The Why Factory
“Close your eyes and picture the city of future. Do you see towering skyscrapers and flying cars? Robots? Advanced computers that control the climate, the built environment and human behaviour?
This is the standard mythology of the antiseptic, automated, technocratic, gadget-dominated future that has been imagined for us by science-fiction novels, television shows, comic books and Hollywood movies. It is also the image of the future that has been branded into the popular consciousness.
The long reach of these influential image production industries allows them to go beyond just making images of the future, and into the realm of actively determining the future of our cities. From Jules Vernes’ 1886 vision of man landing on the moon, to George Orwell’s 1949 depiction on city-wide surveillance systems, what begins as fantasy in the imagination of the creator late becomes the present reality of the world.
Shouldn’t architects and urbanists, then, be the creators of these fantasies and realities? The ones who should be imagining how we will live in the future?
Which of you will be brave enough to look forward and take responsibility for determining what will become of our cities?”