Visions of the Near Future

VotNF sorting
31st Aug, 2019

I’ve updated the VotNF index to link to more articles, and converted a couple of posts into pages. They still need a bit of work and simplified language, but the gist of it is down. Working towards unify the concepts, and laying out the basics for VotNF and how it will all lead into Sciror.

I also added in this rather nice image of brutalist architecture;

Which has some of the staggered terrace design elements I’m discussing, which adds a little credence to the whole ECORR concept. Combined with the idea that multi-story car parks can already span the width of most British roads, and I think we are on to a winner ;)

At the heart of the design, ECORR is nothing more than building a multi-story car park over a road than slapping a shopping mall on top and covering that mall with housing.

Visions of the Near Future

Plan 1
7th Dec, 2018

Time to start sorting things out. The basic idea is to collect three separate backgrounds together under one umbrella of ‘Philverse’. These three being ‘Philhammer’, ‘Sciror’, and ‘Visions of the Near Future’. These all link to each other and build upon each other. Visions of the Near Future lays the foundation for Sciror, which in turn lays the foundation for Philhammer. In effect, they are all one setting, with a timeline divided into three eras. This setup means you can start from Philhammer and drill all the way down to Visions of the Near Future and end up here, in the present day.

Philhammer

To make the distinction between Philverse and Philhammer clear: I’ll be referring to my revision of Warhammer as Philhammer. There will be no separate website for ‘Philhammer’ as it contains GW IP. I’ll be updating the articles, and filling out some of the missing details. I have to catch up on a fair bit of background. Philhammer covers the hidden science of 40K, the effects of the Dark Age of Technology has on contemporary Imperial design and culture, and attempt to explain how the ‘grimdark’ background can make sense to a modern, sceptical, tech-savvy, audience. In grounding 40K in reality, and explaining warp based technologies, it makes it easier to suspend your disbelief – or at least that is my aim.

Sciror

It was pointed out to me by other fans that because ‘Philhammer’ has so many of my ideas supporting it, that it had become its own setting. So I decided to run with it and develop a background-setting using all the ideas of Philhammer, ripping out all the GW IP, and see what happens. Thus Sciror was created. At its heart, it is a drop in ‘replacement’ setting for the ‘Dark Age of Technology’ from 40K but seen from the other side of history and the more positive perspective of the ‘Golden Age of Technology’. It details the civilisation before the fall, why the fall happened, and the effects of the fall.

The fall comes about when the machines of the Supremacy leave humanity to their fate after the ‘Psidemic’ (world altering psionic manifestations). It replaces the popular trope of ‘machine betrays man‘, from films such as Terminator, with ‘man betrays machine‘ (there still isn’t the exact tv trope – suggestions in the comment if you have one?).

Things get complicated: In working up this background I realised that: if Sciror could explain 40K tech, then it could explain any sci-fi. A lot of other sci-fi has the same issues as 40K, and I figure other creatives may encounter similar problems while creating their own worlds. So I then changed the concept of Sciror to ‘meta-framework’ for creating backgrounds. Anyone can create their own background for their setting using Sciror as a springboard for their vision. All the technology is explainable, interoperable, and you can concentrate on the story. If a fan of your narrative wants to know how something actually works, from their modern-day perspective, Sciror explains it. Sciror will still detail human advancement over the centuries, but it’s stable, a ‘vanilla’ core of logical exploration of ideas about the future. All the action happens in scenarios branching off from this core, where events like The Fall become a ‘what if’. Here are the ‘what ifs’ that will serve as an example of backgrounds created with Sciror: ‘Stare in the Abyss’, ‘Psidemic’ (The Fall) and ‘Twistasy’, which I’ll be jumping between in a chaotic manner during development.

Displacement Point: The idea of Sciror is to create a ‘displacement point’. Instead of using the modern world as our frame of reference, we move our perspective to an imagined point in the future and use that as a basis for storytelling. I think this can work as we live in stories, our perception of the world is a narrative, and we have so many stories through modern media that we can imagine a future world much more easily than in the past. More importantly, when we think of a setting that is incomplete, we quickly fix it by borrowing from other settings to fill in the gaps. This natural ability, and wealth of resource material, means we can create a common ‘dreamscape’. A place where all stories come together, and interact with each other, using our common culture. Then we can start designing new stories taking this new ‘reality’ into account. It will create an unusual situation that if you know ‘Sciror’, the stories will make sense: in the same way traditional sci-fi references our world, this new sci-fi will reference Sciror. Stories based on stories. Using fiction as a basis for future imagineering. If you do not know Sciror, then it is probably going to be a culture shock as everything is different, and I want to make it different.

Visions of the Near Future

Here I’ll be designing and imagining solutions to today’s problems. Which will act as a springboard for Sciror. These solutions create the base narrative, the foundation, onto which I’ll raise Sciror. By designing for the ‘here and now’, we can create narratives that are restrained by reality, and hence more believable. Anyone can judge the designs and see if they accept them. For example, if I design hab-unit: you can quickly decide if you would want to live there or not. If you do, and you think the design is a good idea, then you are ‘hooked’. Then it’s time to reel you in. Once your logic accepts the premise, it is much harder to put the brakes on, and then we are on the Philverse train to the future. At least that is the plan.

