Transcendent City

Richard Hardy, a recent graduate from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, produced this eye-popping video—exploring an all-encompassing machine-forest populated with mechanical flowers and fluttering urban biotechnologies, with architectural sponges perched high atop masts—for Nic Clear's Unit 15.

Called The Transcendent City, the film documents what Hardy describes as "an autonomous artificial machine that extends across the earth adapting to the natural eco-systems it encounters while deriving its energy from the renewable resources available at each particular site. The systems desire is to maintain homeostasis within itself whilst maintaining homeostasis within the greater system, Gaia. Its processes are engineered on the molecular scale by nano technologies controlled by molecular computers that monitor and analyse the environment."

You can see a handful of Dr. Seussian stills from the film over on Hardy's Flickr stream.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Very pretty. In look and concept, it's reminiscent of Ian McDonald's "Chaga" stories. (Geoff, if you're not familiar with Chaga, you should be, it's right up your street.)

August 02, 2010 12:08 PM  
Blogger R.R.Dias said...

It reminds me Miyazaki's things.


August 02, 2010 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Allen Dean Foster's book "Sentenced To Prism"

Life is silicon-based instead of carbon-based and has a lot of machine-like qualities.

August 02, 2010 12:27 PM  
Blogger Nebris said...

I strongly recommend Mr Hardy read Greg Bear's "Blood Music". Unleashing such an untested entity - and how could one test this except upon a world? - on the surface of the only world upon which we presently live is, in a word, insanity. "Suicidal" is another word that comes to mind.

If we wish to play with concepts like this one, which could in fact be worthwhile in the long run, then they have to be taken off world. Start off with a closed mini-world like a biome, then, if the results seem favorable, try them out on Mars...and wait. When one Plays God, one must have the Patience of a Divine Being.

August 02, 2010 1:37 PM  
Blogger London Archaeologist and the Windowless Consultant said...

I agree with Nebris. I can't agree that it's beautiful compared to the fascinating variety and of the environment it seems to have replaced with what looks like a rather dead simulacrum. It would make an interesting illustration for one of the many nightmare fictional worlds constructed by misguided megalomaniacs: it brings to mind Triffids, on the negative side, Locus Solus on the positive, Verne's Paris of the year 2000, or to rival its nightmarish fascination, Jeffries' London in After London, Brussolo's Paris in Procedure d'Evacuation des Musees Fantomes.

August 02, 2010 3:13 PM  
Blogger BotanicidalIntaglio said...

I absolutely loved this. The techno-organic atmosphere combined with slow-sonic electro music makes for an eclectic experience. The semi-grittyness of the drawings, and the subtle flaring of internal lights reminded me a little of the eco-sphere depicted in Avatar (in a good way, I promise!) but also of the artistic touches in the game Machinarium. If you haven't played it, you are missing out! It's an architectural masterpiece in its own right. ;)

August 09, 2010 3:35 PM  
Anonymous timberwind said...

Very interesting video.

Nebris - it's not a matter of wishing to play with concepts like this... it's a matter of when it'll happen. Agree with you that it needs to be in a self-contained, enclosed environment.

August 15, 2010 3:49 PM  

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