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Monday, July 21, 2008

artspace|Architecture and Landscape Digital Design competition

CG artists provide other-worldly inspiration for architecture
Inspiration comes from many places but more often than not, it comes from the inspired. Perhaps this is why CGSociety and NVIDIA held their artspace|Architecture and Landscape Digital Design competition earlier this year. While more typically associated with the worlds of gaming and cinematic effects, hundreds of CG designers had a go at showing us what future and other-worldly landscapes could look like, if we just used a little more imagination.

More and more, gaming is about telling a story and the more dramatic the better. The NVArt competition allowed digital artists to inject life into stationary structures, adding narrative to help define the structures and to stretch the technical boundaries of design. But while by today's abilities the designs are unlikely to reach fruition, they also exhibit a strong regard for contemporary architectural considerations.

In third place, citing inspiration from Zaha Hadid, is 'Mega Village 2108'. This spiral design reaches up from a single-point base, defying gravity as it heads horizontally across a valley-scape. The design's artist explains that advances in technology could allow similar structures to exist in the future: “In the near future new materials like carbon nano tubes make new kinds of buildings possible. 50 times stronger and many times lighter than steel.

"This mega village houses half a million people. With a very small footprint and the majority of travel in and out done by air, this building has very little negative impact in the surrounding environment,” says Xdroo.

One of several designs which did not receive a prize but did receive a notable mention was 'Solaric Glass Anemone Structure II'. This design is certainly one of the most awe-inspiring, bestowing a wonderfully realistic sheen onto the dark glass clover petal-like design. Inspired by nature the structure represents an oxymoron in an overbearing black anemone design with smooth, rounded spines. With a nearly concealed entrance at the mouth of the structure the Anemone is perhaps the greatest example of art replicating life in the competition.

Combining the concepts of technology and nature in a masterplan snippet is '5:45 to Santa Monica: now boarding!'. This design features the use of nano technology in creating man-made structures which are symbiotic with nature. It's designer, Zemplinski, says: “What you see is the future Los Angeles where most of flat areas of suburban-like sprawl have been transformed into a dynamic landscape. The world I am presenting is a result of symbiotic relationship between organisms that we could help evolve and grow to provide us with structural support, shelter, a framework for our living and working spaces without destroying them in the process like we have been doing for centuries.”

Bridging the virtual world and reality, artspace|Architecture and Landscape Digital Art Competition showcases a world of inspiration for architects and designers alike whilst also creating a space for debate and discussion. The designs showcase a fusion of fantasy and reality with a futuristic understanding of architecture and upcoming technology. These incredible designs will be showcased at NVISION ‘08 in August in San Jose, California and in the mean time further images can be viewed at

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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