The Berlin-based design studio referenced in this statement is clearly known for its imaginative and dreamy creations. Their works include beautifully designed caravans that are designed to provide a sense of escape and adventure, colossal floating bouncy castles that seem to defy convention, and cloud-like staircases that look like something straight out of a fairytale. All of their designs are characterized by their whimsical and playful nature, inviting viewers to lose themselves in the worlds they create. Indeed, this design studio’s work seems to transport us to another place entirely, a place of endless possibility and freedom. Whether in their caravans, bouncy castles, or staircases, the studio’s creations are sure to inspire a sense of wonder and leave us dreaming for more.
Ulises, the Berlin-based design studio, is known for its imaginative and innovative approach to design. They use the artificial intelligence platform Midjourney to envision a future that is both beautiful and sustainable. Through their work, they create fantastical worlds that incorporate elements of surrealism, sustainability, and functionality. For example, they have designed workstations aboard bicycles bedecked with gardens, allowing for a mobile and eco-friendly office space. They have also crafted dreamy multi-level caravans that resemble small apartment buildings on wheels, offering a sustainable and whimsical living space that can be taken anywhere.
By using the Midjourney platform, Ulises is able to explore and experiment with new concepts and ideas in a way that is both efficient and innovative. Their work is characterized by their commitment to sustainability and functionality, blending the surreal with the practical. Through their designs, Ulises offers a glimpse into a future where sustainability and beauty are not mutually exclusive. Whether through their mobile workstations or multi-level caravans, their designs inspire a sense of wonder and imagination, inviting us to imagine a world that is both whimsical and practical.
Ricardo Orts is the founder and architect behind Ulises’ latest series, Kinetic Kingdoms. This series presents futuristic structures that enable communal living. Unlike traditional living arrangements that require residents to remain rooted in one location, the structures presented in Kinetic Kingdoms are designed to be illusory and kinetic.
Orts’ designs challenge traditional notions of housing and community, offering a new perspective on shared living spaces. Through Kinetic Kingdoms, he aims to create a sense of community that is not constrained by physical location or fixed structures. In doing so, he encourages a new vision of communal living that is adaptable, dynamic, and innovative. Perhaps most excitingly, his structures present a vision for the future that is not only practical but also aesthetically inspiring. They invite us to reimagine not only how we live but also how we view our built environments and communal spaces.
In summary, Ricardo Orts’ Kinetic Kingdoms series presents a vision for communal living that is not constrained by location or stagnation. His designs challenge traditional notions of housing and community, offering a dynamic and inspiring outlook for the future.
In addition to its innovative and inspiring nature, Ricardo Orts’ Kinetic Kingdoms was also inspired by personal experiences from his childhood. According to Orts, his childhood was marked by a love of culture and travel. Every summer, his family would embark on a journey throughout Europe in their old caravan, an experience that left a lasting impression on Orts.
Through Kinetic Kingdoms, Orts draws on these memories to create designs that reflect his own personal experiences. His structures are designed to be kinetic, illusory, and adaptable, much like the caravan that served as his childhood home. At the same time, however, his designs are also forward-thinking, presenting a vision for the future of communal living spaces.
Orts’ personal history and memories have had a profound impact on his work, inspiring him to create designs that not only challenge traditional notions of housing and community but also reflect his own experiences of cultural appreciation and travel. Ultimately, through his work on Kinetic Kingdoms, Orts offers a new outlook on what it means to live in a changing, dynamic, and global world.
While some years Ricardo Orts might have preferred to spend the summer with friends rather than with his family in their old caravan, the journeys he took with his family eventually became a beloved and formative part of his life. According to Orts, the caravan that they traveled in every summer became a kind of second home for him, and he eventually came to appreciate the freedom and flexibility that it offered.
As he grew older, Orts continued to use the same old caravan to explore new places and experiences. He took it to music festivals, and used it for weekend trips to the beach and elsewhere. In doing so, he came to understand the importance of having living spaces that were not only functional and practical but also flexible and adaptable to different situations and needs.
