Archive for March 2017


Patchopolis is not a new city. Through introduction of new technology, programs and methods it strives to transform the existing condition, because accepting the existing condition through repeating the same mistakes is equivalent to giving up. In the smallest details this mindset can be observed in northern United States cities, where many aspects continue to be designed for summer months, becoming inadequate in less than ideal weather.

There is a common understanding over at least half the country that municipalities will annually deal with cold and snowy for a portion of the year, however design of new developments ignores this fact. During winter pedestrian paths change as sections of public stairs are chained off to prevent maintenance from having to salt and the owner from being liable for accidents. Besides these stairs how many winter mornings are open sidewalks and stairs treacherous due to icy conditions but people arrive before surfaces have been treated? This is one example of a problem that is continually repeated. There will always be unforeseen issues, but this is a problem that seems to be accepted through systematic disregard for searching for a solution. In Patchopolis existing issues are identified and new tests are conducted to find better solutions.

During WWII Allied forces were sustaining heavy losses to German submarines. Geoffrey Pyke, a British civilian, developed a plan to build gigantic aircraft carriers out of ice (99% Invisible, Project Habbakuk: Britain’s Secret Ice “Bergship” Aircraft Carrier Project). Mixing wood pulp into the ice (later called Pykrete) would slow the melting rate and allow the structure to withstand explosions. While this seems like a crazy idea, the benefits we enough that a ship started to be assembled and tested in Canada. It was never completed due to a number of circumstance including improved plane technology and a change in the direction of the war, but the takeaway is the attempt at something new and out of the ordinary. When faced with a problem, acceptance shouldn’t be the default.

Rather than repeatedly making the same mistakes in our cities, Patchopolis celebrates the testing and implementation of new solutions. Entire cities cannot be torn down to start over and they don’t need to be. Many things work. Where there are issues, be they physical like the chaining off of stairs in winter, public health, or socioeconomic issues, the creation of test solutions allows testing at a manageable scale. Where they work, implement them where it makes sense. Those that do not, learn from those results and try something else. Patchopolis does not believe in accepting mediocrity, it strives for a better solution.