaths of the Thar desert in western India, traditional techniques for harvesting the little amount of rain that falls has helped people survive the powerful effects of the sun for centuries.
The most beautiful of these are step wells – known as baolis in Hindi – large, stone structures built to provide water for drinking and agriculture. Baolis have existed for at least 1,000 years and were constructed in towns and alongside serais (travellers’ inns), across the desert and into Delhi.
Baolis exist in all shapes and sizes and are essentially reservoirs built into the earth. Groundwater is pulled up from a circular well at the bottom and rainwater is collected from above. A set of steps – on one or more sides of the structure – lead down to the water level, which fluctuates depending on the amount of rain. More recently, electric pumps have been installed in many baolis to help retrieve the water.
“Step wells are etched into people’s collective memory so deeply, they are now part of their DNA, passed on from one generation to another,” says Farhad Contractor of the Sambhaav Trust, an ecological conservation group.
Today, many baolis have fallen prey to rapid urbanisation and neglect. In Delhi only around 15 survive but local groups are fighting to protect and preserve them. While 700mm of rain falls on Delhi every year, half of the city has been declared a dark zone – where the groundwater level has depleted so much that the rate of recharge is less than the rate of withdrawal – by the groundwater authority. Rainwater harvesting, therefore, is key to a secure water supply for India’s second-biggest city.
One such baoli restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture(AKTC) was built in the 14th century in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, a medieval village in Delhi named after Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. In 2008, parts of the baoli walls collapsed due to sewage water seeping into the structure and the local residents using it as a rubbish dump. The pool was drained and the rubbish, garbage and sludge that had accumulated over the past 700 years was removed to reach the foundation of the baoli some 80 feet below ground level. While the water in the baoli is still not potable, it can be used for cleaning and agriculture.
Experts say the baoli model can be replicated anywhere in the world with similar climatic conditions and physiological features. Contractor has been invited to Morocco where he is working on a project to build baolis and smaller wells, known as beris in Hindi.
But large baolis need large catchment areas, and in Delhi space is an issue. While the majority of the physical structures of baolis are protected – some by being sited inside historic monuments – urban development in Delhi has had a greater impact on their water levels; storm drains divert rain away from baoli catchment areas.
Diwan Singh, an activist with non-profit Natural Heritage First, says that even though many baolisin Delhi are surrounded by buildings, the wells can still be recharged. “Catchment area management is the key. In the small areas of land between the baolis and buildings, rainwater harvesting pits could be built to divert rainwater away from the storm drains,” he says. “Once in the pit, water will percolate through the soil and recharge the nearby baoli, allowing modern development and ancient structures to co-exist side by side.”
Makueni County – just over 100 miles south of Nairobi – has one of the most inhospitable environments in the country.
The region’s sandy loam soil supports little else besides the thorny, stunted shrubs that stretch for miles, interspersed only by gigantic baobab trees or some species of the hardy acacia. The only food crops cultivated here are sorghum, cassava and pigeon peas – drought-tolerant crops. With an average annual rainfall of just 600mm, meaningful agriculture is nearly impossible.
Water access is a big problem. In Kenya, 63% of the population use an improved source of drinking water and 46% live below the poverty line. Women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa spend up to four hours a day fetching water, according to the One campaign.
But things are changing for the better, thanks to an ancient water harvesting technique being used in the dry regions. Sand dams, which were invented by the Romans in 400BC, have become an important source of water for domestic and agricultural needs.
Sand dams are constructed by building a concrete barrier or wall across a seasonal river with a firm bedrock. As the river flows, sand in the water is deposited behind the wall. Over time, layers of sand build into a reservoir for water, which remains stored in the sand once the river level drops. Evaporation is virtually impossible below a metre of sand – no matter how intense the sun – and the water is clean and safe for immediate drinking as the sand acts like a filter.
The Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) has been facilitating the construction of the dams alongside Excellent Development (ED), a UK-based NGO that has enabled the construction of 838 sand dams in rural dry lands across eight countries. The work of ED has improved access to clean water for more than 800,000 people, according to Jonny McKay, the NGO’s communications manager.
Not only have the sand dams improved water security for local communities. Villagers are also coming together to form self-help groups to construct the dams with assistance from the NGOs, and to initiate agro-based economic schemes.
