As part of the exhibition “Filling the Absense” Arcosanti archives volunteer Seth Winslow undertook the task for creating a 3D virtual reality rendering of the “Stonebow” Arcology. Read more about Seth’s work, and take a video tour of the rendering below.
My name is Seth Winslow and I am part of the archives team at Arcosanti in Arizona, USA. The archives at Arcosanti house a variety of materials, most notably the original works of Paolo Soleri. The archives consist of paper, photography, film footage, sculptures, architectural models and other expressive media. Through my work in the archives, I have been very inspired by Paolo Soleri’s ideas of Arcology which addresses the need of building our human habitat in an ecological context.
I decided to build an arcology based on one of Soleri’s designs in a 3D application called Blender that enables me to use VR technologies to give a new perspective on what an arcology may be like to live in. When the open call for the exhibition FILLING THE ABSENCE was brought to our attention by team member Laura Villa Baroncelli, we decided to explore my version of 3D bridge with VR possibilities. I was appointed as the point person for the project and selected the arcology known as STONEBOW, from the Paolo Soleri book “Arcology – City in the Image of Man”, which was published by M.I.T. Press in 1970.
The absence of detail of this design left me a creative space to explore the potentials of the original drawing with my 3D interpretation. Building the 3D design from the original drawings and a few slides of a model that unfortunately no longer exists, has been quite a challenge. As I interpret the intent of the FILLING THE ABSENCE exhibition, my contribution is an attempt to explore the idea of arcology as a possibility for future urban design, reintroducing the idea of arcology to the public in a more interactive format using new a technological tool that did not exist when Soleri had originally developed the concept.
This is part of an ongoing project at the Arcosanti Archives, to explore the ideas of arcology in 3D with Virtual Reality possibilities.