Walking City (2014) portrays a gargantuan figure that shifts and breaks, reshapes and endlessly evolves as an architectural form with human characteristics. It continuously walks in the centre of the screen, as if the city itself was walking, forever nomadic, adapting to its environment. The inspiration for this slowly evolving video sculpture is the utopian vision of the 1960s architecture practice, Archigram of London. Walking City is a fitting tribute to their ideals.
Walking City refers to ideas of modernism and the evolving city. For this academic response we invited Ola Uduku to explore how these ideals of modernism have been translated in different cultures. Ola Uduku is Professor of Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture where her research explores the history of educational architecture in Africa, and the contemporary issues related to social infrastructure provision for minority communities in cities in the ‘West’ and ‘South’.
Ola Uduku takes us on a journey from traditional African architecture through to High Modernism. Reflecting on how indigenous architects dealt with Western ideas and transformed them into a new hybrid style for Africa, adapting to the tropical environment, much like the constant evolution of Walking City.
WALKING CITY DETAIL
Universal Everything’s Walking City shows through a language of materials and patterns how the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting her movements and forms to the environments she encounters, offering a representation of place as citizen. As with most of Universal Everything’s works the sound track is an important element of the piece setting the tone and rhythm for the city’s evolution.
Walking City recovers the futuristic visions of the 1960’s architecture practice Archigram. As a collective they launched a vision for what cities in the future could be like, not just as a series of static buildings but thinking of them as evolving interconnected things utilising technology and machines with people at the centre.
Archigram’s Ron Herron created a vision for a Walking City in 1964 and proposed a city that could move and walk across water and the land to make use of utilities and resources at different locations, able to adapt to changing needs. An early exploration into how a “smart city” can be thought of today but with more emphasis on a nomadic way of life where resources and information is shared. Universal Everything’s Walking City blurs the human and architecture, both moulding to their changing environment.
Title: Walking City (2014)
Creative Director: Matt Pyke
Animator: Chris Perry
Sound Designer: Simon Pyke