Notions From Foam

week-2-2week-2-22week-2-23Unexpectedly Necessary
uhn-ik-spek-tid-lee un-nes-uh-ser-ee
An object and/or process that is seemingly unimportant and inactive but becomes crucial to the reaction or process at hand
1. the coco butter in the bath bomb provided the element of fat that was unexpectedly necessary for the foam to occur as it protected the reaction from dissipating.
2. the bodies of water surrounding the city of Ottawa were unexpectedly necessary elements that have influenced the form of the city; all roads have been aligned in parallel or perpendicular to the water.
< English; unexpected meaning unforseen or surprising
< Middle English; necessarie
< Latin; necessaries meaning being essential, indispensable, or requisite

From the experimentations with foam, main concepts that were applicable to the city were derived. From these concepts, a new word combination and definition were formed. The idea of unexpectedly necessary stems from the foam experiment that was conducted using the bath bomb. It was noticed that the foam was only created due to the presence of an inactive ingredient in the bath bomb, the coco butter. Under normal circumstances the foam would have quickly dissipated as the reaction is merely a release of carbon dioxide when bath bomb is in contact with water. The presence of the coco butter coated the forming bubbles with oil, which prolonged their presence and allowed the foam to be formed.

This concept of unexpectedly necessary could easily be applied to the city. It would mean that there are potentially aspects of the city that may seem unimportant to its overall form or the way it functions, but they in fact play a major role. For example, the location of Ottawa was chosen due to the convergence of three main bodies of water: the Gatineau River, the Ottawa River, and the Rideau River. These waterways have unintentionally influenced the form of Ottawa beyond the choosing of the city’s location. They have become instrumental in the way that the city was aligned and the major roads were positioned. Instead of all the roads being aligned to the cardinal directions as is custom in many cities, the roads have been aligned parallel and perpendicular to the major bodies of water. The first image on this page depicts this relationship, showing the influential bodies of water rendered in grey and the major roads of the city coloured blue.
Stemming from this idea of the unexpectedly necessary, and water being a major influencial element in the city of Ottawa, further research was done regarding the water of Ottawa. A watershed can be defined as «an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.» The following page contains gathered information on the Ottawa River Watershed

  • – Source of the Ottawa River: Lake Capimitchigama in Quebec, located 250km north of Ottawa
    – The Ottawa River Valley is home to around 24 provincially or nationally imperilled species
    – The region is one of the most threatened landscapes in Canada, but it hosts the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Quebec
    – Area of Drainage Basin: 146,300km2
    -Stretches from Shining Tree in the west to St. Jerome in the east
    -Stretches from Westport in the south to Launay in the north
    -Stretches from Algonquin to Aiquebelle
    -Stretches from Temiscaming to Trembley
    -It’s twice the size of New Brunswick and larger than Greece, Portugal, and England
    – Various activities happen within the watershed:
    -Mining: Kirkland Lake, Rouyn-Noranda
    -Forestry: Elk Lake, Barry’s Bay, Maniwaki
    -Agriculture: New Liskeard, Kemptville, Renfrew, Oka
    -Hydroelectricity (dams): Baskatong, Cabonga, Dozois, Decelles
    -Recreation (whitewater rivers): Madawaska, Petawawa, Coulonge, Noire,               Dumoine,    Gatineau, Rouge, Ottawa

When analyzing the Ottawa River Watershed, a connection to the concept of the blockchain became apparent. Explained in simple terms, a blockchain is started from a singular block which new blocks are then linked to. A similar relationship can be seen between bodies of water within a watershed. Many rivers and streams stem from a common larger lake or body of water. The larger body of water can be seen as the original block in the blockchain with the rivers becoming the next blocks in the sequence. The rivers become a unifying element within the city. It is another way in which the city can be viewed and analyzed. The following page contains a map of the water elements within Ottawa and Gatineau.


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