“Three is a magic number. Yes it is, it’s a magic number.”
Overpopulation is typically viewed in a negative light—and it’s easy to see why: the number of people alive today is widely understood to underpin many (if not all) of the world’s environmental, social and political problems.
And this global malaise is only set to get worse—particularly for cities. By 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. As populations grow, society will be forced to reconsider how cities are occupied and organised.
But can this growth and concomitant reordering of society be seen as an opportunity as opposed to a threat?
This project proposes that, if managed correctly, overpopulation has the potential to furnish our species with a series of cognitive, circadian and social opportunities. By learning from historic measures proposed/taken to mitigate the negative effects of population growth (two major approaches have been developed: either behaviours are adapted to live within reduced means, or technology is deployed in order to alter our environment so that it might meet our demands), 24/7 proposes its own system: a tripartite working day. This new temporal order allows three different people to inhabit each bed, three to occupy each desk, three to share each car. With every day now split into three 8-hour shifts, cities never have to sleep: a truly 24 hour city can emerge. Although superficially more efficient, this new city (built on routine) actually safeguards activities like sleep and leisure from their contemporary, steady, capitalist erosion.
In the face of an already acute housing shortage (and alongside a desire to improve its environmental footprint by lowering the number of people commuting long distances to work), the City of London decides to initiate this radical new routine.
In order to facilitate its new 24/7 existence, a series of urban interventions emerge across the City—they enclose areas of the city beneath a large canopy designed to create a perpetually lit 24 hour environment, whilst also providing an infrastructure to recreate any desirable weather condition whatsoever. The new synthetic experiences these spaces create engender new forms of interaction and behaviour. No longer shackled to the caprice of external weather conditions and the unwavering cycles of dawn and dusk, we are free to engage with the city at our leisure.
The society of 24/7—a society of pedantry and precision—generates a world of paradoxical liberation and choice.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2018
+44 (0) 7985390064
- BSc Architecture, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 2014
- Production Designer, Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh, 2013; Design Intern, Wolff Olins, London, 2014; Freelance Designer, Wolff Olins, London, 2014; Architectural Assistant, Arup Associates, 2015