Manufacturing Place

Manifesto: To refresh the approach – A devolved design approach.

Project 1::: No Foundations

Currently due to our need to build and make things, we dig deep and pour concrete in order for the stuff we make to sustain. This is good news for the long term static nature of a building, but bad news for the soil and natural environment upon which it sits.

To protect the soil and ground below within human-used environments such as the city, we propose a elevated platform that allows soil, water and air to circulate. The soil is untouched and therefore protected for future generations. Water infiltrates improving the water holding capacity and aeration is enabled. flora and fauna has free will and trees are no longer restricted to the modern day tree pit or as we call them ‘tree prison’. Its an approach to break into the unknown.

The soil upon which we stand has life.

In 2014 I wrote a blog : the levitating city and soil beneath whilst I was living in Malaysia and experiencing urban flooding, mass development, and an abundance of life restricted by the foundations on which the city was built. Their was an interesting contrast between the similarities of the mega rich tropical rainforest contrasted against the mega dense city, the ying and yang of urban development. Something was missing and the designers involved continued with the western sacrosanct design process which involved – foundations.

Levitating city and soil

During this time i worked on a conceptual idea for a adaptable street space (not smart based but structural) that involved a raised platform that had the structural ability to be adapted through time if need. It was based on rudimentary design principles and fairly disconnected from the smart apporaches that are of current. During this development the importance of the life of the soil became apparant and the disconnect we now have with it within the very place we live had.

A human-created space that can be rolled up and packed away leaivng no trace upon the soil, or deconstructed down to feed back into the microbiota.

Its 2020 and we are still laying the foundations for endless future issues – Its not the so called politicians often described as ‘masters of delay’ but you the designer or whoever is involved within the sacrosanct design world wehre we all beleieve we have something incredible to do – and follow this to the bitter end through delusion.

The concept is a response to the the non design and non plan approaches discussed here which minimise the need for management plan and long term strategies. They allow for stuff to happen that is beyond the control of what we know. It is fundamentally based on GI and therefore there is no plan for GI necessary. The concept will leave the environment relatively untouched and therefore minimise the need for strategy and planning,

A step outside to have a look opens up a range of simple solutions to complex issues ntheat may lead to a better place. to make it clear i wont say what is better or not but the soil air and water upon which we live seems to if in harmony provides some rest-bite and improved ‘well being’ for us.

The approach into praxis


  • collaborate with materialists and 3D printers to develop the structure
  • develop an approach with utility companies
  • collaborate with drone and and programmers to develop the spatial analysis tool


  • gather spatial open data to perform a soil and vegetation health check
  • map areas of retained soil health and safe guard
  • map potential retrofitting areas that are capable of no foundations
  • all new builds to be – above +AOD


  • model route and environment with data
  • use open source footprint model to simulate no foundation walkway
  • use model template to develop floating routes integrated with exposed utilities model.
  • develop system and feedback into data base.
  • collaborate with 3D printers to develop a suitable material
  • Future research

Project 2::: Exposing the utilities

As a side project to no foundations exposed utilities deals with the issue of the infrastructural veins of human environments.