# LITERATURE /// Urbicande's Megastructure

# LITERATURE /// Urbicande's MegastructureOctober 2, 2012

Literature - By: Léopold Lambert

François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, La fièvre d’Urbicande, Casterman, 1985.

First of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of consistence in the rhythm of the recent publication of articles. Keeping a regular rhythm is difficult and I am hoping to be back to it in the few coming weeks.

Today’s article is about a classic Belgian graphic novel: La fièvre d’Urbicande (Urbicande’s fever. 1985) by François Schuiten and Benoît PeetersUrbicande is the name of the city in which the story occurs. One day a small cube made out of a mysterious material grows and form a three dimensional grid that the city soon calls “The Network.” The latter soon reaches a size which implements many bridges between the two parts of the city that were segregated from each other. Taking advantage of the megastructure it embodies, urbicande’s citizens appropriate the network and build various architectures that diversifies the urban programs (promenades, agriculture, brothels etc.) and the way they register spatially. The megastructure exists as a relatively neutral object, which can be eventually invested by a variety of architectural languages.

As a small anecdote, François Schuiten told me few years ago that B.Peeters and him heard about the invention of the internet few months after the publication of the graphic novel, and they were stunned of such a striking similitude with the narrative they created.

All the following illustrations are extracted from the graphic novel La fièvre d’Urbicande (Casterman, 1985.) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters,

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ed mcintosh

hi Leopold, great post! am looking at their website….a labyrinth in itself ( in a good way)…..nevertheless hoping for the best but expecting the worst….The mega grid, the network….sounds like it gives a certain degree of happiness/hope/entertainment ( as in use of time) to the inhabitants….could it be that it is actually a jail? keeping people busy and full of hope concentrated in this task of admiring, using and enjoying the network?….maybe while these people are distracted with the network….somebody somewhere is stealing from them! ( somebody somewhere above them who sent them the network!!)…….guess it goes back to the discussion of who and for what these structures ( physical, social) are appropiated….for what interest? do discuss and learn or to distract……

I ll try to read the graphic novel….maybe its all in there!

thanks again


Léopold Lambert

Hello Ed,
It’s good to hear from you!
You are onto something with your hypothesis, but I feel that it has nothing to do with a “decoy”, or a fetish. My intuition is that it would be more related to the form of the network itself…

Let’s talk soon!

Joseph Le Perdriel

More information about François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters and their world of the Obscure Cities can be found at Alta-Plana (http://www.altaplana.be) .


Reblogged this on Welcome to Li-E Chen's Online-Studio | Independent Research/Artistic Development and commented:
how does megastructure apply in time-based performance making?

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