Portable Chamber: Womb to Habitable Container

portable 3

Portable womb to parambulator

The significance of portability relies on the sustainability, customary and the identity of the thing which is transported – be the medium is place or time or both together. For this the chamber which contains the portable, living or non-living objects, has the major key role to sustain the objects. The chamber may be a process or system of the porting agent. But during transporting, while on the one hand, the identity of the stuff should be unchanged, on the other hand it should be acclimatized with the new place or new time.

Lukin Fisheries Pty Ltd in Australia, a renowned tuna fishing company, developed a very unique method of transporting tuna fishes from Australia to Japan and to other nations. Dinko Lukin was the first who came up with the idea to transport this fast swimming ocean fish not by conventional method of catching the fishes from ocean and putting them in containers, but by farming them in the ocean where he can be able to transport the fishes flown fresh, straight from the sea to the market.  The company has four giant tuna vessels in their Australian fleet. First, they fish for tuna in the Great Australian Bight. Then capture the fish with large nets. Finally by using “tow cages” slowly bring them to Port Lincoln. Before, tunas were ported not fresh but dead and frozen and it took several days to months for shipping to different countries. But after Dinko’s new idea, this time tunas are transported alive and fresh. When fishers first catch the tunas, the tunas are small in size in group. After arresting them in large tuna vessels, they are transported underwater. While transporting, after a long days tunas become grown enough and fisher earned double profit as the size and weight of tunas become almost double. The key of this huge success is laid behind the unique transporting system where the environment for living and growing of tunas were not disturbed rather than just redirect this fast ocean fishes to the destination. Here the portability coherently consists the shifting of place and time, and sustains the function of tunas’ accustomed living environment and identity.

Left – Aerial view of tuna vessels of Lukin Fisheries Pty Ltd, Australia. Right - Inner view of the tuna vessel

Left – Aerial view of tuna vessels of Lukin Fisheries Pty Ltd, Australia. Right – Inner view of the tuna vessel

Likewise, human beings are in the ocean of mother’s womb before our eyes open to the earth. As a single embryo we start to develop and grow inside the dark womb. For the embryo the womb itself is his first world where it gets everything whatever it needs and grows. But when the pregnant woman moves from one place to another the embryo is also transported with her body but the process/function of its growing continues without any disturbance. Furthermore, as modern technology has dramatically progressed, human wombs will never be the same. What about artificial womb that act to mimic the functioning of the womb? As a matter of fact, scientists have experimented to create artificial wombs with animals where human embryos implanted in an artificial womb to yield a pregnancy. For this, the artificial womb had been treated with the provision of chemical and organic fluids in a chamber that needs for the fertilization of fetus as in the actual womb.  However, as far as moving is concerned, may it be possible to bring the artificial womb anywhere as required in a house where along with the sustaining of fetus inside the other aspects of portability for the porting is considerable.

The notion is also applied to a shorter timeframe chamber. In long-distance train some cabins are designed for the families. One cabin is like a small house unit having all the basic necessary facilities like toilet, kitchen, sleeping and so on so that a single family, while traveling, can easily spent their time for one or two days as they spend in their own house. In this case the family is the object which is transporting to the other place by train. But if we keenly observe the fact then we can find the main purpose of cabin in which it is designed as the prototype of time that they spend in house rather than the house as an object or chamber of family. While in cabin, if the time and life style for one or two days are not affected and changed then the transportation of the family could be seemed success, but if fails for another family, then for that family the transportation of the family is not success, for which the family paid before traveling as train ticket. But if there is such a flexibility of the settings (furniture, beds, etc.) then any family according to their lifestyle they can arrange the cabin according to their own lifestyle for one day, no matter how short the day is, rather than compromising the money of ticketing and forcefully spending the times while transporting. Accordingly, the cabin should be made such a way that it would act as the womb of the whole train where the family value and their identity of lifestyles are the embryos of the cabin.

Aeromads

Aeromads

The fittingness of chamber with the changing behavior of porting agent (as time goes) reflect the ability of the chamber for fostering both the physical entity of the agent and the time associated with it. When we consider the portability with the portable thing and the time together, then the relativity must come automatically. For example, sailors move from one region to another where they spend several months to years on a ship. The ship as a chamber of the sailors associated with other objects shifts them not only by means of place but also, throughout the journey, it carries them through the different time seasons – summer to winter to summer. If the ship continues to move within a same climatic zone for years, then time shifting is more significant for making the chamber time-responsive to customize the sailors and objects according to the time season. On the other hand, if the ship moves from one climatic zone to different climatic zone but within a short period, then the place shifting becomes more important for making the chamber place responsive. Thus, the porting chamber is time and place responsive as the time and place are closely related to each other.

Accordingly, the action of flexibility, expandability and customary of the chambers for porting agent to allow continuing the agent’s usual or spontaneous process can be easily traced. The customary of tuna vessels, the fostering of mother’s womb, and the flexibility of family cabin in train are the physical key factors for the meaningful portability.

A number of strong creative efforts of implementing the meaning of portability by considering both the place and time together including aptness, compliance and identity of the porting people have been applied to the architectural project. Among a range of attempts, portable house1 is particularly noteworthy in which a group of families can compose a portable community as new nomadic.

By using the flexible and expandable architectural elements, in terms of tectonic and spatial, the houses can be made smart by means of place and time responsive which customize the life of new nomadic people with the change of place and time as well. An another appealing effort is “Aeromads”2, in which the inflatable, malleable and movable house is designed that is as much moldable and flexible for customizing the dwellers need as a large airy blanket which is used by any means for comforting or fitting the human body.

Accordingly, when the chamber contains some portable objects then its responsibility is not finished just after keeping the objects properly, but its awareness to take care the objects becomes also the principal conscientiousness.

Mother’s womb not only contains the baby inside, but also it becomes fully responsible for all the aspects of growing, protecting and fostering the baby. When a baby is born, s/he is started to get provision of the environment as in the womb in terms of caring, protecting, and so on. As the baby grows up, the place womb is taken by baby carrier and then perambulator as pseudo womb for moving the baby from one place to another.

Accountability of the chamber is not only inside the parameter of containing and shifting the porting agent, but also in the territory of the mood and reverse response of the porting agent. Sometimes may the chamber provide all the requirements to the porting agent by considering the place, time and its identity, and to provide these all to the agent the chamber does transform itself at the moment of agent’s needs. But this transformation of the chamber should be such that it will not affect the agent’s convenience rather than fit with the agent’s comfortableness. While on one side, during transporting the responsiveness of the chamber to the porting agent is very much significant, on the other side, the process of taking the portable agent from one place and then placing to the new place and again repacking for the new destination, plus the caring and sustaining of the agent throughout the whole process is also very much imperative.

Note

(1) A good example of the portable house has been well manifested in Jennifer Siegal’s project. The project has central kitchen and bathroom core, sleeping area in one side and on the other side an expandable and contractible living space. According to climatic condition the house can be reoriented to take advantage of sun and natural ventilation. See Jennifer Siegal, Mobile: The Art of Portable Architecture, Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2002)

(2) The “Aeromads” was designed by architect Alexis Rochas and his students at the SCI-ARC in Los Angeles. It is an idea of a home that is a malleable and movable environment that can be deflated and fit into a suitcase, then travel to a new location with its owner. It uses air pressure as a building material to exist as its own and independent structure.

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