top of page
exploded axonometric of amazon echo

Urban Living

fall 2021 | design V | lotfi-jam, w/ thuan la

inside the amazon echo

What is the city of today?
And what is the city of tomorrow?
tech: silicon valley
Tech HQs in Silicon Valley




 Green Roof


Commercial Center

tech headquarters

With urban buzz words centering on sustainability and technology, we first looked at Silicon Valley, home to large tech corporations such as Google, Amazon, Meta, and Apple (GAMA), to understand the current forces shaping cities and our ways of living.

While GAMA products, such as the Amazon Echo, can let users seamlessly access entertainment, customize smart appliances and monitor home security, they also extract large amounts of private data (often without user consensus). Instead of processing data locally, these devices are shells sending and receiving information from centralized data centers. This reveals that “cloud” computing is in reality very physical, and new technology is not so altruistic.

housing and social hierarchy

Silicon Valley Housing Inequality

Silicon Valley, home to GAMA and many other tech companies, is also marked by income inequality and severe lack of affordable housing. While top tier executives can easily earn millions, many non-tech related service providers do not make a livable wage.

eco: ithaca village
Ithaca eco-village section
ithaca eco village housing types
Ithaca Eco-Village

To seek an alternative from the mainstream technology based lifestyles, we researched the Ithaca ecovillage. It is a consensus-based community that focuses on reducing environmental impacts through self-sustaining methods such as local food and electricity production.  The ecovillage is divided into 3 groups, each including housing units, community spaces, lake, and garden. 


population density

This project looks beyond muddy rhetoric of ecology and technology and redesigns Ithaca with the technological visions of Google, Amazon, Meta and Apple, while also staying true to sustainable practices we found at the Ithaca Eco-Village. 

Silicon Valley Zoning projected to Ithaca

Silicon Valley now


Ithaca now


Ithaca 2100

Ithaca Land Use (projected 2100, based on SV)

GAMA Master Plan
Master Plan of GAMA village

Google: web-based, nodal

Rocket Launches

Meta: virtual, individualized

hyperloop connects all sites

Amazon: logistical, grid-based

apple village
Apple Village

Canals run through the 15 minute cities, and are bordered by bike lanes and walkways. Everything is at the human scale, and community ties are strengthened through local town halls and urban hydroponic farming. Data processing is completely local, and underwater data centers greatly reduce the energy and water needed for cooling.

diagram of apple village
Apple Village Zoomed In
15 minute city diagram
Housing Types in Apple Village

Desai Wang

bottom of page