Video still

'As the day brightens into a futuristic reality of evolution in the 'Biomorphic City: A Self Sustained Living Ecopolis'; spatial architectural structures float into a serene uniform landscape. The human forms begin to appear - a new birth, a new life, the reality of a fantasy and the hope and imagination of a new utopia.'

The paintings and videos from this series portray and depict visionary, futuristic landscapes and ecological utopias- 'ecotopias' or 'stable-state' ecosystems: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. The works evoke a hopeful antidote to the environmental concerns of today, and are set in imaginary ecologically sound, self sustained future societies. The series brings together the artists' interest in utopian and dystopian literature and science fiction, while exploring visionary, technology driven solutions to future mega-city challenges of energy management, nature, spaces, architecture, evolution and quality of life. The works offer a futurist blueprint for the survival of our planet.

Biomorphic City: Notes

Towering above most congested motorway intersections, the scheme portrays a radical concept in high rise, high density urban living. A vision of a completely closed metabolic cycle in which traffic exhaust emissions are harnessed via CO2 collectors in order to feed algae grown in photo bio-reactors within the building's facade. Algae and natural by-products produced during algae cultivation are then refined to produce renewable energy sources. Bio-diesel produced using algae contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.

Benefitting from positive solar orientation, in order to maximize solar acceptance toward the dynamic photo bioreactors which are built into the facade, 'BIOMORPHIC CITY' acts as a an environmental filter, harnessing harmful traffic exhaust emissions in order to feed and cultivate microscopic algae to produce renewable bio-fuels. These bio-fuels are used to produce renewable electricity to power the vertical city and to cultivate vehicular bio-diesel and liquid hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. For Michael Foucault, these spaces are either utopias or heterotopias. Utopias are perfections of existing arrangements, either positive or negative, and have no real space. Heterotopias, those "other" spaces, are for Foucault "a sort of counter-arrangement of effectively realized utopia," in which "all the real arrangements (of space) that can be found in a society are at one and the same time represented, challenged, and overturned." I would like to visualize 'biomorphic city' as an effectively realised utopia ie. heterotopia.

Microscopic microalgae are typically free floating in the water and encompass several groups of relatively simple organisms that capture light energy through photosynthesis, using it to convert inorganic substances into organic matter. Bio-diesel produced using algae contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.

Facade as algae bio-reactors

Since algae need sunlight, carbon-dioxide and water for their growth, they can be cultivated in open ponds. However, the unassisted growth in open ponds is slow, alternatively, for use in the vertical city, algae is grown in closed photo-bioreactors, where the environment is better controlled.
© sonia mehra chawla