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Semi-Dystopian Cityscape Was Inspired by Big Supermarkets

Intricately detailed and packed with architectural touchstones from major cities across the globe, the hand-drawn Happiness Machine measures in at eight feet by five feet, and was originally inspired by multi-level grocery stores, of all things. "I was standing on the mezzanine level of this particular multi story supermarket complex, and stretching out before me on the ground level, was what looked like a sprawling metropolis," explains UK-based artist Mark Lascelles. "Supermarket isles which looked like city blocks, complete with cables and air conditioning units on the tops of fridges. Like looking down on a city from the top of the Empire state building." From there, the largescale piece, which took three years and over 10,000 hours to complete, came to encompass broader themes like "consumerism, socio-economics, globalism, resource shortages, urbanism and architecture," all weaved into what looks like a bustling library morphing into a urban landscape that's curiously devoid of warmth and social interaction. Take a closer look, below.

· Artist Mark Lascelles Thornton On His Completed Masterwork: "The Happiness Machine" [Arch Daily]