Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The LORD said, "Nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."

An artist's concept of the biblical Tower of Babel below:
Athanasius Kircher, Turris Babel 1679
Genesis 11: 1-5

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

Ground breaking for the Burj Dubai was 9/4/2004. There is a similarity between the Kircher drawing of 1679 and the under construction photo by photographer Calajava. People have been writing, blogging, taking photos of the new tower being built in Dubai for years now.
And I would think there have been people writing about the Tower's similarity to the Tower in the Bible.

The story of Tower of Babel has always been a stickler for me. Why would God deliberately divide us so that we can not reach our potential? Despite all the answers that I've studied and listened to, such as the Babel Tower was not for God but for Man's Pride, there is still a question in my heart as to why would an infinite God (or a god) be so threatened by the finite Human that this God would deliberately act to put us in our place by messing us up? Even human parents wish and give everything so their children can excel.  Why would a Father in Heaven be any different to his own Children?  Puzzling ...

Well, Bible or not, God or not, messed up or not, the Dubai Tower is almost finished with a delayed opening in 12/2009. Just in time for Christmas! Even before its december opening, the Burj Dubai stands as a 818 meter (2683.73 feet) symbol of what we can accomplish. God went on the record saying, nothing will be impossible for us. And it makes me think ...

What is next on the to-do list?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Chicago: Beanstalk City

02.02.2009: Humanity has grown to not only live off the planet but dictate how it will develop. With our abilities of controlling the environment, lengthening our life spans, our ease at circumnavigating the globe, we have pioneered the earth to find that it has its limits. Our suburbs and farms have taken away earths natural habitats. The wild is becoming increasingly difficult to find. And the wild we find, we cage into preserves. We can not continue on this course.

“Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet …” Agent Smith from The Matrix

We now have a responsibility to give back what we have taken. We need to create a habitat for ourselves. Abandon our suburbs. Contain our sprawl. Concentrate our lives and allow the earth to heal itself. Our cities shall be our habitat, our preserve, as in Chicago above. Our cities will use completely solar, wind, geothermal and other new sources of energy that do not make our atmosphere sick.

Similar in diagram to our own neural cells, our cities will house mega-populations in superstructures interconnected by a vast network of underground tunnels. Through which resources such as food will be transported, information and energy shared. Our concentrated way of living will relieve the earth of its burden to grow our food by constructing our own farms within the mega-structures of our cities. Farm land will be given back. Resources will be more conveniently shared by our proximity to each other. Our cities will be located throughout the world, like outposts, beanstalks to the sky, living among the wild life. We will allow the earth to self-sustain as we sustain ourselves in our cities.

We will use our earth-shaping abilities to save it, saving ourselves. We will be blessed to witness the resurrection of the earth’s natural habitats. By bounding ourselves, nature will grow beyond the fences we have constructed to allow lost ecosystems to replenish and redevelop. The entire earth will be a wildlife preserve. It is our honor to be stewards of how the earth develops. Let us step up the challenge.

When Architecture = Art

These models were being exhibited at MoMA in New York City in December 2008. I like the way they blur the boundaries between architecture and art.