Project Lattice Brainstorming Session


marlowe_icon.gif richard_icon.gif seren_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Project Lattice Brainstorming Session
Synopsis It takes boldness to make greatness, and a small group of thinkers get together to try and make something better.
Date August 15, 2019

From: Evans, Seren (moc.hcetyar|snaves#moc.hcetyar|snaves)
Subject: Green Living project Brainstorm Session
Date: 2:00pm - 4:00 pm August 15, 2019
Location: SZ 3rd Floor CL (Innovate Lounge)
Options: Accept, Tentative, Decline
Invited: Ray, Warren (moc.hcetyar|yarw#moc.hcetyar|yarw); Cranston, Michelle (moc.hceryar|notsnarcm#moc.hceryar|notsnarcm); Ezell, Devina (moc.hcetyar|llezed#moc.hcetyar|llezed); Ray, Richard (optional) (moc.hcetyar|yarr#moc.hcetyar|yarr); Terrell Marlowe (optional) (moc.seirtsudniotagamay|llerret.m#moc.seirtsudniotagamay|llerret.m), Sorensen, Bjarni (optional) (moc.hcetyar|nesnerosb#moc.hcetyar|nesnerosb)

Just wanted to get some time on our calendar as a follow-up to the projects meeting … your support in putting together a formal proposal is deeply appreciated.

Goal: put together a working draft for eco-entwined housing units to propose for use in the Roosevelt reclamation project, and other government initiatives across the US.
Bonus points: we find a way to cheaply adapt it for use in current NYCSZ reconstruction efforts.

I've also extended an invitation to Marlowe Terrell from Yamagato for some early input in how well drafts might be received. She's worked with us previously on the greenhouse project, so she will have valuable insight here.

Best regards,

Third Floor Computer Lounge (Innovate Lounge), Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

2:07 pm

Seren made sure to book a room equipped with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards.

The screens-only workstations where teammates could enjoy the comfort of dual-screens away from their home desk are pushed to the side in favor of a more collaborative workspace. A single long table is dragged into the middle of the empty space left behind, covered in brown paper and littered with markers, post-it notes, pens, painter's tape, postcard-sized notecards, and dry-erase materials. A pair of laptop chargers are plugged into an adjacent floor outlet, but the clear goal here is to ideate in a physical space. Three armless chairs loosely ring the table suited for far more than that, and two bean bag chairs sit on standby in the corner of the room.

In the depths of one of those chairs flails a hot dog of a creature that could almost really be mistaken for a copper-toned daschund at a passing glance. Its back half of its body tapers not into haunches but a mauve, winding, tapering tail better defined as a trait of an eastern dragon. The frill at the end of its tail is lavender— pudgy whiskered things like an axolotl's ears. Its puppy face is relentlessly unabashed, even with ears flattened against the side of its head. Tiny jade horns curled like teardrops sprout from its brow like eyebrows, which tilt down along with the rest of its face as it dips its head in a silent apology. The fringes on the back end of its body continue to wiggle in the air much like a dog might wag its tail.

Baird is excited, okay.

Seren is excited, too, but doing (theoretically) a better job of keeping it to themself. They thumb the cap of a dry erase marker idly, sharing a look with Baird to encourage him to keep it together before looking across the meeting room. "Okay…" they say, pleasant but cautious that they might've forgotten something. "I think that's all of us. Thank you all for coming to help take these ideas and really turn them in to something. My goal isn't to just throw things over and over at the wall until something sticks, I'm really hoping to create something that wows right up front."

Hand flattened against the top of the marker, they look to what's already taped to the walls: photos of the FEMA-provided housing down in Settler's Creek side by side with publicly-available concept images for the Roosevelt Island housing, along with concept sketches of their own— a single, duplex, and apartment dwellings each with designs more fantastic than plausible. That was fine! They just wanted to get ideas flowing for how energy-creating materials could be woven into the design of a home, for how green could be present in unexpected places, and they've even kept curved surfaces to a minimum.

