I went with the tall towering dessert structures and used that to finish of the creature and i think it blends well

[UPDATE: Much Much bigger response and feedback than i anticipated, I am hugely greatful and overwhelmed by the ideas and the help, I will keep the thread going and reply with updates and will respond to each of the questions, agan huge thank you, is really helping me get a good grip on what direction im going in with the design]

I'm curious to see if there is any real world examples of a huge spider colony or crab colony on land. If not, I'd like to see if there is any form of examples in popular science fiction films.

What I am looking to do is create a society of species which looks like this:


Does anyone have any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ To clarify, are you talking about the architecture of their buildings, or the planet they live on? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Nov 30 '16 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ do they spin webs? $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Nov 30 '16 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Can they spin webs? Can they still climb walls as easily as a spider can, or are they more like giant half humanoid crabs? I think the architecture and habitat would be very different for crustacean vs arachnid. You should probably split this into 4 question. For Architecture and World for each of the two varients. $\endgroup$ – Tezra Nov 30 '16 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ Not directly related to architecture (but possibly very related indirectly, as function affects form), but if your pseudo-arachnids have an exoskeleton, they'll presumably need to moult every once in a while, and they're likely to be pretty helpless while it happens. How and where do they do it? $\endgroup$ – Ilmari Karonen Nov 30 '16 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ The Arachnid in your picture appears to be a double-amputee. Does this question refer to handi-accessible arachnid architecture, or normal arachnid architecture? $\endgroup$ – HopelessN00b Dec 1 '16 at 1:04

I would like to know how 'humanoid' they are, since it will affect whether they are ok with things like beauty or design or they would keep it based on its natural instinct despite they may have grasp complex logical thought.

Another thing is arachnid and crabs share almost nothing alike about their nest, so it may need two answers.

I will go with arachnid type first,some of their real counterparts had made a structure like this one below.

enter image description here

While another type of bagworm moth had made a hybrid structure with branches that they glued with their natural secrement

enter image description here

So I think,a structure in resemblance like these (below without the need of our normal floors) will be expected even on their early age of civilization.

enter image description here

And for the Crabs, I agree that it would be like Geonosis from starwars from the global view of their cities. Since we can draw from their nest of their real counterpart that have been found.

enter image description here

Its easy to imagine that their structures involved hollowed sands stucture with many 'chimneys' like structure protruding from it.

  • $\begingroup$ Im really liking this idea , especially the crab one $\endgroup$ – 3Davacado Dec 1 '16 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ Went with this idea :D cheers man the model came out well $\endgroup$ – 3Davacado Dec 7 '16 at 13:28

I see two characteristics in your alien's form that at least hint at what sorts of architecture they might develop:

  1. They have exoskeletons, so (except for eyes and sensor stalks), they interact with the material world as rigid objects, with limited degrees of geometric freedom -- resulting (I'm pretty sure) in only hinge-like joints, no ball/sockets; no thumb joint that can move in two independent angles WRT the base. (Those tentacle-looking things around the mouth don't seem very crustacean/arachnid-like to me.)

  2. They have lots of limbs (relative to humans) and thus probably good climbers, as are some crabs, such as the Coconut Crab.


How might these characteristics impact their architecture?

  1. Probably not much need/desire for soft surfaces (carpeting, couches or beds as we know them.)

  2. Possibly very three-dimensional living/working structures; I'm imagining a lattice structure, or something like a kid's jungle gym.

Side thought: of more interest to me would be this question: What sorts of tools would an intelligent crustacean design for use with its claws?

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    $\begingroup$ Yea, I was wondering about the claws too. Some tools would definitely help these buggers. The rendering of this creature shows they just have 1 narrow "finger" and a "thumb" so stable one handed grips might be challenging (think picking up things with chopsticks). This means lifting beams or something would always require both hands, meaning more workers involved to do less complex things. Adding another "finger" might help, but tools... definitely. $\endgroup$ – coblr Nov 30 '16 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ Two or more one-axis hinge-joints set very close together should be be able to adequately substitute for a ball-and-socket. Two with perpendicular axes can get 360-degree motion, more would smooth it. $\endgroup$ – David Heyman Nov 30 '16 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidH, it's hard (anatomically) to put two joints close together, and still have room for the muscles. It's doable (the tendon system operating our fingers and thumbs are miracles!), but also not so easy in an exoskeletal species. Most endoskeletals put the actuating muscles on the proximal (inboard) joint. Switching one to distal/outboard would help, but is a non-trival evolutionary jump (assuming genetics/equivalent even remotely like ours.) I'm speculating here about an exoskeleton, based on endoskel info, so I may be way off here. Truly dexterous space crabs; I can hardly wait! $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Nov 30 '16 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ Hm. Antennae are more flexible, right? How does that work? For some reason I've also got an image of fingers like nested cones, but I feel like that would be topologically a lot of ball-and-sockets anyway. $\endgroup$ – David Heyman Dec 1 '16 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ @David, I don't know the anatomical details of how, but I recall crab eyestalks moving more flexibly. (Might be misremembering, this was long years ago, catching crabs in the bayous.) $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Dec 1 '16 at 12:10

Expanding upon what @John answered, wide doors are a necessity; additionally, because their legs are to the sides of their bodies, they will need wider hallways and such as well.

