As a child, watching the animation films by Studio Ghibli have enkindled this sense of wonderness and magicality in me towards nature. From the Natural (the beauty of trees, the sense of mysticality in forests, and the sacredness they protect), to the Mechanical (reality of industrialization, rapid destruction of environment, never-ending pursuit of economical growth), the disconnection between them and outlooks for our future grew more and more pessimistic. However, with enough despair in the world right now, what we need is not another dystopian future filled with warnings. But rather, finding the magic and love towards our environment, and a sense of optimistic vision towards a viridescent future we one day may have.
Presenting a hyper-naturalized Singapore from a viridescent future, Bionic City explore an integrative way of architectural hybridization between both natural and mechanical systems in the pursuit of a reconnection to the magic of nature. Inspired by the fictional plots and aesthetics from Studio Ghibli’s animation films, conflicts between human, machines, and nature, the search for reconciliation between forces from both sides, seeking peace within wars. It is appreciating the ‘both.. and…’, exploring the many layers in the relationships between all factors. With Nature being the dominant design driver in this speculative construct, it follows the juxtaposition of the atmospheric beauty of nature together with the mechanistic order of profit and loss, shifting this relationship of transactional to giving and receiving through a series of collisions and coalescence between Nature and humans. Tapping upon the idea of soft fascination, as a way to recover the poetry and beauty that is lost, and to rekindle our innate love and curiosity for nature once again. Local energy grids, local solutions, autonomous functioning systems, makers culture, being a resident as well as a caretaker, Bionic City also provide opportunities to examine the circular relationships we can have with nature through creative ways within the neo-viridescent living conditions.
Rainbow’s project explores the inter-connectedness of natural systems and technological systems. She proposes a high density high rise compact city that is designed with an efficient mobility network and food systems that is intricately linked with a designed natural system. Her project pushes the boundaries of the relationship between the built environment and the natural environment. The thesis proposal is an inter-woven co-existence that integrates both the built and the natural into a “bionic” system. Her project questions the dichotomy between nature and architecture, proposing instead an architecture that blurs the boundaries between what is natural and what is built.
- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Khoo Peng Beng
Lee Hong Xuan Rainbow
Lee Hong Xuan Rainbow