A global disaster might occur sooner than we ever could have anticipated. What will happen afterwards, no one knows. But in the art project ‘Universitas’, a veil is lifted. ‘Universitas’ explores what’s possible when creativity meets science and ecology.
H. Bottlefield is a fictional character who lives in the far future, he uses his talents to capture the fascinating futuristic world around him. In Universitas Bottlefield takes you on a journey to eight futuristic solarpunk cities. Each city has its own distinctive character, culture and history and has developed unique and highly specialised ways of taking on the specific challenges it faces. He explains what he has observed in the near future by means of illustrations and design sketches, text and photographs and links to other interesting sources. His extensive research on these cities ranges from agriculture to architecture and includes topics like robotics, aviation, nature conservation, spirituality and art and trade.
The author, Dustin Jacobus, main goal is to inspire and to share ideas that can open discussions about how our future could evolve in a positive way for mankind.
Here are a few examples from Universitas –
Moshav agricultural plan The Kibbutz and Moshav as inspiration: The cooperative Moshav and the Kibbutz settlements were inspired by social-anarchistic ideologies in which the village acts as a small cooperative industrial and agricultural community. The urban plan resembles city plans from German- Jewish architect Richard Kauffmann’s Kibbutz settlement Nahalal.
The starfish-arcology from the inside 1. Cellular solid outer layer based on the endoskeleton of echinoderms like the starfish. 2. The holey structure prevents cracks and fissures. 3. Structural elements of the starfish building made of carbon nanotubes material. 4. Dome structure based on Waterkeyn’s Atomium (Brussels) and the Shimizu Pyramid City (Tokyo). 5. Transparant roof. 6. Delivery point for the agro-drones to deliver the harvest. 7. The walking food processing unit. 8. Membrane entrance gate. 9. Export offices. 10. Cultural compartment. 11. Sports compartment. 12. Central Park. 13. Nieuwenhuys art compartment 14. Homo Ludens compartment 15. Residential zone. 16. Central VacTube station. 17. Water production center. 18. Cardiovascular water transport system. 19. Stilt houses. 20. Vertical subway. 21. Molten salt thorium fusion reactor version 3.5. 22. Technical control rooms. 23. Storage area.
The Purple Fleet: The floating city The Purple Fleet is the capital city of the trade community. The city is located near Halmahera Island (part of the Moluccan Islands). The purple fleet is a floating city. The city is divided into different zones, each with its specific function. If the weather conditions become hostile the city can move to more quiet waters.
An artificial hybrid plant Victoria Amazonica : The structure of the Victoria Amazonica leaf gives the plant its extraordinary properties to carry heavy weights. The leaves are sturdy thanks to the veins on the underside. This plant inspired botanical engineers to design a large organic platform that can carry the buildings of the Purple Fleet.
Park zone: The central area of the Purple Fleet City is the “recreational or park zone”. It counts 35 platforms with luxuriant gardens, tropical mini forests, small canals full of fish, art parks, lawns and pools.
Organic city built on the ruins of Phoenix (Arizona) Phoenix dome is the capital of the knowledge community. The city counts several city districts, built inside geodesic domes. It’s the hometown of renowned thinkers, inventors, philosophers, authors and other influential speakers who teach here.
Ecosystem science The micro-environment of the geodesic domes is used to help restore insect populations and to reintroduce lost species. Insects, spiders and bugs, studied here play a crucial role in controlling pest populations. The goal is to learn the role of each insect within an ecosystem. The knowledge is also used to design artificial robots with insect DNA.
The nomad community Desert nomad camp Nomads main occupation is trade. They have an important role as recyclers and upcyclers and help with Rewilding operations. There are numerous different nomad settlements and tribes. Together they form the largest community on Earth. Pictured above is a typical desert nomad camp. A desolated camp settlement where passing caravans can take a rest. Nomads that stop here do not stay very long.
Small dome shelters Specialized nomad groups wander through the most desolate outskirts of Earth in search for minerals and raw materials. Beside tents the geodesic dome is a favourite shelter for mining nomads. They build their villages in areas they want to excavate.
Large mudnest inspired houses These cities are constructed at the borders of Earths remaining rainforests. Sky cities or platform cities are built on platforms made from organic material. The platforms rest on organic pillars with an extreme strength and flexibility. Their residents protect Earth’s forests. They control the airspace traffic and they monitor the weather. The residents live in buildings built on top of the platform and in the mud houses hanging between the long organic pillars. The architects found inspiration by studying mud nests of birds.
Bromeliad agriculture Food supply system The bowl like Bromeliad is used to cultivate crops. There is a mud layer at the bottom of the large leaf. It forms the foundation for the terrace system, used to cultivate the different crops. Incas and other highland civilizations used this terrace agricultural system. The name Bromeliad refers to the tropical plant that grows high in the canopy of the tropical forest. The plant captures water. This tiny water pool functions as a small ecosystem. The water forms the source of the agricultural system.
The Spiritual Community Himalayan spiritual cities The inhabitants live a more spiritual and mystical life and are therefore called the spiritual community. Many Asian architectural artifacts are reused in the architecture, though the cities are technologically advanced.
The Warehouse An ant driven logistic centre The spiritual community counts hundreds of small to medium sized towns stretching the Himalayas. There is not much infrastructure, no roads, airports or VacTube connections. The residents remain in their homes for the most of their life. They get help from formicid bots. Ant robots used to move goods from one city to another. Imported products are delivered at the warehouses. Products get stocked till they end up in the marketplace on the upper floor.
Tongkonan breeding house The agricultural system is a mixture between the cultivation of crops in the wild and an industrial greenhouse system. They use several breeding houses. The most common designs are based on the Tongkonan architecture. Inside a system of pipes distributes a viscous seed fluid, used to cultivate nutritious food. The upper level is used as a community kitchen. Residents of the city eat here together.
Sea Shell buildings: The buildings mimic the organization and structure of seashells. The building material has a micro structure that gives it the needed strength, so it can resist compression forces. The buildings can grow, just like the sea organism.
Agrobotica Agro-robotic ecosystems: A new agricultural approach emerged out of the permaculture ideology. In the newly developed agro-robotic ecosystem, animals and plants live in harmony with agro-robots.