There’s an idea that’s been in my head for a while now for an Alternate Calgary but I haven’t written it yet – here’s the real-world spin off of it:
Cars are a space, a volume, that moves between two other spaces, say, your house and work. They’re relatively permanent in state – the seats move forward and back but the car’s architecture, so to speak, is generally unaffected – while their position is not. They are a very brief tunnel, essentially. Imagining that all the air around you was a thin pink mist that you could dig away as you moved through it, walking down the street would essentially create a vacuum behind you, right? A tunnel. Now drive through that same volume in your car and we see the same thing but slightly wider. A car is a tunnel that only exists in a certain place at a certain time. A true tunnel is a space that exists between two points all the time.
The neat thing, of course, is this is a tunnel you get to control. You can drive it anywhere you want! This is a room between a room and a nearly infinite supply of other rooms. Not instantaneously, of course, but nonetheless. So when we talk about architecture as a volume, as a space that exists separated from all the other space in the world it’s really just a bubble in our imaginary pink cloud. It’s a bubble that doesn’t move, usually. Buildings, typically, hold their bubble still and contained; trapped inside their walls and ceilings. Cars are a smaller bubble that goes between them. As such, cars are architecture.
Now – and this is where we venture into Alternate Calgary’s worlds – what would a city look like if we took that pink mist pocketed by bubbles and lifted it up, removed all the actual infrastructure? Are there patterns in the tunnels that we could map and re-network? Yes, we could. Now, let’s look at the human interactions:
Say there’s a family of four. The two parents work in different places and the two children go to school in different places. What if the house they lived in broke into chunks and were transported by some means, say, a crane, when required. Let’s say that the chunks could be transported into other areas and re appropriated into other uses. If you put enough children’s bedrooms together you could make a classroom. If you picked up dad’s room (or study or whatever) and moved it to connect with another room containing machines he could work…
You get the idea.
So the tunnels between bubbles aren’t other, smaller, mobile bubbles (cars) as much as they contain the space themselves and are reconfigured. Because that’s the goal of cars, really: to rearrange humans on the planet.