Prototype Cities in the Sea

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal article
Citation:
Kaji-O'Grady Sandra and Raisbeck P 2005, 'Prototype Cities in the Sea', Routledge, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 443-461.
Issue Date:
2005
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This paper reviews the ambitions and importance of design proposals for inhabiting the sea from the 1960s and 1970s. Critics in subsequent decades dismissed projects for the sea as irrelevant utopias and technological fantasies. While the unique marine environment and the new city were sometimes taken up as opportunities for social and formal experiment, there are many technically resolved projects considered by architects and developers alike as viable alternatives to terrestrial cities. This paper argues that architects adopted technologies from the exploration, fishing, military and mining industries towards solving what were widely perceived as threats to human existence. Neither in ambition nor detail were these projects futuristic fantasies. They were, rather, prototypes, a model this paper uses to examine a wide variety of projects, raising questions about the validity of their testing and the reasons for their failure to flourish. Using current proposals for new cities in the sea, shifts in attitude towards community and technology are traced.
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