Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Invisible Cities OGR


  1. We have chosen the same city! :D Great work as always Mark, looking forward to your full interpretation of Octavia!

  2. Nice :) we can help each other out Manisha

  3. OGR 08/10/2015

    Hey Mark,

    I won't be coy; when I see what I asked for, my heart gives a jump! This is a beautifully presented and confident OGR, and I found your rationale for Octavia to be very satisfying. A lot of my feedback today has been about encouraging students to ask practical questions about their respective cities, as it's by asking these little questions, that opportunities for further invention arise, that feel part of Calvino's world (though he never described them himself).

    I like all your observations re. the weathering, and the logic of the near constant repair, and the obvious reality too of the up and down of all the pulleys and carts and containers, ensuring a link to the surface. There's a great word - verisimilitude - which means something having the appearance of 'being true' and that last digital thumbnail of yours - the one with the agricultural/farm repositories for corn etc - create that sense of your city feeling credible.

    You might be interested in some of the other feedback I've left on the other Octavia blogs, particularly the bit about thinking about the mountains as perhaps a range of mountains or canyon - as in so doing, you can perhaps escape the prevailing sense that the city sits 'chandelier-like' between the points of two mountains; it does seem more likely that a city of this size would in fact be suspended from multiple points along the edges of some great fissure or between the huge high walls of a massive canyon or ridge of mountains:

    I thought that last comment in your mission statement was fascinating: yes, why is this massive population all the way up there - it does seem like a place of retreat, or maybe siege - and it does seem counter-intuitive that they'd choose live in such jeopardy; maybe they're a paranoid people - terrified of invasion; or maybe, judging by their technology, which seems very lo-fi, maybe they retreated from the modern world... I'm wondering if the key to your 'interior' might lie in giving this bit of back story more thought: for example, if these were a paranoid people, they'd always be on the look out for invaders, and maybe they'd have lo-fi style weapon arrays to fend of anyone trying to breach their boundaries?

    Or maybe the special interior is a museum of humanity - objects salvaged from whatever calamity drove them up into the sky? Anyway, I reckon you should do a bit more 'what if-ing' as you uncover more and more about Octavia and its origins...

    1. Thanks for your feedback Phil :) this weekend will be about what-ifing and getting all the little elements ready