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arcity 2050

An architectural fantasy

Published onOct 28, 2019
arcity 2050

Science fiction inspirations:

  • Inception

  • The Prestige

  • Superstudio

  • Archigram

arcity 2050 an architectural fantasy

Earth has experienced a radical change. Devices, technologies, and strategies have been developed in the past 30 years to solve all global problems: overpopulation, climate change, pollution, poverty… and something shifted in the minds of humans. Living now in a world that is prosperous, with a post-scarcity economy and decentralized services, humans now have no material needs. No one is consumed by jealousy, status, desires, money, titles or possessions, and people have learned that greed kills.

The world has come to surpass these things, and the only currency left is creative expression.

This currency is not used as a tool to impose power, or one to induce envy. Competition is a forgotten term and creativity becomes intrinsic in the way we live, talk, behave, walk and express ourselves. It is a currency that exponentially increases as it thrives on collaboration and communication. Everyone is concerned with unleashing, developing and augmenting their creativity while learning from others. Humans collaborate with less inhibitions, their minds connect to explore unexploited territories of creativity. This is what consumes the world. Music, art, comedy, poetry, film, dance, fashion, architecture, cuisine, perfume, synthetic poetry, nanocuisine, chemical fashion, psychoperfume, healing sonic art and much more… But let’s focus on architecture.

Over the past 30 years, maximizing efficiency in construction led to the development of rapid self-assembly materials and robotics. Expertise in AI and material science allowed the world-wide deployment of some of the most sophisticated building techniques – these are not only used by architects and developers but by city dwellers of all kind. They are the new building companions, available to execute all human request. The robots and AI assistants understand you and follow you to allow for the most streamlined creative process.

Cities are in constant regeneration from the old center, to the outskirts. People reimagine their spaces and reconfigure their surroundings to their needs and wants. New forms of art emerge in architecture, typologies that could only exists with this facility of construction, ranging from isolated self-expression, to collaboration, and remote experimentation. But somehow… with all this prosperity and creativity occupying city dwellers, some problems do occur, and they are human induced ones… Some refuse to follow the creative movement because they still fear for their privacy that others have given up on for the sake of creative assistants. They move away from the center and form a slow and silent rebellion. What about those who are creating, what do they create? Will this state of post-scarcity last forever? What will cause its downfall?

1. Future of Government: the government is decentralized with everything made free. People devote themselves to things they love

2. Future of Economy and Labor:

a. Automation: AI and advanced robots has replaced all jobs to increase efficiency. Menial tasks have been eliminated and people are now able to enjoy what they love doing.

b. Open-source: The world transitions from concepts of ownership to strategic access, with goals to reduce the pressure of production and to increase access to all.

c. Real-estate ownership: All property including real-estate is commonly owned. When people decide to build a structure on a land, it is temporarily theirs until they decide to share it to the collective commons properties.

3. Future of Information: All information is open-source and decentralized. There is much less privacy in this world, which is one of the reasons why a few outliers decide to leave to the outskirts.

4. Future of Transportation

a. Self-Driving flying/ground travel cars: autonomous fleets are ubiquitous and allow for an expansion of the city exponentially outwards

b. Vertical autonomous fleets: to accommodate for vertical travel in underground areas of the city (see deepcity), vertical fleets are implemented.

c. Flying active transportation: coupled with vertical transportation, flying cars allow for easy access to floors of all height.

5. Future of Construction

a. robotAI: archAI commands automated robots to build the user’s requests. They come in a range of shapes and sizes and are of a huge number. They provide the means for everyone in the city to build whatever in a fast-paced manner.

b. Self-assembly – MIT Self-Assembly Lab: from small to big scale, materials are designed to self-assemble. robotAIs are there to assemble what needs structural support and special features.

c. Soft skin: soft breathable and connected skin becomes a common building material. Some people go for this kind of material in large scale performance venues, where the performer shares all his senses including his breathing with his audience.

d. Radical atoms: Materials carry all types of properties, from chemical, biological, and physical property.

