Here’s an extraordinary TED Talk by Ron Eglash on the use of fractals in African city-planning:


Around 4:17, Eglash describes a village in which oval houses are organized into an oval ring. There’s an oval shrine in the center of each house.

In the center of the large ring, there’s another smaller ring of oval houses where the chief’s family lives. And in the center of that, there’s a miniature “spirit village” where the ancestors live. The spirit village also has a miniature of itself in its center.

In the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, there is the Panorama Of the City Of New York, a detailed model of New York City and all the boroughs, with every building represented in miniature.

It was built in the 1960’s, and there haven’t been too many updates since then. However, they have updated Flushing Meadows Corona Park, presumably so people can say “we are here” and point to it. There’s even a mini-Queens Museum. It’s the rectangular building to the right of the Unisphere globe.

I like to think there’s a mini-panorama within that. If you were the model-maker, wouldn’t you build one?

2 thoughts on “City Within A City

  1. I’m pretty sure that my exact words to Jen while we were looking at the panorama were “and then there’s a mini us inside the mini queens museum looking at a mini-mini panorama with a mini-mini queens museum…”

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