Re: [design] EMF

if farmlands could be considered a type of
residential neighborhood, this is where Paul
Wellstone got his political career started by
looking into powerline rights-of-way in relation
to (dairy, i think) farmers and stray voltage
issues and issues of ozone type things with the
lines, farm equipment being ungrounded, and other
issues. i photocopied state archives of this work
back in the early-mid nineties and included it in
an exhibit on electromagnetism. 'revolt on the
prarie' or a similar title documented farmers
who went up against the national guard to stop
the powerlines from being built. they toppled
towers with tractors, etc. though the pylons
and powerlines were constructed in the end.
there is a site devoted to this issue about
farm animals and farm equipment needing to be
grounded properly and how it is a very serious
issue for losses caused by electrical issues.

there are many interesting things about the
electrical grid that are interesting and may
not be by default wrong but it is curious how
much we exist in a stew of such fields/signals.
for instance, underground/sidewalk vaults for
high-voltage electrical power distribution in
cities often occurs below the sidewalks where
people are walking or sitting for lunch. it is
part of the daily fabric, this infrastructure.
yet if you take an EMF reading in such a place
one is engulfed in the field below their feet,
while walking in such corridors that feed their
power into shops and buildings. it is invisible
landscape that is artificial, and has much in
common with feng shui, if only it was balanced
and recognized-- it is a legitimate thing to
design around and make a healthful experience.

above-ground powerlines (wooden poles) hold
the power up away off the street, so the fields
(i recollect) are not as strong at human heights
though if you hold the meter above your head it
will rise accordingly the closer it gets to the
powerline. if one goes near a substation you can
get a major EMF (electromagnetic field) reading
across the street. that is, a sidewalk, a large
street, and another sidewalk of distance. (100'
i am guessing). i have tried to 'map' the EMFs
in a room though am still puzzed by an effective
way to visualize it and approximate the fields
in a way that they are, and also time variable.
for instance, some things always have a field,
though when turned 'on' increase in intensity.

it is a realm where 'tread lightly' applies, as
there's a reason very few are studying it today.
that is, its adverse effects. it is the basis for
a (30?) trillion dollar world economy (social,
political) and its basis in engineered culture.
architecture could add different values to this
equation, bring the humanity back into machinery,
redirect it towards goals that serve the public,
private, and create sustainable and also healthy
infrastructures from what today is the critical
policy arena with regard to most every issue:
global warming, war, business, health, society.
note, President Bush's speech invoked what may
be considered a great many things of vision of
some alternative future- though what they hinge
on in terms of pragmatism directly relates to
energy policy which was deeply cynical and also
retrograde-- nuclear power and the silver-bullet
of an oil-based hydrogen economy, instead of the
present moment. one can do any number of things
to the US superstructure (policy such as social
security) and have the wrong energy policy which
defeats any gains through massive, total losses.
just like how there is a 'gas tax' without the
official public benefit of taxation. and how it
has kept the economy in check with oil reality.

it is interesting that it is not studied in the
realm of architecture, as such, informative of
the basic problem. 90% energy loss, not an issue
of the academic realm in core curriculum to learn
more about this 'basic structure'. another reason
is all the talk about 'digital' homes/ media rooms,
networking, and not having basic literacy and an
understanding of EMFs -- how they may change the
basic structure of a dwelling if there is a new
electronic structure, of a new paradigm of physics
(past gravity/light) in which these are changed
conceptually and literally. i wonder if there is
a reason the balloon frame is still used, and not
solid walls-- if it is because of habits of wiring
a house/building. or what the status of these types
of designs are in relation to advances in the last
decade with ubiquitous networking. it seems it will
be more commonplace. but what will the architecture
be, the issues, the questions, beyond the aesthetic.
what is this electromagnetic structure, how can it
be designed and innovative ideas evolve of how to
change what may be destructive standards in relation
to how things work. JYA has posted many things about
the state of the art in building realms, such as
wallpaper and paints that can stop radio waves,
or spray on antennas, these types of things will
someday be more prevalent if people want others'
data out of their wifi-soup. so too, radiation,
UV, then again also pollution, particles in the
air (HEPA), etc. etc.

one of the things i would like to explore is how
the existing domestic infrastructure could start
to be transformed into a longer-term structure in
which solar panels integrated into wooden or other
poles could create some kind of heated sidewalks
and streets in some active, passive way. so too
with integrated lighting, maybe in-curb LEDs that
shine into the street, with built-in reflectors.
also, light-shifting streetsignage so that move-
ment creates visual effects to pull signage out
of the background and into the visual foreground.
then back into dwellings with e-commerce portals
for UPS-type drop-offs and pickpups, including
remote services for groceries as part of a new
housing design. so too, weather stations built
into housing, some solar, micro-wind, sealable
like a space capsule for toxic events/weather,
automated things like doors that open/shut on
their own via robotic-like interaction. at the
basic level of the new structure of buildings.
not necessarily high-tech, or the latest thing,
yet improvements upon today's standard designs.

Now the subject of EMF hazards in residential neighborhoods has begun to
interest me.

  • Re: [design] EMF
    • From: Michael Kaplan
  • Replies
    [design] EMF, Michael Kaplan
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