Sourcing materials and planning

Material Sourcing

I spent the weekend sourcing materials from a local thrift store for objects to use in the workshop and the city dioramas. The way that I source the objects to use in the workshop follow a specific criteria :

  • Light weight
  • Can be taken apart if necessary
  • Not immediately identifiable, if I don’t understand what it is, I put it in the bin

Similarly, I follow a set of principles for the design of the cities:

  • lightweight
  • made from recycled materials
  • energy efficient and requires low power
  • less than $100 per diorama

Right now, all of the materials are contained in these bags, but I would like to eventually sort and organize them for a better display.

Luckily, this thrift store sells by the pound, so here’s 60 pounds of random stuff

City planning

While managing the upcomingworkshop, I am also starting the construction of the cities so that participants have a wholistic feel for what we will be doing. Currently, my plan is to build out 4 cities though the original plan was to have 6 total. Two more may be added on later down the line.

City 1  – Abstract City

The abstract city will not feature any clear identifiable building shapes. A lot of the shapes will inspire the user to fill in the blanks to create and apply their own meaning to the city.

City 2- “Green” City

“Green” implying bio friendly. In this city, the envisioned future is that we have bioengineered our plants to do a lot of environmental and technological heavy lifting for us such as purifying our dirty air, detecting harmful and toxic chemicals in the air, distribute wifi signals, and also communicate to us their need for food and water.

I started work on this city this weekend. I worked on the layout for this city, made some pom pom trees, and have started planning for how to incorporate optic fibers and LED lights.


City 3- Circuit  City 

In this future, our cities become our computers. Apartments in cold areas are essentially heat sinks and our walls are circuit boards. This future fully embraces the Internet of Things by making our fridges capable of mining for cryptocurrency.

City 4- Compartment City

In the compartment city, all space will be fully utilized, yet fun and colorful. It embraces the future where there will be an entire city within one apartment building. Floors will be dedicated to farming, forestry, games, sun bathing, work, and so on.

Next Steps

  • Create the mirrored infinity cubes
  • Work with Ross Butler, the engineering mastermind, on low energy solutions for audio recording and playback and LED and optic cable grids
  • Work with Dr. Naked, the mechanical expert, on the construction of bases and ways to hold these cities together in extreme heat environments
  • Put together a short presentation for the workshop
  • Continue experimenting with materiality and shape


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