And now for something completely different: The architect of Google's headquarters has proposed an ambitious new plan to add a second story to the city of London.
The initiative is not entirely serious, but it's not entirely a joke either. Architect Clive Wilkinson, who designed the Googleplex, came up with the semi-serious design as a new way to think about London's worsening commuter problems.
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Titled "The Endless Workplace," the urban design plan calls for a single-level, open-plan office park that would hover over the city, with workers being shuttled vertically from their homes - via pneumatic tube - to their offices on the second level. Lest you think the plan entirely impractical, bear in mind that openings would be provided above parks, monuments and other designated places.
"The Endless Workplace" was created for Flaunt magazine, which asked designers to imagine what might happen if the cultures of California and the United Kingdom collided. Wilkinson's design is meant to address, in a daydreamy kind of way, worsening traffic problems in London, where the average work commute is more than two hours a day.
A citywide second-story office would not only dramatically reduce CO2 emissions, Wilkinson argues, it would create a new kind of collaborative workplace in the sky. Ideas could cross-pollinate freely in what would essentially be a massive co-working space for the entire city.
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Wilkinson's proposal may be hypothetical, and even a little satirical, but bear in mind that industry has a rich history of joke-y proposals eventually becoming real. Consider Volkswagen's self-driving baby stroller, or the infamous iLoo.
Joking with designers is risky business.
via Inhabitat and Fast Company