These experiences played a significant role in inspiring Orts to create designs that challenge traditional notions of housing and community, and that reflect the changing needs and desires of modern society. His work on Kinetic Kingdoms, in particular, reflects a desire to create living spaces that are both dynamic and sustainable, and that encourage new forms of communal living.
Ricardo Orts’ childhood experiences of travel and exploration have informed his approach to design, inspiring him to create living spaces that are less materialistic and more experiential. His work on Kinetic Kingdoms and other Ulises projects reflect a desire to craft living spaces that are flexible, sustainable, and adaptable to changing needs and circumstances.
At the heart of Ulises’ designs is a sense of urgency and seriousness. The planet is facing numerous environmental challenges, including rising sea levels and widespread wildfires and floods. Many cities and island nations are at risk of being submerged or destroyed altogether. In response to these challenges, Ulises’ designs offer a new approach to communal living that is not only beautiful and inspiring but also practical and necessary.
The stacked caravans and other structures presented by Ulises may seem whimsical and fantastical at first glance, but they are also a response to a very real and pressing problem. By creating structures that can be moved and adapted as needed, Ulises offers a solution to the issue of rising sea levels and other environmental crises. Their approach to design is not only innovative but also necessary, reflecting a commitment to sustainability and a desire to create a better future for all.
Ricardo Orts’ professional and personal lives are full of interesting contradictions. While he is skilled at creating virtual structures, he is passionate about spending time in the real world and exploring new places and experiences. Similarly, Orts describes himself as an itinerant creative, yet his work commitments often keep him in the studio.
Despite these contradictions, however, Orts has found a way to create innovative and inspiring designs that are both practical and forward-thinking. His commitment to sustainability and adaptability is reflected in the structures he creates, which are designed to be flexible and dynamic. By combining his passion for travel and exploration with his expertise in design, Orts has created a unique approach to communal living that is both beautiful and functional.
Ultimately, Orts’ work reflects a deep commitment to creating a better future for all, one that is characterized by sustainability, flexibility, and innovation. Whether working in the studio or out in the world, he is dedicated to finding new solutions to the challenges facing modern society. Through his work on projects like Kinetic Kingdoms, Orts has demonstrated that it is possible to combine creativity with practicality, and to create living spaces that reflect our changing needs and desires.
For Ricardo Orts, designing imagery is only part of his life, and he finds much more joy in activities outside of the computer. As much as he enjoys creating virtual structures, he is equally passionate about spending time in nature, riding his bike, swimming in the lake, or simply sitting by a canal. These experiences inspire Orts and provide a balance to his work, reminding him of why he creates and what he hopes to achieve.
Despite his success as a designer, Orts remains grounded in his values and committed to living a meaningful life. He recognizes the power of technology and its potential to transform our world, but he also understands the importance of simply living in the moment and savoring the beauty of the world around us. By embodying this balance in his work and his life, Orts offers a new perspective on what it means to be a creative professional in the modern world.
In addition to their work on mobile homes, Ulises also designs contemporary homes that draw inspiration from the aesthetic priorities of fifteen different nations. These imagined interiors, which are based on specific data and insights about each country’s housing idiosyncrasies, reflect Ulises’ commitment to creating living spaces that are both beautiful and functional.
The homes designed by Ulises take inspiration from a wide range of countries, including Chile, India, Japan, and the Netherlands. Each design is unique and reflects the cultural and aesthetic values of the country in question. For example, the Chilean home draws on the country’s love of wood and natural materials, while the Indian home incorporates bold colors and intricate patterns into its design.
Despite the diversity of these designs, they all share a commitment to sustainability, flexibility, and adaptability. They are designed to be efficient in their use of resources and to reflect the changing needs and desires of modern living. By drawing on the cultural and aesthetic values of different nations, Ulises offers a unique perspective on what it means to create a home and community that is both beautiful and functional.
Ulises’ Floating Fantasies series is another example of their imaginative and playful approach to design. These large-scale, inflatable installations on the River Seine in Paris are both colorful and majestic, resembling sophisticated bouncy castles. While some might dismiss them as mere fanciful speculation, Orts sees them as a way to inspire city officials and the public to think creatively about the potential of public spaces.
