Imagined Worlds: Architectural Visions & The Megastructure

In a post WW2 society, there was rapid technological advancements and obsolescence became more of a common idea, as industries such as the American Car Market began to plan on when a model would be out of date. A good present day comparison would be Apple and Android smartphones as they released yearly models that claim to offer upgrades on the previous models, but they also only get supported via software and security updates for two or three years – obsolescence.

The influence of events like NASA landing a man on the moon in 1969 had a profound affect on young creatives, and many technological advancements happened thanks to the Space Race, echoing medicinal advancements due to the two World Wars.

Megastructures – a term later coined in 1976 by Reyner Banham – were concepts and buildings that were colossal in size and scope, potentially housing say entire cities inside of one structure.

Buckminster Fuller was one example of an early environmentalist and mega-structuralist, as he realized that natural resources were finite and that design and technology could offer solutions – an idea which some still use as a design principle today. One of his most famous examples was the Geodesic Dome (from 1954), which was constructed from triangles rather than rectangles and could be cheaper, lighter and stronger than traditional brick houses.

Some examples of mega structures in video games or popular culture – and examples of how art imitates life and life then imitates art – could be the Death Star from Star Wars, the Dyson Shell concept from science fiction, and the Citadel from the Mass Effect video games.

deathstar1-swe

A moon sized space station that typically houses a super weapon laser capable of destroying a planet.

h2a_mission_deltahalo

Colossal ring worlds with diverse and varied ecosystems, artificially built.

masseffect2citadel

Gargantuan space stations capable of housing civilizations.

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