in United Arab Emirates
and an article about why it’s not working… a dream meeting reality.
Happy Hurricane Day, everyone!
Chapter III from Ecology Emerging illustrates a number of speculative futuristic scenarios that examine ways in which humanity might interact with a variety of world environments. The scenarios include both purely aesthetic proposals as well as cases that are intended to serve specific functions in the changing and evermore important relationship between humanity and world ecosystems we live within. Some of the cases pay close attention to the engineering and the ecological sub-systems at play, while others suggest captivating scenarios that would likely never happen, but still raise interesting questions about our changing world, and how the human presence is affecting it.
Some of the proposals, such as The Transcendent City, suggest alternative futures where human consciousness is no longer responsible for moderating the relationship between the artificial and the natural. I found this speculative futuristic state particularly interesting. The Transcendent City suggests a future where “structures and circuits are seamlessly merged together to form a hierarchy of mechanical components that, when combined together, form an “autopoietic” machine.” Do you think that this future is possible? What would have to happen for this to come true?
The Freshwater Factory explores a potential solution for minimizing freshwater consumption. The project depicts a tall and narrow futuristic structure that is heavily inspired by the Buckminster Geodesic Dome. This proposal, though it is intended to serve a specific engineering function, pays strong attention to aesthetics. Many of the other project proposals similarly attempt to solve an engineering issue, but have incredibly elaborate architectural designs. In my mind, this raises the question, how important are the aesthetics of a design? Are many of these proposals feasible or are they too ambitious in their designs?
Climate change is a major theme that exists in many of these alternative futuristic environments. Which projects seem like feasible solutions to the world’s changing environment? Which projects seem improbable and why? Do you think any of these project proposals that seem beneficial in theory might actually be counter-productive in reality?
Physical proximity of cultivating and transporting resources is a recurring theme in many of these projects. It seems that the world would be a much more efficient place if everybody lived in major cities, and all agriculture, livestock, and farming took place locally. Is this a reality? What would have to happen to the environment/world in order for this to be a necessary reality? How would this affect the psychology of people?
Overall, there is a strong sci-fi vibe to many of theses proposals. Do you think that science fiction plays a role in affecting real change in the world? Can you think of old examples of science fiction that are now a reality or seem like they could be soon? Which of these speculative future environments would you want to see come to life and why?
Hopefully we see each other on Wednesday.
Hey. here’s what I was talking about in class earlier. I posted these together with my reading replies, but the bunch disappeared.
Guerrilla gardening. When interviewed Richard Reynolds admitted that he “is not building big community gardens, growing food or hijacking neglected, privately owned land to critique the capitalist system. Instead, he is planting strictly ornamental arrangements of flowers and shrubs on roundabouts, roadsides, tree pits and other slivers of public land that have fallen into disrepair. He is fundamentally an aesthete. And at first glance, there’s a confounding innocence to it all.” Here’s the complete article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/magazine/08guerrilla-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
The reading reminded me of what I saw when I visited New York in 2010; an ‘instant’ garden at Spring St and Lafayette St. I first thought it was an “art” piece, but it turns out to be a form of Guerrilla Gardening of sorts.
“As seen here in the photos taken last night on the corner of Spring and Lafayette, the numerous white, empty advertising boards at street level—many illegal and now empty due to recent enforcement actions by the DOB—make perfect pop up parks; green graffiti if you will.” – nyctheblog
While the “instant” garden may not last, I feel that they’re a clever reminder about transforming privatized “public” spaces in our urban areas to something the public could enjoy.
Artist Stephen Glassman created Urban Air. It seeks to subvert that daily alienation — one billboard at a time. The idea is pretty simple: Take disused billboards, remove the commercial facade, and install a living, breathing cloud forest of bamboo. Glassman’s current Kickstarter project is raising funds to implement a pilot forest high above an LA freeway. Click on the hyperlinks to watch the video.
from the NYTimes: Chickens Threaten to Divide Brooklyn Community
The month-old dispute that has turned neighbor against neighbor in Brooklyn has spawned petitions, door-to-door campaigns and reams of fliers. There have been shouting matches, and even an intervention from a city councilman. And it all started with eight clucking hens. more.