On Futuristic Architecture, Public Participation and Hedonistic Sustainability

This excellent TEDx talk by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels could potentially transform the way city planners, architects and even public policy planners view the structures within which we operate. The buildings he designs transcend both the structure and the purpose of traditional architecture, with futuristic, warped structures that go beyond merely creating spaces for living and working to creating whole, synergistically functioning ecosystems.

Some of his buildings may seem almost impossible, like creations from an alternate universe, sci-fi style, but in fact they seem to be amongst the most intelligently designed, highly livable buildings, with greenery, water bodies, clean energy and beautiful, unobstructed views incorporated into the structure.

Whale-Shaped Floating Garden that Cleans Rivers

via @inhabitat

Is it a whale? Is it a garden? Is it a work of art? It’s all those things, and it’s purifying the water too!

What is it? It’s the latest creation by Vincent Callebaugh, architecture and design visionary, who also created the beautiful and surreal Lilypad (a floating city for a world affected by climate change) and Dragonfly (an urban agriculture concept).

Callebaut’s designs are certainly fantastical, but it’s a treat to ponder them and hope that someday this type of utopian technology will actually exist. His newest vision is a floating environment filled with gardens and covered by both a green roof and thin-film solar panels. Hydro-turbines generate power from the moving water underneath the boat, thus, all of the boat’s energy is generated from renewable sources.

The craft’s exterior features a layer of TiO2, which reacts with ultraviolet rays to clean the water. Additional water is pumped through the garden systems, which biologically filter out contaminants and pollutants. Inside there are four distinct thematic gardens named, “Earth”, “Wind”, “Fire”, and “Water”, which represent the four elements.

Thought this should be posted for it’s sheer beauty and awesomeness as a concept. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that someday we’ll actually see this floating along our rivers, perhaps even cleaning up our holy Ganga!

Read more: Whale-Shaped Floating Garden Cleans the World’s Rivers