Flooded London by Squint/Opera

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Film and media studio Squint/Opera has created a series of images depicting imaginary scenes in London in 2090, when rising sea levels have inundated the city. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

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The Flooded London series depicts the city as a "tranquil utopia". Five images will be on show at Medcalf Gallery in Clerkenwell, London from 20 June for a month, during the London Festival of Architecture. Exhibition details are on the festival website.

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Update: see the full series of images in our new story.

Here's some more info:

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Squint Opera depicts living in ‘Flooded London’ in 2090

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Flooded London exhibition is held at Medcalf Gallery in Clerkenwell presenting a series of images depicting Squint Opera's long-term view of how London’s population has adapted to raised sea levels.

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The general scenario is set 80 or so years into the future, long after the sea levels have risen. The catastrophe side of the sea coming in has long since past and the five images are snapshots of people going about their lives, long since having adapted to the worlds new circumstance.

The scenes shown through light boxes present London as a tranquil utopia with the architecture of the distant rat race suspended below the water. The people in each scene appear to be relaxed and happy in their environment and in the first we see a man who has rowed into St Pauls and is preparing to dive off the ledge of the whispering gallery into the dimly lit ‘swimming pool’.

Another sees the upper reaches of a once famous art gallery where people have collected pre flood artifacts and are rigging them up to get makeshift machinery going to power a light bulb.

We assume that the world is a much less complicated and that there is not much in the way of industrialized manufacture. The original City is shown as the now abandoned Canary Wharf where two women are fishing out of the side of an office and the sail of a boat going down the street.

The installations are optimistic and reveal that far from being a tragedy, the floods have brought about a much-improved way of life to the capital city.

Squint has used photography, 3d modelling and digital manipulation to imitate some of the techniques of the super-idealistic Victorian landscape painters. Details are exaggerated and play with scale to present images that belie their composition.

There will be an evening event held at Medcalf with Squint/opera on 18th July 08 to celebrate the exhibition.

  • cpcp

    did someone say I Am Legend?

  • jeff K

    More fashionable fear mongering….London will build a wall if it has to. Most of Holland is artificially protected from flooding, so why can’t London?

    Global warming is happening….and its f@&cked up, but i’m bored of media outlets cashing in on fears.

  • Dré

    @jeff K, No need to go attacking the media over your small minded foresight, whether or not global warming is happening is irrelevant in this case. London is sinking and will eventually flood.

  • Roy

    Wish I could see more then just three pictures, oddly compelling and bucolic given the urban setting.

    I always like a view of different and unexpected changes to established places. It is inevitable given that sea levels are rising and climate changes are accelerating.

    This isn’t new, think of the present day Roman Forum as a park as opposed to a vibrant center of civilization two thousand years ago.

    It could be worse, like New Orleans with decaying abandoned streetscapes after Katrina.

    On a different note, what is this obsession with flash?

  • edward

    Expect a expanded Hollywood version soon.

  • Marc Anton

    Whatever happens, nature couldn’t care less, if humans want to destroy themselves, let them destroy themselves. Human beings are strange, but as meself seems to be one, whatever, let’s just live.

    Oh and I really like the picture of the fat guy in St Pauls, I’d love to be him in 82 years… Allthough I’d be really old then…

  • http://www.incnic.com.au Nic

    I have to disagree – you are misled, these images look rather optimistic to me.

    I see no evidence of fear mongering beyond a simple reading of the decaying / dark aesthetic.

    I think these are more of a contextualised / romantisized take on a generally humourless and dour visual genre.

  • NMR

    What I hope everyone realizes is that these images must be based on a very famous book, JG Ballard’s “The Drowned World,” which depicts a future world post climatic disaster (namely, a london flooded away). While the images are fascinating, the book is a far superior work of imagination.

  • http://www.jamesshaw.co.nz James

    I don’t find these images pessimistic at all; quite the opposite.

    Look at what these people are doing; fishing, swimming, DIY, playing and tinkering within peaceful contexts. All positive things within buildings that have seen their day within this scenario.

    I don’t think discussing issues and exploring what the future holds is fear-mongering.

  • http://www.jamesshaw.co.nz James

    Lord of the Rings was a superior work of imagination as well; so does that make the film of it sub-standard?

    Similiar ideas in different expressions. Apples and oranges. That doesn’t make one superior to the other. I would argue that these are much more digestable to the public than “The Drowned World”.

  • Seb

    Jeff K, I doubt several island nations share your bored sentiments.

    As for the imagery, very intriguing. I like the Life after the event story, life gives you lemons… make lemonade. (as per the man about to bomb dive off the terrace…)

    Hope to see more at some point, being unable to get to the show personally.

    ~ S.

  • pete

    These images aren’t showing suffering or anything like that, they capture the potential beauty of an unfavourable situation… It seems pretty inevitable that london will be submerged, just look at parts of south greece – completely underwater due to tectonic shifts – these things happen in nature and you can either lament it, or as in these pictures, you can accept it and see it as simply a landscape evolving… London will be an amazing sight when it is covered in water.

  • http://www.squintopera.com Nick

    There are two more images that will hopefully be put up on this site soon. We didn’t get them out in time. If not then come and see them at the Medcalf gallery. We’re having a big party there on the 18th July and you’re invited. Bring your cheque books to buy prints if your so inclined.

  • floyd landis

    So… what’s your point?

  • http://www.dsd-sandraskovic.blogspot.com Sandra

    oh…they should be more optimistic…

  • http://www.jamesshaw.co.nz James

    There’s some text above that will tell you Floyd.

  • http://www.ef-studio.net Fooch

    Oooo .. very pretty …

  • floyd landis

    If you can’t make your point without attaching verbage, then you are doing a horrible job.

  • Phil

    Well it’s no longer Global Warming but Personal Warming because most ppl. would rather have it warm than cold (so they just don’t care or won’t believe it).

    It is sad how a good cause got turned around (Global…). So because of these factors all the activists are fighting a loosing battle. ~

    Good points on nature, Romans and Ballard.

  • http://www.dagarchitects.com Dewhirst

    Where’s Maxwell Parrish when you need him?
    By the way, how will we know when we’ve “beaten global warming?”

  • Cripp

    Refer the new Crysis 3 gameplay for reference