Sunday, January 20, 2008

Visions of the Future (or just sexy versions of the recent past?)

The top four images are some well-known utopian/dystopian visions for how technology and the physical realm might co-exist in the future. These projects were a response to the political, ecological and social conditions of their time. Superstudio (continuous, pervasive, ubiquitous, free, minimal, open, meditative, formless, networked and infinite), Archigram (machinic, plugged-in, gadget-driven, superstructure enabled, socialist high-tech, episodic, pop), Dr. Strangelove's techno-bunker (bunkered, exclusive, clandestine, inbred, disconnected, paranoid, virtual), Buckminster Fuller's project for New York (isolated, protected, exclusive, hub, static, conditioned, inter-dependent, disconnected).

The bottom four images were also discussed in the seminar last night. They are examples of contemporary projects that suggest an entirely new set of ideas that might guide the future of our cities and landscapes. Descriptive words that were used to describe these projects were: Soft, Intelligent, Indeterminate, Networked, Interactive, Emergent, Atmospheric, Responsive, Bio-mimetic, Real-time, Information-driven, Sustainable, Smart, Metabolic ... How will these various ideas organize themselves to define our future physical environments? What are the politics underlying their potential manifestation both physically, ecologically and socially? (credits: watanabe japan, obuchi uk, decoi usa, eth zurich)