Dezeen Magazine

Justinian Khoo envisions networks of floating cities "to provide freedom for nature on land"

The second finalist in Dezeen's Redesign the World competition powered by Twinmotion is Justinian Khoo, who has proposed moving humanity into sustainable floating cities so that nature can reclaim the land.

Called The Whales, the clusters of cities, which Khoo designed to resemble pods of the large marine mammals, would be powered entirely by renewable energy harnessed from the sea, sun and wind.

Fish farming would provide protein-rich food for the inhabitants of the cities, with the waste used to fertilise crops on floating farms.

Vegetation would also be used as a natural filtration system for waste water, while food waste would be composted to minimise landfill.

By moving humanity into the floating cities, Khoo imagines being able to allow nature to rewild the planet's landmasses in order to restore natural ecosystems and reverse climate change.

Read more about the proposal below.

The Whales floating cities by Justinian Khoo

The Whales
Justinian Khoo
Melbourne, Australia

"My proposal is to build a floating city that resembles a whale family, inspired by the ocean's largest gentle giant that travels together as groups.

"An environmentally sustainable floating city where beauty, sustainability and quality work together, saving our planet from climate change and freeing up space on land.

"The floating city is designed for human survival and will provide care for the ocean. At the same time, it provides freedom for nature on the land to restore the environment with animals and insects roaming freely and living their life with important roles in the ecosystem.

"The floating city runs on marine energy, where energy can be harnessed from the oceans, together with generating power from the sun with a photovoltaic system and wind turbines in the ocean to store power in the utility-scale energy storage for each floating building.

"The floating city has a sustainable floating farming system for farming fruit trees and vegetables, as well as a system for farming fish that requires no additional feeding as they tend to draw their nutrients directly from the ocean currents.

"The nitrates and nitrites from the fish manure get broken down by bacteria to make the food for the plants. The plants in return, use their roots to filter out all solid waste from the fish waste to generate clean water.

"Vermicomposting can be used for processing waste food from the city, feeding it into a wormery to produce fertilizer for growing crops continuously, to prevent food from going into the landfill and converting it into something useful instead.

"The flourishing of ecosystems requires us to work together with nature, animals and insects, environmentalists, designers and scientists, just like the whales that protect each other and nurture their young together."

Redesign the World logo

Redesign the World

Redesign the World is the ultimate design competition, which called for new ideas to rethink planet Earth to ensure that it remains habitable long into the future.

Launched in partnership with Epic Games, the contest asked entrants to visualise their concepts using architectural visualisation software Twinmotion.

The contest received over 100 entries from more than 30 different countries around the world.

These were assessed by a judging panel comprising White Arkitekter CEO Alexandra Hagen, structural engineer Hanif Kara, speculative architect Liam YoungTwinmotion product marketing manager Belinda Ercan and Dezeen founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, which selected 15 proposals as finalists to be published on Dezeen.

We are unveiling one finalist a day throughout our Dezeen 15 festival, culminating in the winner being announced on 19 November.

The winner will receive the top prize of £5,000. There are also prizes of £2,500 for second place, £1,000 for third place and £500 each for the remaining finalists.

Find out more about Redesign the World ›
See all the finalists revealed so far ›