A brilliant teacher once told us there's no need to be linear, we can trust our brains to make connections at moments when we're completely lost, but this does not mean we should work without method. At the end of class, Mei, whose French wasn't perfect yet, asked me what that was about. When I told her she went "That's kind of obvious right?"
We decided to work together after a project presentation. We had to design an architectural project using parametric tools. I couldn't get my head around the software and Mei was still learning French, but we had similar ideas of beauty. We saw ourselves in the images of a mighty wave and a wrinkled old lady hiding her smile; we trusted that we should go forward with that eternal energy and that wise cheekiness.
Now we are in our final year at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Lyon (ENSAL) and we are building a 6x6x4m (19x19x13ft) three dimensional structure called The Source. We are using the ancient art of origami to build a membrane that can filter water and that will move with the weight of the water being collected.
We are imagining the following reality: homes no longer have running water and we have come back to the ancient ritual of going to fetch it. Plumbing is long gone. Cities now have inverted wells, city sources that collect and treat rainwater. These sources are not always full, it depends on the season, they move as they are filling up and as we empty them. They are like miraculous machines that breathe with rain. This rhythm keeps us close to the reality of thirst.
We do not know whether this is a place that can become a sacred sanctuary or a bloody battlefield.
Our project has been selected by the Architecture Biennale of Lyon and it will be displayed for two weeks in June 2017. We have tested many designs and materials and now we need to cut, fold and assemble the final pattern. There are three membranes that represent a total of 155 square meters (1670 square feet).
We are making a movie of the final project that will be shown during the Biennale and we are working with graphic designer Sophie Raucoules and hydraulic engineer Camille Raucoules who will produce the graphics that will stand alongside our design. Sophie and Camille are working on a graphic proposal that will cover different scales (body, city, planet) in order to recount how we consume a limited resource on a limited planet.