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  • Floating Utopia

    Charlie BARNARD, "Floating Utopia." The island, section/chronogram.
    london UNITED KINGDOM

    University of Greenwich – Unit 15
    critic: Nic CLEAR

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Charlie BARNARD: The Island is an organic growing architecture on the sea offering an alternative way to live within a community. . . .

    The Island is formed from sea minerals and is constantly growing and evolving. The intelligent hair follicles harvest energy from the sea’s movement and absorb sea water, filtering out the salt in order to provide drinking water for the community. The byproduct of producing drinking water, salt, is used as a construction material for the island. The Island drifts along the Ocean’s currents and is self-sustained with gardens and creative workshops. The bottom half of the island is where production takes place within salt caves and the top half is where people live within the towers and gardens. At night the gardens light up using Bioluminescent technology, providing a sustainable source of lighting.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    CB: Our surrounding natural environment was the main influence for this project. I wanted to explore an architecture that not only works with nature but is nature. The project is a growing evolving architecture which promotes biodiversity and is self-sustained. The Island looks at how we could inhabit the sea and live in harmony with our environment. The bioluminescence light given off by sea creature was used as the lighting concept, where all the plants would adopt this technology in order to light up the island.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    CB: Paolo Soleri, Arcology: The City in the Image of Man.

    In nature, as an organism evolves it increases in complexity and it also becomes a more compact or miniaturized system. Similarly a city should function as a living system. Arcology, architecture and ecology as one integral process, is capable of demonstrating positive response to the many problems of urban civilization, population, pollution, energy and natural resource depletion, food scarcity and quality of life. — Paolo Soleri

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    CB: N/A.

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