"So let's get to it," Seren says with a smile, hand lifting from one form of fidgeting to instead adjust the tie hanging down their black dress shirt, sleeves rolled to elbow. "Let's put forward a better house of tomorrow."

Late as usual, Warren shows up in a green tanktop, faded black jeans, and black biker boots for whatever reason. He's wearing a clear see-through raincoat, and Robobo is on his shoulder wearing tiny brown monkey pajamas with a tiny monkey hoodie. "I'm ready for the brainstorming!"

Then he looks over at Baird, tilting his head. "I'm not even using my ability, I wonder if that's just residual brain damage. Everyone! I'm seeing some sort of goblin, don't be alarmed if I talk to it." He pauses, then waves at Baird. "Hello goblin."

Taking his seat at the table, he looks over the various papers and drawings, considering today's purpose. "Solar flowers! Mechanical solar plants that can be put anywhere in small or large numbers and hooked up to a network by the average person! This would allow individuals in a single already existing building to buy them and hook them up to a larger network even in structures we aren't currently working on! Crowd funded solar energy!!!"

All normal business procedures suggest the Director of Technology at Yamagato's New York branch would send a representative, a liaison, to the meeting. But an email accepting the meeting and physical appearance have proven otherwise. Canting her head, Marlowe has been doing well keeping her attention on the project materials rather than the fantastical creature currently occupying the chair beside hers. Down in her hands, a tablet encased in black bearing the Yamagato logo on its backing has her notes and an audio feed being transcribed.

"Energy creating materials are one thing, but environmentally friendly housing without the expense is a little harder to come by," she says with a glance up to the doorway once Warren arrives. "For all that you want to design things to death, though, one needs to consider the availability of materials, and the cost of getting them here."

'Goblin' gets an arch of Marlowe's eyebrow up. It's the RayTech's CTO's physical appearance (and his tardiness) that keeps her expression there. Her eyes eventually shift back. "I believe this is an early stage though, so please don't let my remarks discourage you," she adds to the gathered.

“No no,” Seren encourages brightly. “We need someone to keep our feet on the ground here, and that’s where you come in, Ms. Terrell. As much fun as it might be to design until our eyes bleed, we need a working concept that will also be useful, reproduceable by companies like yours.” They smile with a touch of warmth to it, looking back to the empty canvas of a wall before them. Hands move almost of their own accord, sketching out hexagonal planks that interlink to look like a daisy. It’s likely not to the level Warren had envisioned, but the same-size same-shape panels might be easier to order.

No idea is truly a bad one, after all. They’ve all got something in them that could turn into greatness.

Baird, at being acknowledged, lifts his head in excitement. He’s very much real, thank you. He indicates as much with a meaningless chirrup. Well, meaningless to all but Seren who glances back at hearing it, looking to Warren after. “Don’t worry, Mr. Ray, everybody can see Baird," is said with an affect of reassurance.

"I do think, given the challenge most people face by having inconsistent power due to incomplete infrastructure restoration, that having a model that's self-sufficient in power would be attractive, and I don't want to lose sight of that if we can. The goal ultimately, though, is do better than that in terms of comfort, endurance," and Seren gestures to the FEMA trailer. "And create a more stable staple on the cheap. We could get inventive on capitalizing internal space better, as one example. I think another area that could really make a difference as to a unit's long-term efficiency would be optimizing insulation and heat distribution. There's…"

They pause then, a little sheepish. "There's a lot of different ways we could approach this, I think."

“If anyone can come up with a number of out-of-the-box approaches on this, it would be this group,” Richard observes casually as he walks in, dressed in contrast to his brother in his usual business suit of black and red, “Don’t mind me, I’m just here to observe.”

He leans over to Warren, murmuring lowly, “No weaponization of any of this.”

Then he’s stepping over to drop into a seat, leaning back and folding both hands over his chest as he makes himself comfortable.

"Even a spoon is a weapon if you're creative enough! But anyway it's nice to know that everyone can see goblins." Warren nods to Baird in approval as he sits back, crossing his arms as Robobo does the same, having some deep thoughts about everyone's individual input.

"What about poop?" he suddenly wonders.

