Cloud City offers an urban vision in which buildings are intelligent and work together to respond to external factors.

Cloud City: An Urban Ecosystem architect Chris Bosse’s entry into the Australian Design Centre’s CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade creative program and exhibition.

Bosse co-founded LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) with Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck in 2007. At present, LAVA has offices in Sydney, Stuttgart and Abu Dhabi, and Bosse works as Adjunct Professor and Research Innovation fellow at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Architecture of the future will not be about the shape, but about the intelligence of the system. The intelligence of the smallest unit results in the intelligence of the overall organism,” Bosse said.

Cloud City represents his vision for future cities, where buildings are intelligent and responsive to external influences like air pressure, temperature, humidity, air pollution and solar radiation. He thinks of buildings not as individual structural elements designed, serviced and accessed as isolated units, but as part of large networked systems, where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Cloud City

‘Cloud City: An Urban Ecosystem’ by Chris Bosse for LAVA

Bosse and his LAVA team specialise in the study and research of design principles found in nature such as soap bubbles, snowflakes and spider webs, which helps inspire new possible structures.

The team said new technology, paired with the forms found in nature, allow for new architectural designs that are highly adaptable and less harmful than traditional buildings from both a social and environmental standpoint.

“A cusp is a breakthrough, a breaking with the past. Sometimes you have to break with the past to be ready for the future. What is the society we live in today and how should we respond? What is architecture in the 21st century?” Bosse said.

Cloud City

‘Cloud City: An Urban Ecosystem’ by Chris Bosse for LAVA

Cloud City is a soaring, stretched membrane-cloud anchored to the ‘city’ on the gallery floor by high-rise towers that have been re-skinned and revitalised.

“The future is not about what buildings look like, but how they perform, interact and how they connect with each other. Think of a coral reef, where thousands of species thrive in coexistence of each other and the elements, air, water and sun. The reef is like the city of the future,” Bosse explained.

“Our installation asks: can cities of the future be organisms that respond and adapt to their environment? The networked city is a connected, inter-dependent organism where buildings are not singular structural entities (designed, serviced and accessed as isolated units), but part of large networked system. A distributed cloud communicates, shares smart building technology and joint infrastructure, connectivity and data transfer allowing transport, housing and urban infrastructure to adapt in response.”

Cloud City

Cloud City: An Urban Ecosystem’ by Chris Bosse for LAVA

This year, Bosse was one of 12 Australian designers selected to exhibit in the CUSP creative program. Other Australian designers featured in CUSP are George Khut, Anupama Kundoo, Healthabitat, Leah Heiss, MATERIALBYPRODUCT, Greg More, Florian Mueller, Stephen Mushin, Alison Page, Super Critical Mass, and Mari Velonaki.

The CUSP exhibition will be visiting Launceston, Adelaide, Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Brisbane and Mornington Peninsula between 2013 and 2015.