Orts’ optimism and faith in the power of design to transform our world is evident in his work on the Floating Fantasies series. He believes that if we can imagine something, we can make it a reality. Even seemingly impossible ideas, like installing a bouncy castle on the Seine, can become a reality with the right vision and commitment.
The imagery of communities of men, women, and children frolicking on the Seine reflects Orts’ belief in the importance of community and joy in our built environment. These images are both playful and inspiring, reminding us that our public spaces can be places of celebration, imagination, and connection. By combining passion with purpose, Orts and Ulises offer a refreshing and inspiring new approach to design that challenges us to imagine a more beautiful, sustainable, and joyful future.
Ricardo Orts’ professional journey began with a degree in industrial engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, followed by a degree in architecture that added an additional six years of study to his academic journey. After completing his education, Orts worked in various roles across Europe, including in Gdańsk in Poland, where he specialized in 3D rendering, and in Oslo and Paris.
In Antwerp, Orts worked for three years in an architect’s office as a product architect, further honing his skills in design and construction. However, it was in Berlin that Orts found a home, both literally and figuratively. After a professional crisis and a breakup, he made the decision to drop roots in a place that felt safe and inviting, both professionally and personally.
Orts’ journey highlights the importance of exploring different opportunities and experiences as a means of discovering one’s passion and purpose. Despite the challenges and setbacks along the way, Orts remained committed to his vision and his desire to create something new and meaningful. Through his work with Ulises, Orts continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in design, offering a fresh perspective on what it means to create living spaces and communities that are both beautiful and sustainable.
Ricardo Orts’ identity as a queer person has had a profound impact on his life and work, as well as his decision to make Berlin his permanent home. For Orts, the freedom and non-hegemonic realities of the city have been a source of inspiration and liberation. He is grateful for the queer rights that exist in Berlin and the opportunity to choose where he wants to live.
Orts also has a deep appreciation for Berlin’s clubbing culture, which offers a unique space for self-expression and community building. This culture has influenced his work and his approach to design, which values playfulness, imagination, and freedom of expression.
Recently, Orts has been exploring new design tools and AI to create imaginary worlds, which he has shared on social media. This experimentation has been revelatory for Orts, opening up new possibilities for his work and pushing him to think more creatively about the potential of design. By embracing new technologies and exploring new ways of creating, Orts continues to inspire others and push the boundaries of what is possible in design.
For Orts, the experience of using new design tools and A.I. has been transformative, bringing together his experience in architecture and design with visual imagery in a new and exciting way. As a freelancer specializing in rendering, Orts had already honed his skills in visual representation, but the new tools offered a level of creativity and personal expression that he had not experienced before.
Exploring his own personal universe through design has been a deeply rewarding experience for Orts, who has always been passionate about expressing his ideas through writing, photography, and design. By embracing new technologies and pushing the boundaries of what is possible, Orts is able to bring his imagination and his vision to life in new and exciting ways.
Through his work with Ulises and his personal exploration of design and technology, Orts continues to inspire others and advance the field of architecture and design. He is a testament to the power of innovation, imagination, and creativity in shaping our communities and our world.
For Ricardo Orts, expressing his ideas through artistic endeavors, including writing, photography, and design, came naturally. When he began experimenting with new design tools and A.I., he saw it as a new extension of his creative expression. He began posting his work under the social handle Ulises, which is the Spanish form of Ulysses, or the Latin form of the name Odysseus.
Initially, Orts did not expect his work as Ulises to gain much traction or serious interest, but to his surprise, it quickly grew in popularity. His ability to merge design, technology, and creativity in unique and inspiring ways captured the attention of many, leading to collaborations and a growing fan base.
Through his work as Ulises, Orts has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible in design, inspiring others with his creativity, passion, and imagination. While he may have started out as a hobby, his work has become an important part of his professional identity and a testament to the power of personal expression and innovation in shaping our world.
