ARTIST: OdescO (Ocean Design Collaborative): Michael
Fox, Juintow Lin, Andrew Todd
(OdescO) in collaboration with Axel Kilian
MATERIALS: Magnetic Ferrofluid, robotics, magnets, software
DIMENSIONS: 3' x 9'
The concept behind Nano-City "is that technological
advance and ecological responsibility are not necessarily a
contradiction in terms. (Please read the STORYLINE below). This
project lives in the world as "science-fact" and not
"science-fiction" and conceptually demonstrates that
although many of our ecological equilibrium disparities are
a result of our misuse and misunderstanding of technological
advance, many of them can be brought back into balance with
appropriate technological focus. Our aim is to make the point
that technological development from within the fields of design
and architecture can be focused to transcend ecological equilibrium;
to have positive embodied energy assessments, material reductions
and even change living pattern trends.
The head of the city resembles a massive mechanical cathedral
but would fool anyone who examined it for too long. For all
of its apparent symmetrically flaunting oppressiveness, it is
nonexistent. Indeed at any instant it does exist but it is ever
changing, morphing, melding, destroying and creating. Itself.
For the city itself is in fact one and the same with the landscape
that it ploughs through. The city moves across the planet without
regard for the forests, the seas, the deserts and the glaciers.
For any and all landscapes is fuel for its growth. The city
is a momentary composition of tiny machines, so tiny that they
operate at the atomic and molecular level. The machines are
just as invisible as the atoms they are composed of. Essentially
the entire city is composed of nano-sized robots. There are
gatherers, sorters, transporters, assemblers and dis-assemblers.
The assemblers work endlessly immersed in a bath of parts or
molecules that have been gathered from the landscape, sorted
and transported, along a nano-conveyor belt system to the point
where they can be reassembled and bonded to the new molecular
structure of a part of the city. A tree in the forest is disassembled
to the molecular level and transported to the other end of the
city and reassembled into the city. On and on it goes, tearing
up everything in its path and creating paths where there are
none for the sake of creating the city. The city rolls out from
the back of the head like a perfectly geometric beaver's tail:
houses and parks and playgrounds and streetlights and furniture
and food and even toys. The people of the city find homes but
they never grow terribly attached to them because everyone understands
the temporal frailty of the city. There is no money and no one
seems to care what others have because the city is constantly
churning out new designs for the urban fabric. Everyone simply
migrates towards the head of the city because that is where
the newest of everything is to be found. Of course they also
must constantly move towards the head because the rear of the
city is always disintegrating literally from beneath the citizens'
feet. It is not so drastic as that, and a house may take upwards
of three years to completely disintegrate but it does indeed
keep the people moving. On the macro scale then, as a result
of the nano-scale, the city operates as a conveyor as well.
The disintegrating city is reconstructed into the forest, or
sea, or desert or glaciers. Where once was a mountain a new
one was built in its place.
Everything stays in balance; natural resources can replenish
themselves as fuel for the next time the city rolls by and the
citizens never tire of the scenery.
*This story is based on the original story: Seventh City: Continuous
Production Conveyer Belt City, by the Italian Group "Superstudio"
written in 1961. We have substituted optimism for pessimism.
mafox AT odesco.net