Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interesting: Website on Mumbai's vertical transport structures

Vertical Urbanism is an incredible website. From the About page:
This site maps the landscapes of elevated road highways – flyovers – and elevated pedestrian walkways – skywalks – across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in Western India. Both flyovers and skywalks have become a highly visible feature of Mumbai’s recent rapid urbanisation. The number of flyovers increased from 13 in 1997 to over 60 by 2009, while the first skywalks were constructed in 2008. Many more projects are ongoing and proposed. By assembling and categorising photographs, videos, audio-clips and text, this site allows users to explore some of the new and diverse urban worlds created through flyover and skywalk construction. All material was collected between April 2009 and January 2010 by Andrew Harris with the assistance of Savitri Medhatul. The website was devised by Andrew Harris and created by Sanjay Bhangar.The research was funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the Urban Laboratory of University College London.

Interesting: Nat Geo documentary on Pulau Siarau

This is a fantastic old National Geographic documentary that features the mangroves of Borneo, particularly those of Brunei's own Pulau Siarau. Bonuses include intimate glimpses into the lives of proboscis monkeys, close ups of a variety of mudflat creatures and other fauna as well as wonderful flora of the mangroves.

 Video courtesy of the National Geographic Channel

Thursday, December 8, 2011

AD-3307 Student Project: Vertical housing

Vertical housing

A group of eight students conducted a study on cultural preferences with regards to vertical housing. The Brunei government is moving skywards for future housing development due to space constraints and sustainable development concerns. 

The study's hypothesis is that most Bruneians  are not opposed to vertical housing if their design and space requirements, often culturally-influenced, are met. 

Do go through the slides to find out more about this interesting study. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

AD-3307 Student Project: Brunei Trails

Brunei Trails
View more presentations from kerynnisa.

This report presents the case study for Kampong Ayer walking trail and this project is conducted by two undergraduate students and a researcher. 

The development of a is the virtual first step needed to initiate Brunei Darussalam’s National Trail System which includes the Kampong Ayer trail. The system envisioned here consists of an expanding set of walking routes of natural, cultural, historical and/or recreational significance.

The goal for this project is to help the researcher collecting information for the website in the future. Also, to produce a final product that will be an image-text following Berger’s model.
Therefore, the main objective is to propose a circuit walking trail for Kampong Ayer. 

There are few different methods taken on this project and one of the methods is by doing fieldtrip. In total, there were three times trip to Kampong Ayer itself which lasted for about two to three hours long. 

The primary focus of this trail is on the practise of walking in the Kampong Ayer. The starting point for this proposed trail is at Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery,  and finished at the end of Kampong Ayer; Kampong Burong Pingai Ayer.

Another method is through surveying. The survey of scenes and elements in the landscape is a significant task. We needed to find as many images of the inside of Kampong Ayer from Google, Yahoo and BT Click website and from those images we had to identify the five most popular/top scenes and elements of Kampong Ayer that are most pictured. Apart from that, we also had to count the number of images that are already collected from the different websites.

Collecting data for sights, sounds and smells are essential to the trail. This method is carried out by using camera and sound recorder. Those elements (sights, sounds and smells) happen simultaneously during any given moment, not in sequence and are important for creating the image-text.

Weekly meetings are a must to keeping updates about each other’s work and findings. From these meetings, we gather all the information and compile them to be recorded on our work journal.

The final product (result) of this project as mentioned earlier is an image-text. Image-texting is a type of mapping which is popular among ‘spacemakers’. 

Alan Berger is a Tenured Associate Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The image-text following the Berger’s model that we have edited and done using the most advanced program for photo editing; Adobe Photoshop, re-presents the Trail to those interested in knowing it. The image-text both conveys information and attempts to bring the experience to viewers. 

Group members:
Izzati Aqilah Hj Abd. Kadir
Nur Nazurah Syahirah Hj Morni

Dr. Ken Whalen

Text by Izzati Aqilah and Nur Nazurah

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Programme Meeting and Lunch

The Environmental Studies/Geography and Development/Tourism programmes had the first of two exam board meetings on Saturday, 3 December 2011.

Issues discussed included GenNext module and non-GenNext course grades. Other matters such as research directions and next semester's teaching load were also tabled.

Bill Duane chairing the meeting.
Getting down to business.

What better way to end an intense three-hour meeting than with some makan? The programme lunch took place the same day at the Tarindak d'Seni in Bandar Seri Begawan. Business chatter and serious faces were replaced by laughter, smiles and industrious eating.

One of the mainstays of the Tarindak menu is the famed ambuyat. Some of our expat colleagues took the opportunity to sample the unique delicacy for the first (and perhaps last?) time. 

John and Ken had their first taste of ambuyat.
Drs Yusnani, Edgar and Ken were (more or less) positive about the ambuyat experience. John was more enthusiastic, describing the ambuyat as "beautiful".

Although his expression here says otherwise.
The next exam board meeting for the three programmes will take place on Wednesday, 7 November 2011.

Project: Rain forest tourism in Brunei

Temburong's rain forest tourism potential explored

One of our new members of academic staff, Dr. Debra Enzenbacher, a Human Geographer, has undertaken some initial tourism research in Brunei Darussalam by travelling to and within Temburong to experience a variety of rain forest tourism products offered by different local tour operators.   

Canopy walkway tourists at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei Darussalam.
 Image credit: Dr. Debra Enzenbacher©, FASS

The tourism products range from day trips, overnight trips and extended stays of two or more nights within and/or adjacent to primary rain forest, each with their own characteristics and special features.  

Bukit Patoi Recreational Park, Temburong
Image credit: Dr. Debra Enzenbacher©, FASS
Batu Tergangam, Bukit Patoi Recreational Park, Temburong
Image credit: Dr. Debra Enzenbacher©, FASS

Once fieldwork is completed, the findings will form part of a research paper on tourism in Brunei’s primary rain forests.

 Text by Dr Debra Enzenbacher