Future Pastoral

Earlier this week I stumbled across a series of genuinely beautiful architectural prints by Nathan Freise. These were first exhibited back in July 2008 at New York's School of Visual Arts, and it would have been a real treat to see them in person.

[Image: "The Garden of Machines" by Nathan Freise, from his extraordinarily well-produced Unseen Realities series; perhaps it's Andrew Wyeth meeting the U.S. interstate highway system in a world art-directed by Guillermo del Toro].

Nathan, of course, is the brother of Adam, and the two of them together – as the Freise Brothers – also directed a short film called The Machine Stops, whose website is also worth a visit if you get the opportunity.

[Image: "The Garden of Machines (Dwell)" by Nathan Freise, from Unseen Realities; this one brings to mind some 22nd-century Charles Darwin watching the machine-birds of tomorrow's eco-motorways, where billboards become breeding grounds for species we've never seen before].

The specific images here are described as follows:
    Freise’s series of inkjet prints depict experimental architecture projects. His hybrid illustrations combine multiple forms of media – ink, graphite, photography and marker – with computer graphics. Freise’s representations of utopian worlds question our current conditions of suburban sprawl and urban master-planning.
They are absolutely worth checking out in their original, full size; click through to the Freise Brothers' website and open them in their full, 1000-pixel glory.

[Image: "Transience (The Nomads)" by Nathan Freise, from Unseen Realities].

What I like so much about these is not just their technical quality but their combination of pastoral, near-Edenic landscapes with semi-unconstructed megastructures straight out of scifi. Technicolor screenprints of the architectural future!
A new Hudson River School arises, in which the flowering concrete foundations of incomprehensible buildings can be seen, scattered throughout the wild valleys, glinting with fragments of steel as the sun goes down.

[Images: "Transience (Decay and Renewal)" by Nathan Freise, from Unseen Realities].

In any case, hopefully someday someone will commission him to make more.

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Blogger Unknown said...

You have to be kidding me?!?! I saw these like 3 years ago in some magazine, I always thought it was Architect, and haven't been able to find them or remember anything about them! I LOVE YOU for finding / posting these! I thought I had dreamt these after the searches with no luck! thank you thank you thank you!

August 11, 2009 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan Freise submitted the first two drawings to KRob 2006 and won Best in Show


August 12, 2009 1:44 AM  
Blogger Logan said...


August 12, 2009 5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These drawings are great.

August 12, 2009 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pics

August 12, 2009 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Becker said...


August 12, 2009 7:53 PM  
Blogger Design Elixir said...

I love the inspiring images & great content you post on your blog. I added you to my "Recommended Dosage" links on my blog. Keep up the great work!


August 15, 2009 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Clayton said...

Good stuff. Reminds me a bit of some of those Archigram collages.

August 18, 2009 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Sinking Cities said...

The use of texture on these is wonderful. It gives it a tactile quality a straight rendering will never have.

September 14, 2009 9:30 PM  

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