3D printed cities

Credits: Year 5 MArch project in DS10; Tutors: Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern. William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1793

A design essay in speculative urbanism, exploring the possibilities of emerging technological research, built around an exaggerated future scenario, in which the world is in crisis, overpopulated and threatened by global warming and the continuous ocean-level rise.

The potato (lat. Solanum tuberosum) becomes the de facto financial standard. Genetically modified species are the main source of carbohydrates for more than 85% of the world population and are used to produce bio-fuel and electricity, as well as PLA (polylactic acid) – a highly efficient, recyclable potato-starch derived 3d printing bio-plastic, widely used ever since the era of Adrian Bowyer’s RepRap. Cheap, accessible and highly adaptable, the delta 3d printer emerges as the main-stream tool for digitally-driven construction, using inexpensive recyclable, long-lasting, fibre-enhanced biopolymers.

Solano.polis - the potato city - grows ad infinitum, emerging as a new metropolitan mega form from fractal space colonization algorithms embedded in the firmware of the autonomous machines. The network of artificial brains designs an evolving parallel virtual city transposed directly into the physical realm by the independent heated extruders. The boundary between algorithm, virtual model and built city disappears as the numerical instructions are repeated endlessly by the bots , drifting across the inhabited fractal geometries, updating the master-algorithm as demand requires.
May 2014
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3d printing rails

Aeroponic potato production unit

Aeroponic farms


Solanopolis section

Axonometric view of the delta bots

The atrium of a high-rise unit

Elevation of a structure after a continuous 100-year-long fused deposition process

Early atmospheric view

FDM maintenance on aeroponic farms

Solanopolitan tower

Elevation of the high city

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