“We are able to practise agribusiness now that we have water available for irrigation,” says Elizabeth Ndungune, the chairwoman of the Star Thange self-help women’s group in Ulilinzi. Using water from the sand dam built on the nearby River Thange, the group can now grow kale, tomatoes, beans and other crops. They sell whatever they harvest and pool the proceeds, which help families pay for school fees.
While sand dams are a cheap and simple solution to some complex problems, they can fail if they are not applied in a way that meets the users’ needs. “The biggest challenge is ensuring that the technology is applied to specific local conditions and people’s needs, rather than simply being replicated from one place and situation to another,” says McKay.
But the initiative is gaining momentum and expanding not only to other parts of the country, but to Tanzania, Chad, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and even to India.
On the hardscrabble, treeless highland plain that joins Peru with Bolivia, farmers have eked out an existence for thousands of years amid bitter winters and the harsh sun, at 4,000 metres above sea level and higher.
As scientists predict climate change will make the Altiplano’s weather even more inclement and unpredictable, today’s farmers are reviving an ancestral system of cultivation and irrigation using what looks like an intricate piece of land sculpture.
Resembling an ornate garden maze from above, suqakollos – or waru-warus – are a patterned system of raised cropland and water-filled trenches.
Alipio Canahua, an agronomist working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), says that the ancient agricultural system, which could date back 3,000 years, actually creates its own microclimate.
“It captures water when there are droughts and drains away water when there’s too much rain, meaning that it irrigates the crops all year round,” he says. “When it comes to temperature, we’ve measured a rise of three degrees centigrade in the immediate environment around it – this can save a significant percentage of the crops from being killed in frosts.”
A suqakollo can also be a small oasis in the scorching daytime sun, which yellows even the coarse highland grass, known as ichu – the main fodder for the alpacas and llamas herded by the local Aymara people.
Canahua has been leading the resurgence of this ancient farming system with local communities, restoring old suqakollos and building new ones.
Sonia Ticona, a local indigenous Aymara leader who has been working with Canahua, says that in her village, the women work harder than the men to dig the trenches which are filled with water.
“Our great-great-grandfathers used the suqakollo system then at some point, and we don’t know why, they stopped. Now we are restarting it and bringing it up to date – men and women working together.”
Potatoes have been sown this season – next year it will be quinoa – in a carefully planned crop rotation, explains Canahua. While the yields are smaller than cultivating in larger fields, beating the plummeting winter temperatures, which can reach -20C, can prevent devastating crop losses.
The suqakollos project is one of several globally important agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is working with the regional governments of Cusco and Puno. Along with Peru’s agricultural ministry, the FAO is promoting family farming with the GIAHS methodology.
Canahua’s only frustration is that it’s not possible to make the suqakollos as big as Puno’s pre-hispanic people did. Archaeologists say that people have lived on the Altiplano – on the shores of the highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca – for some 8,000 years, and traces of the ancient canals still mark the high plain. Roads and boundaries between communal lands, however, have limited the space available.
John Preissing, the FAO’s representative in Peru, says the pilot project has produced more than double the normal crop yields.
“We can’t isolate just the fact that we‘re using suqakollos but we can say that between the water management, the soil management and the fertiliser management, we are reaching double the harvest numbers.”
Figures for 2013-14 indicate that suqakollo’s crop yields for quinoa are 3.2 tonnes per hectare, more than double the average of 1.3 tonnes per hectare for the same crop grown on the plain.
Ancestral crops like quinoa, and its kiwicha and kaniwa varieties, could make this labour-intensive, complex farming system worthwhile; international demand for the superfoods has multiplied the price, bringing in extra income for these smallholder farmers.
The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’sDigital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper.
What does this mean? Simply put, “it means you can have the maps, all of them if you want, for free, in high resolution.” Maps like that above, of New York’s Central Park, issued in 1863, ten years before Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux completed their historic re-design.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Inside a design laboratory in Phnom Penh, 3D printers run day and night to create safe imitations of some of the world’s deadliest weapons.
The plastic results sit harmlessly on tables and shelves next to their inert — but real — counterparts. There’s a grenade, an M42 cluster munition and a PMN2 landmine, one of the most common found in Cambodia.
“This is a booby trap,” said engineer John Wright, handling a different item about the size of a flashlight.
He describes a hypothetical scenario in which a book has been placed on top of the trap to lure a potential victim.
“What it would do is as they picked up the book, this would fire,” he said, taking his finger off a red plastic part, causing a loud snap.