Until hydraulics are invented (for a slow-closing door), there would probably be few actual hinged doors, as they would be awkward to close behind oneself, and if the doors were not hung perfectly evenly, the door would try to close on their legs. For most dwellings, I would envision heavy or beaded curtains as interior doors, and sliding doors for the exterior (a primitive form would just be wood/stone/etc slabs with an indented "track" for them to slide in).

Regarding general architecture, since this species is likely adept at climbing due to their physiology, their society would likely start building vertically (multiple floors etc) as soon as the stone age, where dwellings might consist simply of holes carved into a cliff face, one on top of the other. This early adoption of vertical structures would allow them to quickly learn how to build load-bearing supports, and you would likely see arches and pillars featuring prominently in the architecture, and these supports would be the place for architects and even societies in general to express and distinguish themselves.

The species might tolerate lower ceilings than we generally do to conserve space and materials, since they require a greater floor space to have human-equivalent activities. A family of four of these creatures (assuming human height and proportionate leg span as per your render) eating dinner together would not be comfortable in what we'd consider a moderate-sized dining room of maybe 11x15 feet.

Space could also be saved on stairwells for multiple levels, as you could just have holes between the levels with rough wall surfaces to assist climbing (consecutive holes would not be vertically aligned though, to reduce the risk of injury in case of a fall). Outdoor "climb walls" would probably be more prevalent than outdoor stairs are for us, as it would provide easy access to the upper floors of a structure from outside. There may still be indoor holes/climb walls so they don't have to go out in the elements to go between floors (as well as for security/etc), but outdoor alternatives might seem more appealing.

As mentioned by @John, floor surfaces should be coarse and/or soft. Depending on the technology level, loose gravel might make an ideal floor surface for a primitive race, and this might evolve to mortared gravel to create a bumpy surface with rough spaces in between, while eliminating the issue of gravel getting pushed around/kicked up/thrown by children or miscreants.

Chairs would not have backs; cheaper or more primitive chairs would simply be pedestals to rest their abdomens on, while more advanced chairs would be curved on the sides, and possibly slightly curved up toward the front to provide support to the upper abdomen and "hip" region (the part that resembles a pelvic bone).

On the topic of furnishings, tables would be smaller relative to the room size than we're used to, because a large table in the middle of the room can easily prove unwieldy to navigate around. For this reason you might see tables situated against the walls more often than in the center of the room.

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    $\begingroup$ Used all this info to help design it, Cheers, really helped $\endgroup$ – 3Davacado Dec 7 '16 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ @3Davacado glad I could help! Thanks for the acknowledgement, it really makes it worth the time and thought I put into the answer :) $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Dec 7 '16 at 17:15

When designing your creatures' architecture, there are two things you've got to consider, regardless of species:

  1. Why do they need this architecture?
  2. What materials do they have available?

Because both of these factors will have a huge impact on design.

Beings living in a tropical jungle don't need worry about winter. Your buildings would need to keep the rain off your head, help you avoid predators (treehouse?), and store things, but keeping warm might not be as important. In a desert, rain isn't a huge concern, while sandstorms and shade are (so maybe an underground burrow is ideal). And so on.

As far as materials go, spider-people would have it easy. As TrEs-2b already pointed out, spider silk is incredibly strong, versatile, and cheap for the spider to obtain. It's reasonable that a spider person could build an entire home out of webbing.

Crabs would have a trickier time. They would likely need to depend on many of the same materials humans would use: Wood, mud, stone, animal hides/bones, etc. Depending on their dexterity, and using just these types of materials, crab homes would probably look similar to shelters a human could build. To be more fantastical, one possibility might be to introduce giant mollusks whose shells could be utilized like hermit crabs do. Or perhaps the exoskeletons crabs shed periodically could serve as a useful material as well.

Note: I'm assuming these crab/spiders are at a primitive/stone age technological level. If they're much more advanced, then the question becomes very broad. If the architecture isn't purely pragmatic, you've got a lot of freedom in how you can get it to look (just look at how much our modern architecture can vary).

  • $\begingroup$ I thought they could use like gooey spit along with fallen bones and there own sheding skins to make homes along with using tall rocky structures $\endgroup$ – 3Davacado Dec 7 '16 at 13:29

Just based on what we can see, wide doors, and it does not look they would be able to use a door handle without the legs getting in the way, so doors might open up or they might use their feet to open and close them. Hard points are not good on a flat hard surface, so they would sliding all over a tile floor. So floors should be soft or pitted.

  • $\begingroup$ very good point that hard "feet" and smooth/hard floors would be a bad combination for these guys. $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Nov 30 '16 at 20:49

Many arachnids spin webs, which relative to size are much, much stronger than steel. If such a creature became smart enough to build homes (which I'm assuming is because they're sapient), then perhaps they would build a structure like the Edible nest Swiftlet, which makes its nest out of its own spit. Surely an igloo like structure or something akin to it, but made of silk, possibly able to survive natural disasters with ease. Even if it's destroyed, one can easily be rebuilt by a group of these arachnids.

As for the decor of these homes, I imagine they would lack windows, as to keep the occupant cool (unless the area is windy, then windows would be common). Spider webs would likely be incorporated, from web hammocks replacing beds, to web bags and nets replacing cabinets. I imagine that their doors would be simple strands of webbing to ''keep out'' animals and that they may even have small webs over their house to catch snacks, like the old fashion TV antennae.

enter image description here

enter image description here


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