Year Out // TOP 3
Design Detail Magazine
The Archcember challenge is about telling your story through illustrations (sketches/doodles/paintings or computer generated illustrations and graphics) related to architecture. Architects are natural storytellers – it’s a process that is inherently built into our creative process and when used properly, it’s one of the very best tools in our tool bag.
Due to our fast-paced society, cities are growing at a much faster rate than they were before. People flood to the cities filled with dreams and hopes ready to accomplish big things, causing it to be densely populated. This is when the architect creates a new housing typology – High rise.
Living in one of a multi-story structure is not a surprise in such urban areas, it has somehow become a culture. This culture of living tends to slot people into boxes of cubes, cutting them away from all external relations. Although the block is filled with a diversity of people, yet somehow the social interaction is gone between them, increasing the level of alienation and isolation.
But due to the efficiency of the vertical city, more and more of these generic buildings are being copied and pasted throughout the urban fabric, engulfing the pedestrians in a non-human scale neighbourhood filled with glass and steel canyons. We then question ourselves, how do we coexist with one another, creating a community that creates a place? With the uprising of social-medias and online networks, will we be even segregated than before?
The architectural language has evolved throughout the ages, from the great pyramids of Giza to the glamorous Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. Facades often carry the identity of a certain era, acting as a tangible time capsule.
Growing at an exponential rate, it would not be surprised that in the 22nd century, we would have the problem of selecting what should be preserved and what should be wreck into dust. Although some might see the facade as the skin and face of the building, but it subconsciously creates a way of navigating through the urban fabric. We memorise certain facades as nodes, using a certain building as a meeting point and sometimes as a landmark.
We then ask ourselves, should the world be filled with the remaining of these gravestones or should the world embrace the future? Heritage buildings have always played a role in a certain social group's life and some, as a case study for us architects. If all the facades are preserved over time, it would be as if we are walking through concrete pages of history.
Throughout the centuries, urban planning has been constantly changing, from Viking settlements to the lattice Manhattan grid. Now in our current Capitalist world, we were constrained by the system and order. By overlaying the radial grid that uses totems as a catalyst, we can then speculate the results of vertical cities and the changes of social sustainability.
Stories and memories are vulnerable to the harsh winds of time, to be lost forever if not preserved.
A being without memory would not have any conscious of its self-identity. A place without identity would not be any different. Reflecting on our current society, the dark side of controlling and regulating might not seem obvious, we were told what is right and wrong from the very beginning. We are told how to navigate in cities and what actions are prohibited. With the notions of controlling and identity, the city if Anamnesis is formed.
In the city, if Anamnesis, citizens are provided with memories that will bring them into their ideal world, while navigating the memory palace with their own subconscious muscle memory. In the labyrinth, the feeding device will fall once they are in their designated area. The processing unit from above acts as an artificial hippocampus, but instead of feeding the memories that you own, it erases bad memories from the past and provides recreational joyful experience to the user.
It might be an inhumane ritual, but does the citizen of Anamnesis think so?
Imagination, a word filled with rich, powerful ideas and fantasy. By imagining, one could leave the reality realm for a split moment and come back anytime as they pleased.
The City of Anamnesis where one can relive or recreate their own version of "Happy Land". The world everyone perceives is different and therefore the device will feed imaginations tailored to suit the person's desire. In "Happy Land" the user can enjoy a temporary paradise which immerses them in an augmented reality.
This then brings up the question: How could we craft a "Happy Land" for everyone to live in? Can it be done in reality or only in a temporary dream?
Perspective could be perceived in two forms, visually and mentally. As we continue our journey after experiencing the breath-taking experience from the memory feeder, we flew up to the sky venturing to the next city.
The city is different in an aerial view. Looking from another angle, we saw the fake holographic façades projected out towards the waterfront, covering the shameless device that feeds the citizens of Anamnesis. The city, is hiding the dark side to the outer world? Why?
In our current society, we could see similar things that exclude the minorities or different social classes. We tend to beautify our city (or fortify) to prevent lower class people from staying in it. A superficial paradise with misery within.