What if numerous dimensions of the city could exist at the same time?

Kronopolis

Unfolding a Story of Love Across Folding Time

Kronopolis is a speculative design project that envisions a future city that exists in the 4th dimension and where historical time differs from our conceptual framework. The final project was crafted by elements from each group member's our perspective and interest.

Teammates: Mario Santanilla, Yanting Zhou, Yining Gao and Xiaomeng Wang
Role: Co-Collaborator
Timeline: 6 weeks
Advisor: Ben Hooker
Tools: Photoshop and Premiere Pro

Process

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The brief was to create a city. Instead of taking a top-down approach to designing a city, the class was instructed to create it from the inside out, whereas the form of the city emerges through the act of combining custom parts which I and other members of my group formulated. We had to consider the city as a condition which spreads out in all directions, an immersive environment without beginning or end. My custom collection of design elements emerged from my group's shared and individual investigations, interests and subjective experiences.

Research excursion interest #1
Research excursion interest #2
Research excursion interest #3
Collection #1 of speculative design elements
Collection #2 of speculative design elements
Collection #3 of speculative design elements
Imagery city #3 (City of Political Commentary) from collections of speculative design elements
Imagery city #2 (City of Artificial Relations) from collections of speculative design elements
Imagery city #1 (City of Fluxuating Scaffolding) from collections of speculative design elements
Macro version of one imagery city

Documentation

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The City of Kronopolis is constructed within the hollowed remains of the famous statue of Aphrodite. In the center of Kronopolis citizens live in a symbiotic relationship between technology and the natural world, represented by the central tree. Historical time is symbolized by the verticality of the city in which the original settlers of the statue reside in the bottom and as time progressed these citizens constructed scaffolding to dwell at the different layers. Therefore, the base layer of the city represents the culture and technological advances of the past, while each subsequent layer represents the city’s evolution across time. In the top layer, the citizens of the future occupy, but regardless, they can cultivate a life within the base which is assigned to the past. Scaffolding provides the inhabitants with all of their transportation and structural requirements, while the central tree ensures their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Citizens traverse the expansive city, spatially and temporally, on gondola-like scaffoldings that are attached to the meandering branches of the central tree. As a rite of passage into adulthood, each person develops a QR code on their forehead. The code provides a form of identification and all interpersonal interactions are mediated through a hologram. Citizens of the future developed technology to curate filmic, historical scenes so that other citizens can scan and interact with each other via the QR code link. Depending on the time of the year, citizens from the different temporal layers congregate to share their insights and transfer technological advances. Since there is no dead, each being holds their memories inside a library structured in concrete servers, therefore knowledge is never lost. Each server is the most future state of its human being.

Reflection

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Over the course of six weeks, the group created something that shared each other interests, preoccupations, expertise and perspectives. During this timeframe, we were able to become personally familiar with each other and work together towards a common outcome, while also following each other's own curiosity. The process involved a wide range of activities including the collection of inspiration material, the interpretation and organization of said material, and the remix, redraw and recombination into a final deliverable. All of these activities and weekly discussions helped establish a strong sense rigor to a very open project brief. In the end, we created a project that investigated the liminal space between the physical and augmented world, where historical content is re-contextualized and an imagery set of conditions were created that eluded to a specific value system for anticipating how people in such world (dimension) might interact.

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