Thursday, June 25, 2009
Getting Details Right: Cityscapes
I'd first thought of a design based on the Shimizu Corporation's proposed 'pyramid' for Tokyo Bay: an outsized space frame of struts running along the edges of a matrix of octahedrons. Like many visionary designs, the Shimizu pyramid looks very cool, requires materials that aren't available yet - at least not commercially - and, in my view, vastly underestimates how much infrastructure needs to be devoted to moving people around.
I made a pretty good start, I think, on a transportation system/building ration that looks reasonable: when I realized just how complicated the model would be.
Here's the deal: these stories are, as currently imagined, going to be comics. "Graphic novels," if you want to sound grown-up, or manga, if you're looking at some of our inspirations.
That means that, at a minimum, some of the settings will have to be drawn. And, since I plan to make heavy use of 3d modeling software, 'virtually' constructed.
I've created a moderately complex setting or two, but nothing approaching the Shimizu pyramid. Since it's an open framework, at least a rough model of the entire structure would have to be constructed.
Back to the drawing board.
I'm using some of the research I did for the pyramid: including the traffic circle and (even better) roundabout. Those systems of handling intersections are visually interesting, give a moderate degree of flexibility for 'serious' design, and could - in principle - be automated.
A real-world example of a roundabout is The Magic Roundabout in Swindon (between London and Bristol). There's a pretty good writeup about Swindon's roundabout in the Wikipedia.
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