6. Future of Humans:

a. Longer lifespan: in a post-scarcity world, humans have less concerns in mind, and human biology has improved. Dopamine, an important chemical in the creative process becomes a soft remedy to potential illness. Through creative expression, consumed or shared, the common illnesses can be cured.

b. Identities and expression: with uninhibited creative expression, judgments and greed surpassed, comes new identities and new ways of self expression.

c. Gesture recognition: people become the designers of their space. Gesture recognition is enhanced and embodied in the human skin. This allows for minute refinement of space everywhere and for any task.

d. Sensory augmentation: with radical atoms becoming building materials, human senses become augmented to design with all senses.

7. Future of Collaboration:

a. Platforms for H-H collaboration made easier: archAI and others are invented to mediate conversation between people. Thoughts and ideas exchanged are enhanced and communicated through this artificial intelligence moderator.

b. Public spaces to cultivate creativity: some public spaces in the city become zone of collaboration, where people experiment and gather to discuss ideas about their upcoming project.

8. Future of Home:

a. archAI: a creative assistant, archAI aims to extend its owner’s thinking abilities. Not only does it filter and process your conscious desires, but it also understand your subconscious thoughts, and allows an uninhibited expression of them to create your space. Imagine feeling that a space reminded you of your grandmother’s cooking, or that a blue tint looks eerily similar to the uniform you used to wear as a child. These unconscious emotions are captured by archAI and allows you to translate your desires more effectively when designing your next space.

b. Image based social networks as design tools: social media platforms like Instagram, pinterest and the likes become tools for you to instantly redesign your space. Remember when you saved that Instagram picture of a carpet pattern and never looked back at it to get it? Your social media platforms are linked directly to the fabrics of you home. With color changing patterns these will always change depending on your daily moods, and Instagram feed.

c. MultiLiving, retrofitting and adaptability: humans create and relocate to their liking. Some do it on a daily basis while others move around less frequently and focus on changing the space that they live in. For those that stay in their apartment buildings, some decide to have their spaces adapt to their daily needs by increasing the footprint, and volume depending on occupancy in adjacent apartments. Some decide to even do that to host weekly changing event: 5 day museum experience with everyday a different space.

9. Future of Entertainment

a. Sensory experiences: shows of all kind become augmented through these instant programmable materials. Sharing a story with the most minute details becomes possible through real life experiences, from the touch of objects to the smell of a dish, everything can be shared.

10. Future of city

a. Programmable urban fabric: archAI your daily companion, that knows your mood and desires, informs your daily route, and suggests changes in the appearances, smell, quality of the materials that you encounter everyday. Some are adapted within your augmented reality lens, and others are changed in the physical environment. Elements of the urban environment – a red brick wall that might seem charming at first glance but bulky during others – are filtered to always give you a better daily experience. Not only do these programmable surfaces respond to your mood, but it can also be actuated to your creative desires.

a. Zoning

i. Deep City: with creativity happening everywhere within the built environment, the robots are people’s patient companions, but they also have built in rules. Not only does archAI extract people’s needs and desires, but it also gathers data from the architecture of the city, and social media platforms to rate how much of a landmark each building is. This prevents all robotAIs to build on top of or in close proximity to these landmarks. This causes the city to build deep into the ground underneath tagged landmarks. In these areas, the innovation happens at a personal scale, people prefer introverted expression and are comfortable creating at their own pace and within the privacy of their homes. Over the years this deep city area starts to grow as more and more buildings become rate as important landmarks.

Vertical transportation is prevalent in this zone of the city, and flying cars allow for access at all different levels.

ii. Extravagance: in this part of the city, architectural innovation expresses itself more openly and more radically. People experiment with parametric designs, breathing amphitheater envelopes, responsive architectural shells, walking cities, mobile homes. They also start to develop new methodologies for experimenting with building materials such as water, air and human senses. Some start to build their own islands with underground castles, while others build their fairytale homes with imaginary animals and creatures.

iii. The undefined area: some people refuse to adapt to the new greed-free, prosperous and creative society. They find it hard to constantly create, and refuse to give their privacy away entirely for the sake of the creative process. They move out of the center and stay on the outskirts, with no ambitions and no ideas except those dedicated to plan a silent rebellion.

iv. MetaDistrict: in the MetaDistrict, people experiment with the essence of human existence. Through architectural exploration, they start to blur the line between the Metaphysical and Physical by challenging the laws of physics. They also find ways to embody memories and manifest subconscious activity in space.

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