The Odyssey, one of the most ancient pieces of literature, tells the story of Odysseus, a warrior from Ithaca who embarks on a long, treacherous journey back home after the Trojan War. Along the way, he encounters divine, mythical, and natural forces, each of which presents its own challenges and tests of his character and endurance.
Despite the many obstacles he faces, Odysseus persists, driven by his determination to return home and reunite with his family. Through his journey, he experiences the unexpected magic that can arise in the ordinary act of waking up and setting out every day. The story of the Odyssey is one of survival, endurance, and the power of resilience in the face of adversity.
The parallels to Ricardo Orts’ work as Ulises are clear. Like Odysseus, Orts has embarked on a challenging journey, navigating the often unpredictable landscape of design and technology. Yet, through his persistence, determination, and creativity, he has been able to overcome obstacles and create something extraordinary. His work as Ulises, like the Odyssey, is a testament to the power of resilience, ingenuity, and imagination in achieving great things.
The use of A.I. in design has allowed for the creation of new myths, sacred creatures, and interactive dreams that were once only possible in Greek mythology. For Ricardo Orts, the potential of A.I. to create new realities is both exciting and humbling. While he has become highly skilled in using these new tools, he remains modest about his accomplishments and is quick to credit the democratizing nature of technology.
Orts believes that the use of A.I. has the potential to make design more accessible and open to people from all backgrounds. By utilizing these powerful tools, it becomes possible to create with greater efficiency and to produce designs that would have been impossible just a few years ago. However, he acknowledges that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to master the use of A.I. in design.
Through his work as Ulises, Orts has shown that A.I. can be a powerful tool for personal expression, creativity, and exploration. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible in design and technology, he continues to inspire others and to transform the field of architecture and design.
From the very beginning, Ulises was a studio that had cross-media appeal. Ricardo Orts and his team worked on a variety of commercial projects with brands and media outlets like ArchDaily, showcasing their unique approach to design and technology. As their work gained traction, Orts recognized the need for a partner who could help him expand the scope of Ulises’ projects even further.
In January, he brought on Anka, a partner based in Zurich, to help manage the growing volume of offers and opportunities that were coming their way. Although the two of them work remotely for now, they have ambitious plans to translate their digital designs into real-world structures.
Through Ulises, Orts and Anka are determined to push the boundaries of what is possible in design, to create work that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant, and to demonstrate the power of technology as a tool for personal expression and innovation. With their combined expertise and creativity, they are poised to transform the field of architecture and design in exciting new ways.
The growing popularity of Ulises, along with the requests for commercial projects from brands and media outlets, has left Ricardo Orts with little time for leisure activities like music festivals, beach trips, and bike rides. While he feels fortunate to have the opportunity to be selective about the projects he takes on, he still finds himself working more than he had planned.
During our interview, it was clear that Orts was acutely aware of the rapidly evolving landscape of A.I. and the potential benefits and dangers it poses to society. The Hollywood writer’s strike and the departure of Geoffrey Hinton from Google both highlight the concerns about the impact of technology on our lives and the need for responsible development and implementation of A.I. tools and techniques.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties that come with working at the forefront of design and technology, Orts remains committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and to creating work that is both beautiful and meaningful. With Ulises, he is helping to redefine the field of architecture and design, demonstrating the power of technology to create new forms of expression and inspiration.
Ricardo Orts acknowledges the potential impact of A.I. on various aspects of society, including the democratization of image manipulation and the possible effects on employment. He believes that democratic governments should focus on crafting legislation to oversee its use and ensure that it serves the common good.
Despite his passion for technology, Orts remains humble about his expertise in A.I., acknowledging that he’s first and foremost an architect who is using these tools to expand his creativity and produce innovative designs. He believes that it’s up to leaders in the field to use their knowledge to create ethical guidelines for the use of A.I. in architecture and design, and to make sure that technology is used to enhance, rather than replace, human creativity and innovation.
As both a practitioner and promoter of the use of A.I. in design, Orts is well aware of the potential benefits and pitfalls of these new tools. Through his work with Ulises, he is demonstrating how A.I. can be harnessed to create meaningful, beautiful designs that push the boundaries of what is possible.