Releasing pressure sends a firing pin down the length of the device, which would in theory be attached to a detonation cord, setting off “something really big, some explosives,” he said. “That would then go off.”
These 3D-printed fake bombs are changing the way demining is being taught around the world.
With $100,000 in seed funding from the State Department and a diverse cast of collaborators pitching in, the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, a leading demining group with offices in the US and Cambodia, created what’s called the Advance Ordnance Training Materials kit at its design lab in Phnom Penh.
Wright is Golden West’s chief design engineer.
The AOTM comes in a large suitcase that carries 10 3D-printed devices. Each model contains different arming and firing mechanisms that technicians venturing into the field need to understand.
The idea is to teach the principles behind why something explodes. As such, while they look recognizable as different types of bombs, they are not exact replicas in shape and size. For one thing they are built to be bigger. The lab has designed several additional devices for the next phase of the project, like the PMN2 landmine, meant to be more of a piece-by-piece clone.
3D printing has been used to make replicas of landmines before, but Golden West says what separates their models from predecessors is intricacy and detail. In the finished product, the anatomy of different bombs is completely on display, like a car with the hood up. Deminers will learn like mechanics.
The project has its roots in 2012 when an MIT professor named J. Kim Vandiver was visiting one of his graduate students in Phnom Penh. The student was working with Golden West on a method for removing fuses from unexploded bombs. Vandiver met with the group’s Cambodia country manager, Allen Tan. Over coffee Vandiver asked Tan, who is also Golden West’s director of applied technology, about possibly teaming up on something with the Singapore University for Technology and Design.
“I asked him to think of projects that SUTD students might contribute to. In the course of the conversation, we came up with the idea to 3D print training aids,” Vandiver said by email, explaining that MIT and the school in Singapore have an ongoing partnership. “SUTD had great 3D printing capability to test out the idea and interested students.”
Tan, a former explosive ordnance disposal technician who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the US Army, said that 3D printing solves multiple problems of teaching the trade. First of all, it’s faster and more productive than injection molding. Small changes in design can be made quickly and precisely.
It’s important to have flexibility with production because of the limited global supply of non-hazardous ordnance. Even with what there is, transportation is a headache.
“There’s these pieces of inert ordinance that sit in EOD classrooms. And when you go into a new country, you cannot bring inert ordnance, ship it trans-nationally, because it’s considered a weapons system still,” Tan said in an interview. “I can’t get it on an airplane, I can’t ship it via FedEx.”
Finally, there’s the advantage of the visual and tactile training aid.
“Most of our best guys who work for us here in Cambodia, they didn’t get to go to high school. It was Khmer Rouge time,” Tan said, referring to the radical communist movement that killed nearly 2 million people from 1975 to 1979. “You are talking about a workforce that isn’t used to learning from books, learning from powerpoints.”
“The reason that EOD technicians or operators, the reason that they need to understand how bombs work is that they can make good decisions on how to deal with a bomb when they find one,” he added.
By “bomb” Tan means to imply a broad group of ordnance including cluster munitions, mortars, rockets, artillery and landmines.
About two years passed between the first brainstorming coffee session and the first sale. The break came when Tan was presenting the kits to an annual demining conference held in South Africa last year. Representatives from the United Nations approached him afterward, pre-ordering 10 sets for use with peacekeeping missions in Africa.
Since then, orders have come from PeaceTrees Vietnam; the International Committee for the Red Cross in Switzerland, which is using the kit in Laos; and, amazingly, the American military’s School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
“Which is the school I went to in the US Army!” Tan said.
The kits cost $7,000 — with discounts for NGOs. The money is supposed to be reinvested into the project, making it self-sustainable and not reliant on donors.
In Cambodia itself, the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS), a nonprofit that trains local deminers, purchased two sets.
Masato Kon, a 58-year-old explosive ordnance disposal expert with JMAS and a former longtime member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, said in an email that it was “love at first [sight]” when he saw the kit.
“I was impressed with the design,” he said.
They don’t just help his Cambodian students learn, they help him teach.
“It is clearer and easier to explain the mechanism and structure of ordnance to beginners with tangible 3D models than photos or drawings,” he said
Urbanization provides South Asian countries with the potential to transform their economies to join the ranks of richer nations in both prosperity and livability, but a new World Bank report finds the region, while making strides, has struggled to make the most of the opportunity.
