Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sea City of the Future (1984)

This image appears in the 1984 book The Future World of Agriculture and illustrates futuristic farming techniques near a sea city.
Robots tend crops that grow on floating platforms around a sea city of the future. Water from the ocean would evaporate, rise to the base of the platforms (leaving the salt behind), and feed the crops.

See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
Robot Farms (1982)
Farm of the Future (1984)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)


Anonymous said...

OK what dullard thinks that salt is "left behind" -- as opposed to pulled upwards by capillary action -- when water moves through soil? Any drive through a desert wash or salt lake area will show that salt residues can "climb" several inches above the water level.

Anonymous said...

Guess what anonymous, if you took the time to read the quote, you'd see that he's talking about evaporation...not capillary action. I think it's a novel idea, worthy of further examination.

Michael said...

I think the evaporation scheme could work, but the canals that the robots move through better be the fresh water rather than the salt, or wind and waves would salt contaminate the crops.

Anonymous said...

I believe this still is a marvelous idea. If I were to find any fault in it, it is the that the actual aesthetics have more in common with your typical architechts love of straight lines and templates, or in the case of Frank Gehry, the cute but expensive capability of robotics and computers to create any shape so he has 'em produce shapes of crumpled paper...d'uh.
Surely, the main objection is not technology of expense as we have both of those in abundance...but vision, and nobody can see people wanting to live in an environment that looks like a modern airport terminal...make it look like a high tropical island populated by parrots, where every apartment opens onto a park like setting with a view, water features and the kind of appeal that is described by E.O.Wilson in his concept of biophilia, and I promise you, architects will call it ugly, and contrived, and some other meaningless but certainly disparaging names just as they do to anything they don't like, and people will gravitate to it and appreciate it for its beauty despite its so called lack of authenticity.
Two steps in the right direction?
Both in Chicago, Jean Gang's "Aqua" and Calatrava's "Spire"...

Anonymous said...

And how, exactly, do you think evaporation works? Evaporation happens at the surface; evaporation does not happen under the surface. To the extent water is replaced at the surface by water below the surface, it's by a combination of factors including capillary action and osmotic pressure. And in the absence of some expensive filters or mechanisms, salt is going to come along with. As I said above, any person who (like me) lives in a desert area or area with a high salt content in soil knows this.

After all, if it were this easy to desalinate water everyone would be doing it. You can't just plop a tray of dirt in salt water grow plants.

Anonymous said...

Hey there!
I wanted to use the wonderful futuristic picture you used on the post as a cover art on my music blog for a soundscape collection.
Of course I'm going to your address.
But if you have a problem with that please let me know. ;)