An architect dreamed up these hulking biostructures that humans exploit for energy.

If you wanted to enjoy the paradoxical lifestyle of always moving in a permanent residence, you could buy a houseboat. Or, if you live in fantasyland, you could hitch a ride aboard one of the hulking, sentient “City Walkers” envisioned by Terrence Hector.

The Chicago architect conceived of these nutso things by “working through a tradition of humanizing massive, aggressive machines,” according to his brief at Fairy Tales 2017, a visionary-architecture competition staged by Blank Space, the American Institute of Architecture Students, and the National Building Museum. (“City Walkers,” whose alternate title is “The Possibility of a Forgotten Domestication and Biological Industry,” won second place behind a civilization built on floating “Saturn” rings.) Among Hector’s inspirations were the USS Monitor—the ironclad, steampunk-looking Civil War battleship—and Hayao Miyazaki, who dreamed up his own lurching settlement in 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle.