We used this project to apply parametric design tools to the larger project of mine restoration through geomorphological diversity. These tools allow designers to set formal parameters or logics for design objects (in this case berms and spoils piles) in order to rapidly compute many iterations at once. “Damba Dynamics” used the parameters of damba construction and spoils piling to create a tool to model and visualize dambas and spoils piles in various configurations.
In our simple parametric model, the boundaries of the proposed berm system are the edges of the intact forest and the main channel of the river at the start of the project. These edges are subdivided into start and end points for the berm and distances between all possible start and end points are calculated. Each of these possible berms is then recalculated as a set of bi-arcs, or curves composed of two simple arcs. Because these arcs face opposite directions with respect to the path of the sun, each face of the berm creates a different gradient of exposure to the sun.
These models are overlaid on drone imagery to create quick and rigorously measured collages. While more complicated landscape qualities such as textures and objects (e.g. a pool of water or an escarpment) remain loose, the digital model remains rigorous.
The modeling tool allows for rapid modeling and visualization of berms and spoil piles. Through the next steps of our research, these parameters can be tied to the geomorphological parameters such as orientation to an average sun path over a given season or the "depth" of the space enclosed by the berm. These preliminary tools allow us to link the parameters of mining extraction and geomorphological diversity with the target habitats and accessibility parameters of public-facing restoration projects.
Special thanks to Anna Tsao for extensive research and development of the models.Read on Substack