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    Architecture in Sci-Fi

    By Alexander Jack
    Oct 25, '06 12:14 AM EST

    I am researching metal surfaces for Materials class and I've stumbled upon a topic I've always been interested in. What is it about the sci-fi architecture that makes it so appealing? Either it's over expressed with mechanical ducts/lines/grates EVERYWHERE (Twelve Monkeys, Aliens, Brazil, The Matrix) or its stark white room with anamorphic furniture. But what is actually so futuristic about these pieces. Look at this for example a rendering from the movie Serenity.

    This shot - the planet Miranda- was filmed at the Diamond Ranch High School by Morphosis but look at the building to the middle right...similar to the Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin? And the tower in the upper middle resembles Piano's New Caledonia Center. Is corrugated metal the choice building material in 2300's? This begs the question: these things exist now, so are there movies that express architecture in a realistic projected future? One might say that Star Wars did a good job of this, but I would love to see a movie that I have to ask, “What is that made off?” Well, I'd enjoy seeing a study of how we think of the far future and it's relation to architecture.


    • courtesy of hasselhoff:

      Oct 25, 06 7:06 am

      thats too funny. lando is one smooth dude.
      i like the films when the future looks all mixed up - like it is now - but just more so. eg films like Brazil, City of Lost Children...most be many more but gone blank.

      Oct 25, 06 9:08 am
      Alexander Jack

      thx for the image hasselhof, I saw that in your previous post. It definitely does look like a player's paradise that Lando would live in! He's saying "welcome, make your selves at home" in his smooth melodic voice.

      Oct 25, 06 10:49 am

      i copied it here because, before reading your post, i had thought to myself 'what is that made of?' looks like its vacuum-formed plastic, or some sort of foam, or marshmallow.

      Oct 25, 06 12:29 pm

      one of the most interesting things about sci-fi architecture is that it is always so DATED. i think that is truly facinating...this thing that is to be beyond our time is "stuck" in the imagination of our time.

      just see 70s and 80s sci-fi tv and movies. even the likes of the jetsons is stuck in its time!! you can also see it is so dated in the utopian visions of the italian futurists, archigram, superstudio, etc.

      are we really that trapped in our own moment that we are unable to really get beyond it? isn't that why when we are trying to forecast that next greatest moment...we rarely are able to?

      Oct 25, 06 1:44 pm
      Alexander Jack

      My question exactly depressing would it be if we had a Mad Max future...and why is everything all rusty! Will no material will last? First person shooter games are the biggest proponents of this.

      Oct 25, 06 3:00 pm
      vado retro

      maybe you should ask yourself why you are attracted to architecture that is found in films that promote nightmare sociological and political environments??? why not compare the architecture of "brazil" with the architecture of argentina during the "disappeared" years. compare sci fi to reality...

      Oct 25, 06 5:47 pm
      vado retro
      Oct 25, 06 5:51 pm

      I'm working on a design methodology, of storyboarding, 'framed views' to produce a building. The idea is to produce my program like a script of film. My focus is from the Sci-Fi or cyberpunk noir image of the city. Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Lucas, Luc Besson, etc. as my directors and notably the story board artist Syd Mead (book Film Architecture), as a precedent study of visionary cities. An issue I am trying to confront is the materials to use, knowing that it is going to be built in the context of today's downtown cities, should it be a grafting onto existing buildings (Historical Preservation) or presented as it's own Architecture (New Modernist, Neil Denari, FutureSystems, Etc.)?
      Any comments on 'Futuristic'concepts in general
      Any comments on Story boarding artists

      Oct 25, 06 8:07 pm
      Alexander Jack

      Wow, that sounds just like a project I did in my 5th year. I came up with a script of characters and use forced framed views to "communicate." Each "character" was an individual building and the views were constructed using, not only a "window", but the surrounding context,(in my case..a corn field). One topic that came up in my final review (you might want to look into) is the panopticon idea. However, my defense for this was that unlike the prison scenarios, the frames facing each other were given equal weight since the person being viewed could view back. If it's an adaptive reuse you choose, look at Gordon Matta Clark and maybe some Lebbeus Woods. It would be more compelling in your case if it was a mixture of subtraction from the existing and a motion machine like Denari's perhaps to play out the script.

      Oct 26, 06 2:34 pm

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