haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world
 

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world

created by haoyu wang, A CITY OF NOWHERE is an exercise of architectural imagination. inspired by the megastructure movement of the 1960s, wang has designed an artificial world that reflects on current issues of displacement and placelessness in contemporary society. the project seeks to recover the role of architectural imagination, not as material for debate within the architectural profession itself, but to stimulate public awareness and debate of our changing world.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

all images by haoyu wang

 

 

during the post-war period, the megastructure movement emerged as a way for architects to express political manifestos and ideas of urban utopias. as the name suggests, these avant-garde projects took the form of one massive man-made structure, or a number of interconnected ones. 

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

for A CITY OF NOWHERE, haoyu wang revisits the original idea of a megastructure but reframes it to the dynamics of our contemporary world. moving away from the post-war re-establishment of orders that nourished constant nieuwenhuys’ new babylon and japanese metabolism, contemporary society forges a new round of displacement and placelessness: suggesting that the ways we live and our social existence are dissociating from fixed places.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

on one hand, the pervasive digital technology blurs human-space relationships, as reflected in online working scenarios that discard office space and autonomous production that disregards employment matters in site selection. on the other hand, social and environmental uncertainties contribute to a floating population whose identities shift and resettle. 

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

akin to megastructure projects from the 1960s, A CITY OF NOWHERE comprises a series of layered artificial grounds. the megastructural frames emerge from the water like interlocked drilling platforms, growing with vertical stacking of layers and expanding with new units docking to existing ones. as they extend, their fundamental roles of material circulation, transportation networks, building lots, and energy grids become more significant and interconnected, resembling infrastructures of today’s urbanity.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

properties built upon them are independent of their neighbors in program, form, cultural or social identity, symbolizing the displacements and placelessness in the contemporary world. this city nourishes a society where people enjoy optimized freedom of movement and exploration, but no longer have a materialized notion of home or belonging.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

instead of communicating ideas through architectural drawings and models, wang presents A CITY OF NOWHERE through first-person perspective views to convey the experience of walking along the megastructural beams, looking from windows of buildings, waiting for a monorail car, landing by drone, and sailing across pillars of the frames. moreover, these scenes set people apart from each other to highlight the sense of alienation in this mobile world. the views resemble footage from video games, like grand theft auto and minecraft, where players roam to explore their virtual worlds. the purpose of this is to draw attention from people beyond the architectural profession.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

in contrast to archigram members struggling to promote the plug-in city and the walking city through local magazines, the internet enables instant communication of visualized ideas for billions of people to review, discuss, and criticize. in response to implications of displacement and placelessness in the present and future, wang’s exercise asks if the role of architectural imagination can return as a talking point for the general public.

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

haoyu wang revisits utopian megastructures from the 1960s to build a virtual world designboom

 

 

project info:

 

project name: A CITY OF NOWHERE

design: haoyu wang

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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