The Urban Wild  —  Speculative Design

Student Work, October 2017

The Urban Wild is a collaborative design research project speculating the design of the future city of Badgerys Creek. It was inspired by the following quote from Jess Miller — Deputy Mayor of the City of Sydney — in her imagination of Sydney in 2037. As Badgerys Creek City is currently nonexistent, this project speculated how we could explore its potential to be an urban forest, fulfilling Jess Miller’s utopian vision.

While many plant species haven't adapted to the new climate conditions, the large fig trees lining the streets were protected and those planted 20 years ago are flourishing. Our urban forest helps to purify the air, cool the city and provides respite for the community. The view from above the city is very different. We've recognised the value of all of our spaces and rooftops are covered with gardens, play spaces, or solar panels. New species of birds have returned to the high-density urban environment.

Jess Miller, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sydney 2017

The Urban Wild is a proposed Romantic Utopia that provides a solution to the modern-day issues of sociability, accessibility and environmental sustainability. A fulfillment of Jess Miller’s utopian vision, it focuses on technological progress but also reflects on simpler pastimes where technology was absent, nature was a larger part of the everyday and community accord was better felt. Romantic ideals are at the core of our proposal. The design respects the sublimity of nature as an omnipresent and omnipotent force and acknowledges the potential for its presence to encourage imaginative thought, individual reflection, development and accomplishment.

Collages of the speculative design solutions are supported by short informative paragraphs. Speculative design solutions explored in The Urban Wild include hydroponics, vertical farming, a marketplace, rooftop gardens, a play space which harnesses nature, a communal court-yard, a coexistence with animals, urban forestry, grasscrete and public transport.

This project was conceptualised, designed and produced alongside Nadia Al-Munir, Isabella Brown and Kathleen Vanthavong. The collages in the spreads above were my main contribution to the design stage of the project.

To see how I developed this project beyond this research, click here to see Here in The Urban Wild.

© Emily Kraljevic 2021