Monday, 9 November 2015

What if Metropolis, Travelogue.

Subirdia (get it?)

You have been travelling for weeks, the relentless ocean has gifted nothing to you yet, your voyage of discovery has yet to yield anything for the books of exploration. After venturing into tropical waters you soon see a befuddling scene; even though you look into the water below you to see the clear water, sharks and exotic fish, an iceberg has just floated past your ship, heading to the bow you look out to see what appears to be a divide between the water. Even though you are travelling through what can only appear to be tropical ocean, the water to the starboard side becomes increasingly arctic, with large chunks of ice floating around with the odd sun-bathing seal or penguin. You decide the best course of action is to follow this anomaly in an attempt to understand how this is possible.

After following the waters for a couple of dozen nautical miles, you eventually set sight on land. As you come closer, you notice that the land has the same traits as the water. Where the water touches the land, the biomes appear to change in sync with them, and as the tropical water is met with a sandy beach, the arctic water is in turn met with an icy rock shore. You disembark from your boat which was heavily damaged by the sudden ice and rocks and have the choice of heading out into a dense rain-forest, or an arctic desert; you take your chances with the jungle. While heading through the jungle you're met with a myriad of different birds and wildlife, their bright colours and calls lighting up the otherwise shaded green environment.

As you head deeper into the land you start to notice small signs or civilization, small paths emerge, totems and small statues thousands of years old appear, all of which seem to have a similar animal like design motif. The further you travel into the jungle you begin to notice that the ruins and tools of the civilisations you are going past are slowly becoming more advanced, but it also appears that they have been intentionally abandoned and dismantled, as if they’ve tried to make them as least intrusive and noticeable in the environment as possible. In some places they have been removed completely and all that remains are the foundations or a mound of materials.

Eventually you see the jungle is beginning to thin out, the path that you have been following (which has slowly become wider and better maintained) eventually reaches an opening where you are blinded by a large shining beam of light. As your come out of the opening and your eyes begin to adjust, the forms of large buildings take shape, the blinding light reflecting off an angled window that stretched down one of the taller buildings. You look around you and see what appears to be a small city, starting with smaller residential like buildings which slowly get taller as they reach the city centre, with a few larger buildings taking centre piece, reminiscent of Canary Wharf.

Taking in your surrounding’s, you notice that if you look to your right the forest eventually ends and the snowy landscape takes over again. Curious you keep following the outside radius of the city with your gaze and see that eventually the arctic biome ends as well, to be taken over by another forest, taken over by Oaks,Redwoods and Pines. You see a mountain in the distance shared by both of these environments, and coming full circle you finally see a small desert next to a large river to the sea, you can see large boats coming and going from the port, the rain-forest is on the other side of the river.

You venture down the path towards the city where you enter the residential part of the city, all the houses are like pieces of abstract art, sharp angles, smooth curves and bright colours, they remind you of the birds from the forest. As you reach a street and start walking down it, you notice that the fantastic houses are in fact shaped like large parts of birds and animals, that can only really be seen from their intended angle, artistic in a more traditional sense, with vehicles driving past and parked outside houses with large beak like front ends and toothed grills. The atmosphere of this street reminds you of a sixties (fifties?) suburban neighborhood, with the bright coloured buildings and over the top vehicle design.

After travelling through the district on your way to the city centre, you notice a general scheme of design for the city, its as if everything is based on what the citizens have seen around them, as if it is all in tribute of their natural origins, even the street lights look more like dead tree’s than man made structures. At first you wonder if this could be based on some sort of religious design tribute, but it seems to be much more about some kind of mutual respect for nature.

Reaching the business part of town you arrive to the sight of the tall buildings you could see from your original descent towards the city, the smaller of these buildings stand at least 4 times higher than the norm, the main few tallest buildings in the centre however stand taller than all others, looking more like skyscrapers, each looking like a giant bird, towering over all else, beautiful in design but almost intimidating in their looming presence, like any one could just pluck you off the ground.

After finding a map, which shows you the entire city, you soon head towards a port by the river to the sea, you also notice that the circumference of the city is reminiscent of a bird as well. Reaching the port you find a heavy trading goods industry, where resources are outsourced from other places of the world so they do not impede on their own supply, and traded for precious gems and other rare items unique to the island. Knowing you can now return home on one of these boats, you decide to stay a while first, and enjoy what nature has to offer. You soon realize that these people live in peace, and do not let the location of their island be known to anyone so they do not harm the wildlife, so you decide this place will best be left undiscovered, maybe there’ll be another island to discover.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brad - a few things:

    1) In light of your Invisible Cities feedback, I want you to prioritise the ability to deliver what you've been asked for and in the format you've been asked for - in this instance, an OGR as requested. You're behind as it is, and your project is underdeveloped (but showing 'signs of life!') and the second OGR is due next week, and these checkpoints are timetabled for your benefit in terms of student's managing their time and projects.

    2) Don't centralise large bodies of text. It makes everything look like a hymn sheet.

    3) This travelogue (viewed alongside your most recent thumbnails) suggests that things are beginning to cook now in terms of the ways in which you might think about these 'bird buildings' in a less literal and more 'essentialised' way. Not sure why all the ice is in there exactly though...?

    4) You should look at contemporary architecture in addition to your abstracting of birds, so your buildings have the quality of buildings, and not just large scale sculpture; obvious examples come to mind...

    You might also want to think about the surfaces of your buildings, as they'll be highly coloured and perhaps embossed or engraved in terms of surface contouring: I can see you could create feather textures for example, which aren't literal, but more like this:

    5) You also need to pick up the pace; right now, this your output as it is, you're going to struggle to meet the assessment criteria. I'm looking for a robust, substantial body of work from you in week 12 that demonstrates to me that you're listening and that you're not going to pay me the personal discourtesy of blowing this opportunity all over again... chop bloody chop, Brad!