Thursday, 8 April 2010

Stadtigel - City Spheres

Cities are growing and more and more percent of the world population are living in urban areas. This is a fairly well known and often quoted line. However how this might come to look like we don't know yet. Will we be living in a massive city island surrounded by desert, jungle, mountain or water? Or might it be a continuos city spanning the whole planet, very much in the sense of the Small World timeLapse produced last year in London?
In the laboratories of the ETH in Zurich, Kaiersrot manufactured a arge cale model of such a small world city using digital manufacturing techniques. The 'design' of the spere is generated by an algorithm and then manufactured from cardboard in a PappPlot tehcnique, were sustainable card board is cut and glued together by a machine, layer by layer.
The product is described as "It is a city on a sphere, but not necessarily a global city, maybe a city globe: endless – or better – beginningless. There is neither periphery nor center. The city’s openness is simultaneously based on its seclusion. Once within one can never leave again. The city has a specific form; its physical presence is obvious. Nevertheless, the city can never be experienced in its totality." And yes it becomes difficult to map the sphere on a flat piece of paper. This is interesting regarding urban planning. Not only a spherical city can not be mapped entirely correct on a flat paper, but it serves very well as a obvious example of the complications of perspective and reality.
It was shown at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 'Open City: Designing Coexistence' last year, with Kees Christiaanse from KCAP as the curator.

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