Wednesday, 7 October 2015

OGR: Invisible Cities - Baucis

Maya Tutorials
Photoshop and Digital Painting Tutorials
Tutorial 3 – Building collages - still in development
Animation and Character Tutorials
Concept Artist Who’s Who
Life Drawing Tutorial
Background history/setting idea developed from Joanna Newsom’s song “’81”


  1. OGR 09/10/2015

    Hey Pip,

    Thanks for being patient :) I like very much your conceptualisation of Baucis, particularly the whole 'bio-dome' thing, stemming from thinking practically about what life might be like up there: as I was browsing your OGR, I did think (in terms of an origin story for Baucis) that maybe the environmental thing might be what they're doing up there in the first place: maybe Baucis is an 'ark' - a sort of eco safe-haven, in which plant specimens and wildlife were preserved because there was some kind of eco-disaster on the earth - and all those telescopes etc. are actually looking to see if the world is habitable again, and so Baucis and lower back down on those telescopic legs and re-populate the earth? Maybe there's more than just telescopes - maybe there are geiger-counters and other apparatus checking to see if the world below the (radiation?) cloud level are at normal again. Your OGR really put me in mind of this classic 70s sci-fi movie (sorry about terrible quality!)

    I got thinking about aviaries too and butterfly houses:

    The thing about Baucis is that it would always be above the cloud line, which would mean your domes would need shielding from the sun too, so maybe you'd need giant 'parasol' structures that moved to shade some of the more delicate species etc - and also very sculptural, which again is something triggered by your OGR, so maybe look at Zaha Hadid for inspiration, and likewise categories of architecture: modular/membrane/inflatable etc:

    The Victorians were pioneers of structures of glass and iron, and produced some very beautiful glasshouse structures: like the palm house at Kew:

    In summary - a very inspiring OGR (and nicely presented and put together) and I think maybe you could open out Baucis's origin story even more, so as to give yourself even more opportunities for invention, and finessing your visual concept of the 'bio-dome'.
    Onwards indeed!

  2. Hi Pip,

    First of all, apologies for my absence on your blog as of late. I've been particularly busy with work and as a result, I've neglected the blogs recently.

    Your interpretation of Baucis is particularly intriguing, and not only because there isn't a single reference to Return of the Jedi in sight!

    Somewhat contrasting Phil's origin concept, I picture the inhabitants of Baucis as paranoid hermits fearful of the ground beneath them. Their fascination around the ground is driven by a fear of the unknown, scrutinising everything in sight out of paranoia. The 'respect' they have for the ground isn't too different to the 'respect' that Georgie, Pete and Dim had for Alex in A Clockwork Orange, or pretty much any henchman to any super villain. They 'respected' them because they fear what would happen if they didn't.

    The idea that 'they have everything need up there' conjures the thought that the inhabitants have some sort of compulsion to collect things, like they're hoarders. I just have this image in my head of these tall, thin structures, bowing to the weight of masses of superfluous junk, (kind of reminds me of those photographs of people carrying absurd amounts of stuff on the back of a tiny moped with many large collections of items serving as various communal spaces. Similar to the rudimentary communities of the post-apocalyptic wasteland in the Fallout and Mad Max series'.

    The geodesic bio-domes you've been experimenting with are interesting. From what I've seen, you've been interpreting them as man-made, however I think it could be interesting if they were somehow naturally occurring. Maybe the canopy of leaves above the trees has been formed into those shapes over time, and this formation encouraged those in the city to inhabit the space for it's unique, botanically advantageous properties.

    Speaking of botany, have you seen or read The Martian? At a point in the story, he has to discern a way of growing food on Mars. A planet with no naturally occurring water (at the time the book was written, anyway...). Much like you've proposed, he used a simple assortment of pre-existing, yet somewhat unexpected ingredients to make enough food to survive. Your thoughts around their superior grasp of botany reminded me of this. So, what would the inhabitants of Baucis need and use to survive? And how would this effect the design of their living spaces?

    In short, the logic of the city will inform it's design. Once you decide why they're there and why they live the way they do, you'll find yourself designing with practicality in mind. It might be worth designing the city from a management perspective first. Figure out what aspects of society they need to survive. Do they need schools? Emergency services? A council? Religion? Custodial and maintenance services? Entertainment? Pretend you're playing Sim City and once that's all in place, you'll find a lot of the aesthetics are defined by these choices.

    Everything is looking great so far, Pip. I can't wait to see where you take things next. Keep it up!