City Builder

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 02009 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link Categories: Long Shorts   chat 0 Comments


The beautifully crafted short above by Bruce Banit (via Kevin Kelly’s blog) depicts a fantastical yet believable world building interface, in a future that does not feel too far off from where Google Sketch Up is now.  As if to prove that point, Stewart Brand sent over the below reference:

 This virtual “Telematics City” was built by design firm Hook for a Lexus marketing campaign.  The fantastic video linked above is a time lapse of the “building” of that city.  I guess it’s like the man said…

“The future is here, its just not evenly distributed yet.”  – William Gibson

And yet another Update:  Wired is running a piece today on the physical city modeling that has taken place, and features one of the greatest treasures in the SF Bay Area, The Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model in Sausalito.

  • http://blog.menneske.org Svein-Magnus Sørensen

    Fantastic! These are quite simply amazing, especially the World Builder. Thank you so much for this moment of truly enjoyable digital art!

  • Noah

    There are actually a few different generative urbanism software packages which have hit the market recently, the best of which is CityEngine from Procedural,Inc. (no affiliation). I’m a practicing urban designer and have to say that I’m glad to see some of the wisdom of evolutionary design finally coming to mainstream practices.

    It is scary to think of this stuff being used at a large scale on real cities, but I can promise you from personal experience that the right generative rules would be 100x better than the crap most big architecture firms churn out for new cities all over Asia and the Gulf. At least there would be a trackable logic to the plans it produced, as opposed to the subjectivist whims of style so often masquerading as “design thinking” in most star architecture firms. Trust me, it’s grim in here what passes for intelligence.

    Hopefully the credit crunch will derail all large scale “city in a day” projects, however, and we can all go back to city building the way it’s meant to be done, slowly and incrementally over time, with constant reference to what is already there and intelligent synthesis of new possibilities.

  • Enoch Root

    Come visit Second Life, where that first vid is kind of like my daily routine.

    ‘World Builder’ shows the craft and turns the intention into one of interpersonal healing. Can’t beat that. The Hook vid is for selling cars. Frown.

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