Six images - six questions and one project

  • 1pm

  • Adam House, Adam House Lecture Theatre
    3 Chambers Street
    EH1 1HT

image - six themes, reading top to bottom & left to right in rows:




the project: Waterbanks

A provocation: given the impact of Climate Change on weather patterns, rainfall and other forms of precipitation might it be both necessary and desirable that building types are developed that can harvest and store as much water as possible, providing enough capacity that the increasingly erratic time divisions between the ‘rains’ can be ameliorated. Could this provide an incentive for the widespread provision of locally based, dispersed and decentralised infrastructures for water supply? And, finally could this model, which demands a level of community based stewardship that piped, linear, centralized systems do not require, provide the circumstances for invention in relation to the political processes that govern water-use generally, and ultimately survival’?’

David Turnbull

David Turnbull is a Director of ATOPIA Innovation, and Design Director of ATOPIA Research Inc dba PITCHAfrica, an award winning 501(c)3 tax exempt organization registered in New Jersey, USA, with a specific focus on the development and construction of building types that address global ecological and social challenges.

He is also a Professor of Architecture with more than 25 years of experience in Design Education Internationally. His academic career started in 1989 at The Architectural Association in London while he was working in the office of James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, leading major projects in Spain, Japan and Singapore. His academic appointments since 1990 include the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professorship in Architecture at Yale University, and Visiting Professorships at the University of Toronto, Canada (sponsored by CITY-TV), Columbia University's GSAPP in New York, & Cornell University. He was Professor of Architecture at the University of Bath in the UK from 2000-2005 and from 2012 -13, Visiting Professor of Design & Innovation at The African University of Science & Technology, a Nelson 

Mandela Institution, in Abuja, Nigeria. He has been a Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York since 2006. 

PITCHAfrica's first WATERBANK School was completed in 2012 in Laikipia, Kenya, in collaboration with The Zeitz Foundation, and was named 'The Greenest School on Earth' by the USGBC. WATERBANK Schools were selected by SUSTAINIA in Denmark as one of the top 100 sustainable solutions in the World and won the INTERFACE support award in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

PITCHAfrica's WATERBANK Campus, including PITCHKenya, a high yield rainwater-harvesting Futsal Stadium, School & Environmental Centre was selected for 'Designs of the Year 2015’ by Design Museum, London. As an inventor he has published patents for novel water and power technologies.

Part of the 2017/2018 ESALA Research Seminar Series. Free and open to all.