Video Picks: Pierre Jean Giloux- Imagining cities

In the 1960-1970s, architects imagined ideas for the city of the future, often described as utopian or radical architecture.

Without the constraints of budgets and clients to answer to, they took pen to paper and created visions of how we might live. They were responding to the trend of rising populations in cities, a new challenge for this era.

In Japan, architects were inspired by biological cells and living organisms to create ideas for utopia. They imagined ‘megastructures’ – clusters of buildings – that could grow and change organically depending on what a city and its inhabitants needed. Projects like Kisho Kurokawa’s ‘Helix City’ and Arata Isozaki’s ‘Clusters in the Air’ are perfect examples of Japan’s Metabolism architecture movement. They are also the inspiration for artist Jean Pierre Giloux’s work, ‘Metabolism #1’ that you can watch below.


Feature image credit: ‘Metabolism # Invisible Cities # Part 1’. 2015. Image, courtesy the artist and Solang Production Paris Brussels.


Credit: 'Metabolism # Invisible Cities # Part 1'. 2015 (Extract), Pierre Jean Giloux. Soundtrack by Lionel Marchetti /Pierre Jean Giloux, visual Effects by Philippe Cuxac
. In the video Giloux is introducing you to a contemporary Tokyo, based on designs from Japanese architects that were never built. He builds a dream-like vision of the city, blending fiction with reality. Long sequence, low angle and aerial shots lead you through the city from dawn to dusk. This becomes even more mesmerizing when teamed with the sound and vision of cherry blossom petals moving with the wind.

Want to see more?

Watch the other films in Giloux’s ‘Invisible Cities’ series on Vimeo

Find out more about the Metabolist movement on My Architectural Moleskine
There’s no grand finale- the video loops, flying through 24hrs in this alternative Tokyo. The real power of this film is all in the visual tools Giloux has used. Combining digital 3D or 2D computer generated images with real photographs or filmed footage creates something close to an ‘augmented reality’ film.

Some say good art is about posing questions about the world we live in. If that’s the case, Giloux has created something quite special here. He’s used visual tools that you’d usually expect to see in gaming environments or architectural fly-throughs (Google Zaha Hadid fly-throughs) to introduce you to a lost architectural movement. What do you think of their shared vision of the future?

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out ‘Plug-in City’ by ’60’s architecture practice Archigram on Archdaily

Take a look at Olalekan Jeyifous’ ‘Shanty Mega-structures’