This article explores the complexities of informal urbanisation at the metropolitan periphery of Mexico City through a case study of Ampliación San Marcos, a former agricultural area on the city's south-eastern periphery. While the physical annexation of small towns and their environs is a common feature of Mexico City's growth, the settlement of Ampliación San Marcos is more accurately described as a two-pronged process involving the extension of a nearby pre-Hispanic town and the expansion of Mexico City itself. The case study shows that the rural periphery of Mexico City is no tabula rasa upon which urban growth simply 'takes place', rather, settlement processes are influenced by longstanding in situ social relations and practices related to property. The paper highlights the importance of considering the relationships among social relations, property and informal settlement for understanding the complexity of metropolitan growth and change in large cities such as Mexico City.
Over the years the sprawl of the suburbs has been heavily criticised and many solutions and alternatives have been proposed. However in spite of the apparent problems, the image of the single family detached home has been idealized and is aspired to in our culture. This thesis proposes that the suburbs have remained the primary form of housing in North America because ofthe psychological fulfillment that we draw from the ownership of a house in the suburbs. This ideal image of ownership is not tied to the suburban house, but to the underlying psychological satisfaction that we draw from certain elements of the detached suburban home. By deconstructing and reinterpreting the psychological functions that the suburban home performs, it is possible to design an alternative to the detached suburban home which can satisfy our desire to own in the same way as the ideal suburban image of ownership.
Substantial evidence suggests an important role for environmental factors in the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Specifically, numerous studies indicate that agricultural/industrial chemicals, particularly pesticides, can damage dopamine (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta, leading to DA deficits and motor impairment. Within the present thesis, we assessed the neurodegenerative and functional effects of the herbicide, paraquat, and determined if its effects would be augmented in the presence of another environmental toxin, namely the fungicide, maneb. To this end PQ + MB did additively provoke neurodegeneration of nigrostriatal DA neurons and motor disturbances, as indicated by reduced open field exploration. Interestingly, however, these behavioral and neurological consequences were observed in mice obtained from Charles River but not identical animals from Jackson laboratories.Given the mounting data suggesting that neuroinflammatory factors mediate neuronal loss in PD, a second component of this study assessed the potential contribution of the cytokines, interleukin-10 (EL-10) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) to paraquat induced neurodegeneration. To this end, mice genetically deficient of IL-6 were greatly resistant to the neurotoxic effects of paraquat. However, central administration of either IL-6 or EL-10 also attenuated the neurodegenerative, as well as the neuroinflammatory (as indicated by diminished microglial density), consequences of both PQ + MB. Thus, EL-6 and IL-10 administration appears to have neuroprotective effects against pesticide toxins. Yet, the fact that inhibition of the cytokine from birth (at least in the case of EL-6) was also neuroprotective, raises the possibility that protective compensatory changes might occur in the absence of the cytokine at developmentally critical times. Taken together, these data further our understanding of how the complex interplay between environmental insult exposure, early life history (e.g. place of breeding) and presence of inflammatory factors (e.g. cytokines) might shape the evolution of PD.
The Modern condition is that of disconnect; of the individual and the material, the body and the mind. This disassociation can be seen with specific reference to the loss of the 'craftsman', and the loss of a phenomenological connection to material reality . Historically, water as a material is laden with spiritual connotations as a giver of life. Within modern society water has lost a connection to it's 'magical essence', it is but a fluid from a tap to a drain. Water exemplifies the disconnect between the post-modern body and mind.This thesis proposes an Architectural Illinx which addresses this disassociation through the phenomenology of water. The Illinx, is defined by Callois is a form of play which temporarily disrupts perception and creates moments where the individual may question their mental pre-conditions and ostensibly their society. The Illinx is an instillation spanning five pedestrian blocks along Sparks street in Ottawa's downtown core. Moments are created and transformed through the propensity of water. Water as a material will transform itself from space to space until its final decent into the earth.This thesis explores how architecture might create an emotional connection between the body and mind, through a phenomenological approach to materiality. This intimacy, which relies on the experience of the human body and mind as one, constitute a framework for an emotional experience of Architecture.