This all means you can start at Philhammer and follow the logic, and narrative, all the way back through history and end up in the here and now: looking at designs for our modern world. The reverse will also be true, that you can start from here and end up in 40K. I mentioned hab-units, and I think that is the first thing to tackle, as living space is so personal. You will know if you like it or not. I’ll post my stages of Ecorium development, as this spans all era, and see how it takes. Will it hook?

COR housing
13th Jul, 2016

Following on from my earlier post ‘Future Perfect‘, I want to start to layout the argument for my vision.  Construction Over Road/ Rail Housing make use of the wasted space above roads and rail systems. The idea is to better manage space in countries will high population densities, with an aim to maximize ‘nature space’.

London – thanks NASA!

Nature space is any outside space that has direct access to the sun. This is perfect for plants, and studies show that humans enjoy nature far more than concrete jungles. Modern city design eats into this nature space and removes nature space from people’s lives. If you take a satellite image of central London all you’ll see is roads, pavements, and barren roof tops. We need roads but they’re hardly human friendly once you step out of a car. Most roofs a not used by humans at all, and devoid of life. Pavements are also needed but not much of a joy more utility. But if you do not have a car: it seems most would prefer to walk/ cycle through a park (away from the fumes, noise, and traffic chaos).

The problems with modern city design are endless. As London develops the limitations of traditional architecture start to show. The more skyscrapers you put in: the more you’ll overload the road system. Even cities like New York, with very wide roads, have ground to a virtual halt. This is due to the amount of traffic needed to get people and goods to all those skyscrapers on a daily basis!

There has to be a new way to look at city planning, or more specifically housing. In the ye old days it made sense to build a house by the side of muddy track. There was plenty of nature, transport was by foot, horseback or carriage (pulled by horses), and humans had plenty of fresh air. Even in the early city: the industrialists built terraced houses beside narrow roads that saw little traffic. Children could play outside and were rarely interrupted by horse or cart. All that is gone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mega York 1
1st Jul, 2016

I’ve added an image below of ‘Mega York 1’ to the Ecopolis page. The idea is to get across the sheer scale of a 300m x 300m cube if built in a modern city like New York. They are massive, like the Mega-Blocks of Judge Dredd only bigger. The main difference is population density: a mega-block in 2,000AD can house 75,000 citizens while an Ecorium can house a mere 2,160. This does not take into account infrastructure to support the block, and where the 2,000AD mega block needs supply lines for food etc. the Ecorium is basically a massive farm and relatively self-sufficient.

Earth in 40K is covered with these buildings, along with double, and triple, stacking the population of Terra would be in the trillions. The tops of the Ecorium create a new planetary surface onto which all the gothic architecture is built, the upper surface is for the pilgrims and worship of the Ghod Emperor.

Future Perfect
11th Jun, 2016

So I’m pushing forward with the Sciror stuff, and deep thinking about the future of civilization (always fun) and its impact on the world. While Ecorium designs make a lot of sense (to me), and it’s true I could simply leave it at that and say ‘the machines did it’, I thought it would be more fun to imagine some evolutionary pre-steps invented by humans to reinforce the idea that the machines gave us what we wanted. In rethinking architecture I need new some tools to explain how it all works, to communicate to the masses why this is a good idea. I came up with ‘Blocks Space Diagrams‘ ;

Stages of conversion

You can read more about it here: Block Space Diagrams

This then leads to idea about how to design future building by giving a clear idea of our design goals. To really change the collective vision of what a future city will really looks like. This lead to me playing about in Blender to create the basics;

This is a cut away of one half of the design, a slice through the structure. It shows the staggered stacking of the units (like an Aztec pyramid!), the ‘hill lift‘ to account for the slope, and the layout of the car park and roads. All very compact and build around a steel frame with fireproof pre-fab panels. Each hab-unit is sound isolated from the steel structure and neighbours. Each hab-unit has its own walled garden where privacy is paramount (hence the high walls and end of garden overhang (stops people above looking into a downstairs neighbours garden)). Security is build into the design. A very safe environment. The slice above also shows the emergency stair system, build on top of the hill lift, and implemented every 10 units across.

The purple space is ‘commercial’ as is where we can put shops (who like to control the light to best display product), the early version of rack farms to grow food within the city, or data-centres where the heat can be recovered and pumped into the hab-units in winter, or power air-conditioning in the summer. The space in the back, the large grey area covers more car park, but on top would be a garden part exclusive to the residents (more security).

The problem with sky scrapers, and building up people density that way, is supplying them – infrastructure has to increase dramatically and often road and rail  systems will be overwhelmed as more and more sky scrapers are built. New York has very wide roads (compared to London) but it’s grid locked. London couldn’t have sky scrapers in the numbers like that have in New York else the road and rail system would fail. When we did build a group  of sky scrapers in London we had to build the Docklands light railway system so people could get to Canary Wharf.

With my design we can population density without over stressing the populace because it’s making use of the wasted area above the road space, and also adds a ton of  secure off-road parking. This design is perfect for large roads leading into cities, or around cities like the M25. I would cover all 188km of the M25 (modern steel beams can easily span a motorway). With each 18 block slice being 6.5m wide, that’s 507,600 units. Later they can be extended into the cities with redevelopments. When I walk around London I see a ton of unused space above the roads. A wasted opportunity. Further, we can also convert some of the commercial space (shown above) into light road ways for cycles and electric vehicles. We could have double or triple-decker roads, perhaps with rail and underground systems beneath, which eventually leads to the stacked rail system of the Ecorium. We could also use the blocks to route electricity, and fibre optics.