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Australia goes 3D at the Venice Biennale

With 93% of its citizens living in cities, Australia is among the most urbanized continents in the world, and its entry in the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale, “NOW + WHEN” reflects the growing need for a retooling of its biggest cities. The NOW part highlights 6 of Australia’s “most interesting” urban and rural areas, but the WHEN part is clearly the focus, with 17 proposals that anticipate or fantasize (you be the judge) about the state of Australia’s cities in 2050, many of which are presented in 3D stereoscopic for extra wow factor.

The competition from which the 17 winning proposals were selected was intended to be more playful than predictive, with the goal to “liberate architects from planning and design constraints to encourage hypothetic, futuristic visions,” like Syph, the underwater city pictured above. Syph is based on a series of pods, some pods being energy producers, some industrial, purportedly the result of the rising cost of land. Other proposals are touch more realistic, like the proposal for building desert cities in response to population growth. One theoretical 50,000-100,000 person development incorporates questions architects don’t normally need to consider, questions like how do you build a fear-free city without crime or antisocial behavior, or how do you incorporate hope into the city’s infrastructure? No ideas are coming to mind right away, so if we want to build this up in 40 years I guess it’s a good thing to start thinking about it now.