Saturday, March 3, 2012

CityLIFE and Metabolist Movement

I still keep an eye on architectural visualization, it was my first foray into working in digital media beyond Photoshop and graphic design. This is the winning entry by Jean-Marc Emy for the CityLIFE challenge on Ronen Bekerman's architectural visualization blog and I had to post it because it's pretty in line with the aesthetic of my project and is quite evokative of the cities described in William Gibson's Neuromancer which I'm currently reading.

"After reading Project Japan: Metabolism Talks, a book by Rem Koolhaas about the 60’s – 70’s avant-garde architectural group titled “Metabolism”, Jean-Marc Emy decided that his proposal for the CityLIFE challenge will be a tribute to the Metabolists works."

After checking out this entry I did some research on the Metabolist architectural movement: Their visions for cities of the future inhabited by a mass society were characterized by large scale, flexible, and expandable structures that evoked the processes of organic growth. In their view, the traditional laws of fixed form and function were obsolete. Metabolism arose in post-World War II Japan, and so much of the work produced by the movement is primarily concerned with housing issues.

Metabolist designs relied heavily on advanced technology, and they often consist of adaptable plug-in megastructures.

"The young Japanese architects who launched themselves with the manifesto ‘Metabolism 1960’ at the World Design Conference in Tokyo that year had all been teenagers in 1945, when the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped out by atomic bombs. Devastatingly aware of the impermanence of built spaces and the destructibility of cities, they responded to the widespread housing crisis of postwar Japan by calling for more flexible and dynamic urban models. Promising to design spaces for living bodies that would be more in line with the metabolic processes of those bodies, they conceived of cities as living, moving and evolving creatures." -source 

Kenji Ekuan, Dwelling City, 1964
This kind of city-thinking seems applicable now more than ever, I definitely want to do some drawings based on the Metabolist movement and explore them as part of the city my project is based around.

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