Ideas emerge above the level of description, in the realm of raw imaginal stuff, and the act of attaching symbols or words to them; a ballast of semantic and semiotic material, drags them down, inevitably mis-shapen and only partially described. This effort is however required to make conceptualisations available to others, for pleasure, and for the critical purposes of dialectical exchange.

Ideally in the course of time, such attempts at definition refine and hopefully become more congruent with the original, grasped notion.
These writings should be recognised as such tentative articulations, gleaned in part from intuition and observation, but also drawn from the ideas of all of the others who have attempted this same process, ideas that have happened, for whatever reason to pass through this local, noospheric sensorium.

Therefore, also included, are thoughts and intentions which have been unintentionaly corrupted or similarly misunderstood, en-route. As such, these scribblings are not to be considered as propositions of truth, simply the queriously curioidal and playfully humble, speculations of one that is many.

Monday, 7 July 2008


Vincent Callebaut - Lilypads (Copyright Vincent Callebaut)[pixelab]

The creations of architectural savant Antoni Gaudi, were those of a man who succeeded in fusing a profound and innate understanding of bioengineering and biomimicry, with an elegant and refined organic aesthetic, one that was intuitively extant long before such notions ever became culturally or scientifically formalised. Recently, some intriguing and enthusing architectural anomalies have emerged, which seem to resonate with such an understanding, particularly those which could be called Aquatic Arcologies - partially self-sustaining water-based colonies.

Architecture of this form can seem unrealistically Utopian, and more realistically Dystopian when endeared to the worst facets of our nature; Dubai's artificial islands are audacious, perhaps hubristic, feats of engineering, yet are intended to indulge the decadent and acquisitive desires of the super-solvent. It need not be so. If the construction of this technology is sensitive but passionate, yet necessarily informed by the conceptual elucidations of systems theory and ecology (concepts that seem integral to the architectural intentionality but that are often frustratingly elusive in actualisation), then perhaps it could operate as beautifully as it appears.

Speculative architecture is not new; anyone familiar with historical Utopianism or Science Fiction will recognise extrapolations of the imagination. What is interesting however, is the local, temporal context that these new designs are emerging from; manking seems to be engaged in a significant period of social transition, the established, acquisitive economies are in perilous shape and an urgent sense of ecological anxiety is snapping at the heels of all but the most entrenched and recalcitrant of economic conservatives. New paradigms are desperately required in all walks of life, not just for the practical purposes of biospheric survival, but for the sustenance of manking's sense of hope and self-respect; lest we squander our apparent evolutionary and intellectual privileges.

Eugene Tsui: Nexus Plan

Eugene Tsui: City On The Sea

Links :

Vincent Callebaut
Arcology Profound


  1. I was was just reading a 'torial' on these things over at the Guardian and it struck me that most residential zones are effectively islands anyway. What's the difference between commuting in a boat or on a bus. I do think however that there would need to be some kind of pod that you could escape in; for the sake of sanity and solitude, one that floated away from the main hulk attached to some kind of tether. Having said that, the majority of humans are now used to living in urban hives with no opportunity for escape, other than that proffered by a locked door, or a fervid dash into the country.


  2. And when the shit goes down we can hi-jack them and run pirate towns. OO-arrr!


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.