some emergent markets


Market Soundtrack by Daphne Lasky
July 26, 2010, 10:26 pm
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Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words…unless those words are, “Melon! 2 Euro/kilo! 2 Euro/kilo!” Click through the audio clips below to get a feel for the atmosphere at markets all around Paris. You’ll note that some are much noisier (more vibrant!) than others. If you listen closely, you can begin to tell which markets are full of gaps and lulls, when a market is empty and I’m able to walk quickly past vendors, and even when a market is crowded and I’m stuck by the tomato guy for a good 45 seconds.

Bastille

Brune

Crimee Curial

Edgar Quinet

Gros LaFontaine

Mortier

Popincourt–non-market day

Pyrenees

Reunion

Saint Charles

I’ll be annotating these clips over the next few days, so check back in for a more detailed analysis of the recordings.



Mind the Gap by Daphne Lasky
July 21, 2010, 10:17 am
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The market structure here in Paris is remarkably linear. At markets like Belleville and Barb├Ęs, the space is so crowded that you can walk in a straight line for blocks before you find an opportunity to duck out into a different space.

On other occasions, we’ve come across markets with empty stalls. While the metal scaffolding is set up (thanks, city government!), an absent vendor creates a gap in the long stretch of produce-covered tables. Shoppers use these gaps as shortcuts for hopping from one row of stalls to another, and I’m starting to think of the empty stalls as potentially interesting field disturbances.

This gap opens up an interesting view across the market–it is so important to always be able to keep an eye on the cheese vendor.



Urban Forest, Part II by Daphne Lasky
July 18, 2010, 8:59 pm
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After our first visit to the Maubert market, I wrote that I loved the relationship between trees and the market stall scaffolding. Having now had a few weeks to investigate this all a bit further, it’s clear to me that trees aren’t just a bit of fun punctuation within a field of market stalls–they’re an essential part of Parisian market infrastructure.

The tree canopy goes a long way in creating a sense of enclosure and protection for the market–turning a plaza into a room. Canopy height can vary quite a bit while still accomplishing this.

Trees that enter the field of market stalls break up continuous patterns, creating individual moments of interest and adaptation. For boulevard-style markets that can continue on for blocks and blocks, this can be particularly important.

In Rome, we saw that market-goers tend to stick to the shade; to encourage shopping, vendors resorted to covering the Campo dei Fiori in XXL-sized umbrellas. Here in Paris, trees provide a nice baseline dappled sunlight. As a result, awnings over Parisian market stalls have less sun-repelling work to do. See how small and translucent they are?

Finally, though we’d been putting together the pieces to this puzzle ourselves, it was a trip to the (otherwise mostly uninteresting) Bourse market that really confirmed our suspicion.



Infrastructural Ground by Daphne Lasky
July 12, 2010, 9:43 pm
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Spend enough time wandering Parisian markets, and you’re bound to notice the pop-up electrical outlets that dot the market plazas. Standard, well-functioning outlets, like the yellow one below, are all well and good, but I love it when I see an outlet cover that’s been pried up, sitting haphazardly at some odd angle.

We’re toying with some initial grasshopper investigations, and one thing I’ve been thinking about is how the ground plane might reveal the infrastructure buried underneath. If electricity is accessed through a field of point sources, might increased loads at certain points cause the ground to thicken?

The above drawing shows individual points shifting independently of one another. What if, however, heavily-used points began to subsume more minor access locations, meta-ball-style? One result (shown below in section) might be a faceted surface with a complex substructure:

Finally, are these operations additive only, or might they also become subtractive? For every action…



ground rules by Daphne Lasky
July 7, 2010, 9:58 pm
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As Jie mentioned in an earlier post, the skeletal framework for the Place Maubert market spills off of a traffic island and into the street. A continuous field–how exciting! However, on market day, the full set-up suggested that the island/street separation does have a bit of an effect on flows through the stalls. In the photograph below, you can see that a circulation route is aligned with a sloped curb, and that where the curb is higher and steeper, vendors stash all of their infrastructural stuff.