Archinect
Albert Chao

Albert Chao

New York, NY, US

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Newspaper covers 5 specific dates in an alternate world
Newspaper covers 5 specific dates in an alternate world
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Metropolis

In 1894, King Camp Gillette, future inventor of the Gillette razor, proposed a socialist utopian city that would house the entire world by Niagara Falls. His book The Human Drift details the rise of Metropolis, his vision of the city of the future.

What if Metropolis had been built?

“Metropolis, An Alternative History of Niagara Falls” is a retrospective speculative look at Niagara Falls as both a physical and political border. Through King Camp Gillette’s vision, the city of Metropolis is explored as a border town - a zone in continual flux and tension between invention and conflict. Events from this world are spliced together with real and fabricated narratives that explore conceptions of utopias and dystopias. Through storytelling, the mythical qualities of an
alternative vision are re-interpreted to suggest a world that, though different, reflect our own understanding of particular border conditions and relationships.

The narrative was explored through newspapers, snow globes, and postcards from an alternate world. This project was created for the studio Border Town. Special thanks to Tim Maly, Emily Horne and the participants for an amazing studio.

 
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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Niagara Falls, NY, US

 
King Camp Gillette, inventor of the Gillette razor, also proposed a socialist utopia that would house the entire world by Niagara Falls.
King Camp Gillette, inventor of the Gillette razor, also proposed a socialist utopia that would house the entire world by Niagara Falls.
Timeline for the newspaper
Timeline for the newspaper
Newspaper introduction page
Newspaper introduction page
The Great Depression spawns the development of Metropolis.
The Great Depression spawns the development of Metropolis.
World War II and the political aftermath in Metropolis.
World War II and the political aftermath in Metropolis.
The fall of Metropolis.
The fall of Metropolis.
Snowglobe from alternate world with Gillette's urban residential tower proposal.
Snowglobe from alternate world with Gillette's urban residential tower proposal.
Close-up. Model made from lasercut plexiglass.
Close-up. Model made from lasercut plexiglass.
Gillette's tower proposal. Building section is a 3-D print.
Gillette's tower proposal. Building section is a 3-D print.
Gillette's tower proposal eerily similar to the design of the Bentham Panopticon.
Gillette's tower proposal eerily similar to the design of the Bentham Panopticon.
Postcards from another world.
Postcards from another world.
Thank you for visiting Metropolis
Thank you for visiting Metropolis
Image from exhibition.
Image from exhibition.

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