The Transcendent City / Richard Hardy

A recent graduate from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, Richard Hardy has produced a fascinating animation for Nic Clear’s Unit 15 that pushes futuristic architecture to a new level. Using David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’, a novel that questions certain aspects of Americans’ obsessive behavior – in terms of the intense fascination with entertainment, materialism, technology etc – the studio challenged students to analyze the implications of society’s “obsessive/addictive behavior…to develop tactics to cope with the difficulties of creating an architecture in uncertain times.”

More about the project after the break.

Hardy’s approach responds with a futuristic new world, filled with machines that have surpassed human intelligence.  These machines have created a new sustainable city that effectively responds to its environment by obtaining energy from site specific renewable resources.

View toward Wind Generators © Richard Hardy

The Transcendent City is an autonomous artificial machine that extends across the earth adapting to the natural eco-systems it encounters… The system’s desire is to maintain homeostasis within itself whilst maintaining homeostasis within the greater system, Gaia,” Hardy explained.

View toward Nerve Center © Richard Hardy

The video comments on our obsession with pushing the limits of technology, yet makes us step back to see how our artificial creations could potentially cooperate with the natural and function as a complimentary system.

Monitoring Device © Richard Hardy

“The project questions whether the conception of artificial intelligence has been a necessity in human evolution and if we therefore should embrace emergent technologies to engage with problems of sustainability and the city,” added Hardy.

Monitoring Device © Richard Hardy

What do you think of Hardy’s video?

Video info: THE TRANSCENDENT CITY from Richard Hardy on Vimeo.

Jungle of Monitoring Devices © Richard Hardy
Axonometric View © Richard Hardy

As seen on bldgblog.

About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "The Transcendent City / Richard Hardy" 05 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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