Invisible Cities Assignment (B, C)

Due Friday 12/2

This assignment will be submitted in multiple parts:

Part 1: Written component due on Turnitin AND as a hard copy in class

Using our discussions on cityscapes and the Calvino vignettes as influence, describe an “invisible” city. It could be inspired by Boston, another city you know, or a composite of various cities. This description should be of similar length to the “Invisible Cities” examples and should be clearly inspired by the allegorical and metaphorical approaches used by the authors we have studied in class.

Note: Your city does not have to be particularly utopian/dystopian. While Omelas could qualify as a dystopia, Calvino’s inventions seem to exist above this dichotomy. Strive to make this city both alien and familiar.

Stylistic Considerations:

  • Economy, concision
  • Vivid, original, concrete visual details
  • Embellishment for the purpose of allegorical truth
  • Beginning and ending sentences


  • Submit this piece of writing on Turnitin in the usual format: 12 point font, double spaced, Times New Roman.
  • In additional, print it out and bring it to class. Use as large a font as possible so that your text fits on two pages maximum, single spaced.

Part 2: Visual component due only as a hard copy in class

Create an abstract visual to accompany your written piece. Aim for a clean and organized aesthetic. Consider Mondrian for inspiration.

Your visual should not be hyper-realistic, nor should it be so abstract that it loses clarity. Think of this as an assignment in the realm of graphic design. I highly recommend the use of rulers.

The one big restriction: You may not portray people, faces, bodies, etc. Instead, focus on the lines, shapes, textures, colors, moods, etc. of the physical setting. Consider architecture, urban layout, interior design, infrastructure, etc.

Possibilities include: floor plans, diagrams, maps, city grids, traffic/bike/pedestrian routes, skylines, building exteriors/profiles, layouts, etc.

For size, I recommend 8.5×11 or 11×17 paper.

Everything is due Friday, December 2nd.