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haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal

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hong kong’s cityscape morphed as an evolving fractal

 

Haotian Zhang’s short film Fractal Cities documents the diversity of Hong Kong’s urban landscape to contemplate the future of our built environment. In the 3-minute-long animation, the filmmaker dissects and folds typical cases of habitation found within the city, from housing estates to temporary shelters in underground tunnels, morphing them into an imagined landscape.

 

Using 3D-scanned fragments, the film captures the essence of the city in the form of point clouds, seeking to preserve bygone experiences while aesthetically remaining distanced from reality. In such tension with the physical world, the film proposes a virtual alternative that is entangled rather than detached from reality.

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
buildings transforming on a revolving tesseract | all images courtesy of Haotian Zhang

 

 

Haotian Zhang animates a digital alternate reality

 

Through the lens of Fractal Cities, filmmaker Haotian Zhang brings into focus the multifaceted tapestry of Hong Kong’s living environments. The project carefully selects and showcases a range of dwellings encompassing the diverse spectrum of habitation found throughout the city. Each scenario is hypnotically transformed, presenting viewers with a virtual panorama that challenges traditional notions of spatiality and blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination.

 

Within this fractal city, conventional concepts such as big and small, and in and out lose their traditional meaning. Haotian Zhang’s constantly evolving digital world challenges 3-dimensional constraint, with scale, directionality, and boundaries perpetually transforming and inviting viewers to question the limitations of spatial metrics. The project is partially a response to the proliferation of metaverses that showcase otherworldly marvels, distinct from reality, while suggesting that spatial typology and dimensionality can become a realm of action. It hints at the potential of future digital spaces that may lie in the redefinition of the spatial structure, which could be non-Euclidean, fractal, and hyperdimensional.

 

The film is the third chapter of the tripartite film co-directed with Qian Guo and Tianying Li, developed with the support of the Design Trust Seed Grant and the 9th UABB (Shenzhen).

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
Fractal Cities documents the diversity of Hong Kong’s urban landscape

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
the Tong lau folded and multiplied

fractal-cities-haotian-zhang-designboom-1

the short film dissects and folds various types of habitation in the city

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
capturing temporary shelters in underground tunnels, morphing them into an imagined landscape

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
fragmented street view

fractal cities
the tower multiplied

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
a residential block with two courtyards

haotian zhang's short film distorts hong kong's cityscape as an animated evolving fractal
Haotian Zhang proposes a virtual alternative that is entangled rather than detached from reality

the cityscape of hong kong folded as an evolving fractal 12
the densified city seen from a developing bedroom

the cityscape of hong kong folded as an evolving fractal 3
the virtual panorama blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination

fractal-cities-haotian-zhang-designboom-2

a residential tower that grows vertically in isolation

 

project info:

 

name: Fractal Cities
designer: Haotian Zhang

 

 

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: ravail khan | designboom

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