"Everyone poops and pees and all it does is put strain on our infrastructure while providing nothing of value! Toilets already exist, so what if we made some adjustments to the already existing infrastructure and used biological waste more efficiently? We could use this in addition to solar power and not only provide energy, but possibly create an energy surplus!" he slams his fist against the table. "Sorry, I was about to yell 'bring me photos of Spider-Man', but realized that it would be inappropriate."

Going back on track, he raises a single chromium finger. "This has already been done pre-war, but with more limited technology than we have now. We can do it better!"

Sure, Warren. The reference to Spider-Man is the inappropriate part. Regardless, Seren is laughing to themself under their breath, their shyness about their own enthusiasm hard to remember in the face of his. "I mean…" they try to entertain the posed idea. "Energy from compost is definitely a thing, but I wouldn't say it's popular? The idea is to keep things cheap, which I think limits us breaking new ground like that."

Seren parts their hands. "I think enhancing on ideas markets are already embracing will be key to getting us to where we want. The— solar thing, for example, I think that could be something."

Looking to Marlowe, they give a small smile. "What do you think, miss?"

The entrance of Richard Ray draws the eye of the Yamagato tech director. Marlowe nods a greeting to the CEO, observing his choice suit in the span of a blink and a briefly notable arch of her eyebrow. But back to the topic on the board.

At least, until Warren is putting poop into the mix.

"The sewage systems beneath the city damaged during the war are still being repaired and in some cases in need of redesign," Marlowe says, tapping her finger in thought. "We're finding the damage to be quite extensive in some places. Hence, water pumps are still in use while the teams rebuild. Again, an issue of resources arises next to the cost of it all. I'm not one to naysay because of numbers, though. I'm engineering, not accounting." She offers a small grin and turns back to Warren, regarding him and the robot monkey. "Ms. Evans brings to light the main issue there. Proposals of harnessing night soil as an energy source were fielded as Yamagato Park was built, but let's just say hardly anybody finds the possibility of disease-causing pathogens and parasitic organisms escaping into the energy routes to be a 'sexy' or even marketable idea."

Which is to say, she's setting it over there to be touched later with a ten foot pole.

"Going back to your original thought, though. Take a look at what nature already provides. Utilizing biomimicry to create microhousing units that will allow for as much natural airflow and light to enter without losing energy efficiency." Her tapped finger lifts. "And will be aesthetically satisfying. Have you ever seen or studied the Eastgate building in Zimbabwe? Something like that, but of course, tailored for our spot on the planet. Perhaps, you could take inspiration from something like a beehive."

At the suggestion that they utilize human manure for methane generation, Richard brings up a hand to slide over his face, fingers under his sunglasses. “As she said, the sewers are a mess right now,” he notes, “I’m not sure if they’ve been completely cleared of killer electric rats, either, so let’s table any sewer-related ideas for the moment.”

"Someone get me a sewer map later!" Warren shouts, apparently always expecting someone to hear his demands. But he tries to stay focused, leaning back and crossing his arms. "I could design a highly efficient basic building block for a bio-mimicry based building, a literal building block! If you get me statistics on the buildings that are already built, but simply being remodelled, then I can try to design some standardized templates for the most common types of structures. Like bricks, single brick plates meant to be attached to regular bricks. The plates could give us the benefits of bio-mimicry without the high costs of creating the materials from scratch."

He rubs his chin, trying to think of a good example perhaps. "Imagine you had a fake potted plant! You could use that as the basis to put some soil into it and grow a real plant without getting rid of the fake plants. That's the basic concept!"

The suggestion about implementing ideas involving biomimicry draws attention from Seren as well, their brows arching up. Not all of Warren's idea meet understanding from the architect, but the idea of using the structure's shape to their advantage is something that that they can definitely get behind. For entirely different reasons, they approach the wall all over again, grabbing a dry erase marker as they go.

Baird lifts his head off the chair with interest, watching Seren begin to etch out rough sketches directly onto the wall. "Wait, wait— but that's a great idea, though. What if we started with something like …"

Their mind goes faster than the pen, bleeding the idea directly onto the wall.

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