Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys (21 July 1920 – 1 August 2005), better known as Constant, was a Dutch painter, sculptor, graphic artist, author, musician and architect,
Constant’s New Babylon envisions a „world wide city for the future” where land is owned collectively, work is fully automated and the need to work replaced with a nomadic life of creative play. New Babylon is inhabited by homo ludens, who, freed from labor, will not have to make art, for he can be creative in the daily practice of his life.
In Constant’s own words: The project of New Babylon only intends to give the minimum conditions for a behavior that must remain as free as possible. Any restriction of the freedom of movement, any limitation with regard to the creation of mood and atmosphere, has to be avoided. Everything has to remain possible, all is to happen, the environment has to be created by the activity of life, and not inversely.
The New Babylon project consists of a series of models, constructions, maquettes, collages, drawings, graphics and texts expressing Constant’s theories of urban development and social interaction. A few examples of spatial constructions for which he uses modern materials like stainless steel, aluminum and perspex are Het Ruimtecircus (1956) (Spatial Circus) and Het Zonneschip (1956) (Sunvessel).