australia-based studio freischärler, founded by noël schardt and bjøern muendner, proposes the united plastic nation, an ever-growing, floating city which collects and recycles plastic from the oceans. the project imagines a self-sufficient structure built with 3D-printed materials produced by a swarm of robotic drones and sustained with food grown in vertical aquaponic farms, water and waste that is cycled through closed systems, and energy produced by waves.


street view of the UPN showing the pedestrian zone on sea level – where lovely venice meets dystopian hong kong like urban canyons on a grid

 

 

freischärler‘s united plastic nation, the winning entry of LA+ magazine’s island competition (issue #7 ‘imagination edition’) for which it was initially developed, grows both horizontally and vertically along a new york-like grid, forming an unsinkable iceberg structure. divided in residential, industrial, recreational, and commercial zones, the ever-growing city passes by all continents, connecting regions of poverty with those of wealth and prosperity. occupying international waters, the united plastic nation is bound by no national laws, thus functioning as a tax haven that can easily generate revenue. questioning the concept of the nation state, which defines itself by exclusion of the outside via borders and citizenship, this island is instead by default inclusive, borderless, and part of all continents, where anyone can be become citizen. ‘a society of true urban nomads is born, not moving from city to city but by moving their city themselves,’ as freischärler notes.


concept diagram showing the course of the united plastic nation and the flow of it’s basic ‘resources’, plastic waste, illicit money and refugees


isometric view of one square kilometre of the UPN, showing the general zoning, traffic flow and energy production


sectional cut through a typical city block (50x50m) explaining the general concept of the UPN through the vertical zoning and the flow of people, materials and resources

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

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