Archi-fi: Design looking forward
Architecture, as a practice and a field of study, exists in constant tension between the pragmatic and the innovative, between tradition and the desire to invent an entirely new reality. Architecture is itself a form of science-fiction. Imagining a world that does not yet exist, from the spaces and forms to the environment and technology that must come together, it is in the drawings and models of the architect that this new world may come to life. Parallel with other forms of science-fiction, architecture looks to these potential futures to explain and resolve current problems and help prevent future dilemmas.
Advancements in design and construction technology, coupled with the rate of their development, illuminate the potentials the near, as yet unimaginable, future may hold. Similarly, and even simultaneously, in times of great crisis we seek powerful and transformative intervention. The current economic, political, and environmental climate is no different. Our present stew of optimism and crisis not only calls for but necessitates visionary solutions.
A restrained imagination limits one’s perception, hinders scientific and technological advancement, and impedes the acceptance of the truly revolutionary. It is with this in mind that I look to architecture as science-fiction and to science-fiction as architecture.
Featured image: Still from Blade Runner (1982) ©The Blade Runner Partnership, courtesy Warner Home Video
11 Feb 2014 / Brian Pickard / 0