One big reason is that its urbanization has been messy and hidden, according to the report titled, “Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia: Managing Spatial Transformation for Prosperity and Livability.” Messy urbanization is reflected in the widespread existence of slums and sprawl. Sprawl, in turn, helps give rise to hidden urbanization, particularly on the peripheries of major cities, which is not captured by official statistics. Messy and hidden urbanization is symptomatic of the failure to adequately address congestion constraints that arise from the pressure of urban populations on infrastructure, basic services, land, housing, and the environment.
South Asia’s policymakers, the World Bank report says, face a choice: Continue on the same path or undertake difficult and appropriate reforms to improve the region’s trajectory of development. It won’t be easy but such actions are essential in making the region’s cities prosperous and livable.
Eight years after CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin signed off on a 99-year lease of Boeng Kak lake in one of the most controversial real estate deals in Phnom Penh’s recent history, a Chinese firm has begun construction on the first major development project on the filled-in lake.
Beijing-based Graticity Real Estate Development company started construction last month on One Park, a commercial and residential development billed as “Sophisticated Urban Living” after purchasing 20 hectares from Shukaku, Mr. Meng Khin’s firm, according to Hong Xin, customer manager for Graticity.
“One Park is our first investment project in Cambodia,” Mr. Hong said on Tuesday. “We have 20 hectares [in the Boeng Kak area]. Currently, we are developing phase one on 7.9 hectares, which will be flats and condos. Phase two will include a five-star hotel, shopping mall, high rise offices.”
Mr. Hong said Graticity had entered into a partnership with Shukaku to develop the site, paying $2,500 per square meter of land on the former lake.
Amu Pillay, a spokeswoman for Shukaku, declined to discuss the development.
“Please note that we’re not agreeing or denying any of the information given by Graticity,” she said in an email Wednesday. “We’re merely reserving our comments.”
Phnom Penh City Center (PPCC), the name Shukaku has given to its grand development plan for the lake, has already begun building an office, showroom, roads and drainage infrastructure on the filled-in lake.
One Park, however, is the first sign that the upscale urban development initially envisioned for the area may actually take shape.
Mr. Hong said the majority of the condos in the initial six-story residential building, the frame of which already rises above the mostly barren development site, have already been sold. And he said he was confident that the fierce protests that followed the eviction of thousands of families from the area around the lake following its sale to Shukaku had subsided for good.
“We haven’t had to advertise, and we have still sold over 90 percent of the flats already, so we are confident that there is a market for such properties at Boeng Kak, and it shows that people must feel the protests are over,” Mr. Hong said.
“For the flats, most of the [buyers] have been Cambodians, as they have ID cards and are able to purchase easily,” he added. “As this is our first project in Cambodia, we don’t know what the target market for the condos will be yet, but we imagine they will be popular with foreigners: Chinese, Taiwanese and Singaporeans.”
Six-story apartments range from $450,000 to $750,000, Mr. Hong said, adding that Graticity planned to have tenants move into their units by the end of 2017. No date has been set for the completion of the buildings that will house 1,300 condos as part of the project’s second phase, he said.
Plans for the Boeng Kak area have been controversial from the start, and Shukaku has struggled to get development off the ground.
In 2011, the World Bank put a hold on all new lending to the country in protest of the government’s forced eviction of some 3,000 families from around the lake. Evicted residents, along with their neighbors, have expanded their activism beyond the lake, becoming some of the most high-profile protesters in the country and lending their voice to a variety of causes.
A joint venture between Shukaku and Chinese firm Erdos Hongjun Investment Corporation, which began in 2010, fell apart in 2014. In June last year, Singapore’s HLH Group announced that it was planning to purchase land in the area, but called off their $14.9 million agreement with Shukaku in December, citing “commercial reasons.”
HLH claimed at the time that it knew nothing about the evictions and subsequent protests at the site. Mr. Hong of Graticity said he was confident that lingering discontent would not affect his firm’s project.
“HLH didn’t succeed due to the protests at the time. Hun Sen declared in April that the land dispute had been solved, so we came here to invest,” he said. “Now, a lot of companies are interested in the lake, and there haven’t been any more disputes, so everything appears to be OK.”
However, Yorm Bopha, a leading member of the Boeng Kak protesters, said that a group of activists demonstrated in front of the One Park construction site last month.
“Fifty people from the Boeng Kak community protested outside the company [land] and we demanded that they stop construction and wait for a solution first, but they did not listen to us,” she said.
“If there is no solution for the people in the Boeng Kak area, we will continue to protest.”