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Liam Young, 27 09 16


On October 8th join us for the world premiere of speculative architect Liam Young and acclaimed electronic producer Forest Swords‘ audio-visual tour, In the Robot Skies, the first science fiction film to be shot entirely through autonomous drones. With live musical accompaniment Young narrates a near future world where drones have become as ubiquitous as pigeons. The performance is a part of BFI’s London Film Festival and takes place in Southbank’s IMAX theatre. Buy tickets here.

The spine of the performance is a new short film directed by Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan, From the eyes of the drones we see two teenagers each held by police order within the digital confines of their own council estate tower block in London. A network of drones survey the council estates, as a roving flock off cctv cameras and our two characters are kept apart by this autonomous aerial infrastructure. We watch as they pass notes to each other via their own hacked and decorated drone, like kids in an old fashioned classroom, scribbling messages with biro on paper, balling it up and stowing it in their drones.. In this near future city drones form both agents of state surveillance but also become co-opted as the aerial vehicles through which two teens fall in love.

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Liam Young, 07 08 16


The conference is a two day event bringing together speakers to discuss the emerging trends of the digital world. Liam Young will be doing a multi screen audio visual storytelling performance presenting the past, present and future of the smart city. The event is now sold out but you can watc hthe ive stream from 1100 Wednesday August 17th Sweden time here.

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Liam Young, 24 03 15


Our luminous technologies cast shadows that stretch across the planet. At STRP festival in Eindhoven Liam Young and a fictional Kim Kardashian will take the audience on a storytelling walking tour through the flickering screen and beyond the fog of the cloud, to explore the distant landscapes, fictions and infrastructures that our contemporary gadgets set in motion.   With spoken word and a rapid fire assault of film, animation and live sound mixing Liam and Kim will transport us to City Everywhere, an imaginary town of near future technologies stitched together from fragments of real places, extreme mega cities and speculative design fictions. If you are not in the Netherlands you can watch the live stream on Firday 27th March here.

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Liam Young, 25 07 14


Liam young and Kate Davies are currently onboard a cargo ship travelling through the South China seas with on thier latest  Unknown Fields expedition. Unknown Fields is tracing the supply chains of contemporary technologies from the point of distribution, in the mega ports of asia, through the worlds largest wholesale market, the endless  factory floors, the raw materials refineries and back to the rare earth mineral mines of inner Mongolia. Joining them are sci fi author Tim Maughan, data vis artists Sha Hwang, photographer Toby Smith, Programmer Dan Williams and many more. You can join unknown fields and peek behind the scenes of the modern city by following  #ufd2014 on twitter or instagram.

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Liam Young, 05 03 14


The FutureEverything festival is an essential meeting ground of a global community shaping emerging debates around the technology, culture and governance of tomorrow. In the neo-gothic splendour of Manchester Town Hall on 31 Mar and 1 Apr, the two-day FutureEverything Conference will feature inspirational keynotes, participatory workshops and intimate talks from world leading practitioners and thinkers from design, art, urbanism, business, academia and more. Liam Young will première a new storytelling performance investigating the global scale implications of emerging technologies. Other speakers include Anthony Dunne, Golan Levin, James Bridle, Adam Greenfield, Koert Van Mensvoort et al.

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Liam Young, 20 11 13


On Thursday Nov 21st Liam young will join the Adaptation Lab, Adapting digital technologies to the city panel at the Architecture Foundation in London. The panel, coordinated an chaired by Jeffrey Inaba, Founder of INABA and Director of C-Lab (Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting) will discuss the future of technology in our cities. Spreaking will be Simon Allford, Architect and Co-Director at AHMM, Liam Young, Founder of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and Lean Doody, ARUP Smart Cities Lead

If you are not in London you can watch Adaptation Lab events live through their online streaming channel

(more…)

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Liam Young, 17 03 13


For the March 2013 issue of the Architectural Review Liam Young has written a review of ScanLab’s ‘Frozen Relics’ exhibition in London. On display is a laser scan of Arne’s Floe, an iceberg that once existed at 17:01:07hrs on the 16 September at 79 22.558 N, 003 04.611 W on the Arctic Ocean. It has since been torn apart by undersea currents and dissolved by a warming climate but in a time when everything is digitized nothing really has to disappear. An excerpt follows but you can see the full article behind a paywall here.

Frozen Relics is an exhibition full of artifacts like this that no longer exist. They are drifting across a data landscape in which we can still see every minute crack, every ragged edge, every blemish and fissure. They are high resolution laser scans generated on site in the Fram Strait northwest of Svalbard by ScanLAB, Greenpeace and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. The memories of these seasonal islands have been frozen in a ghostly coordinate cloud of XYZ and RGB values.

We are presented with the possibilities of an extraordinarily accurate digital doppelganger, a 1:1 avatar of our world, A curated collection of replica landscapes wrought from the tool paths of herds of CNC machines, 3d printed layer by layer, a carved duplicate at extreme resolution, a theme park of synthetic copies, and like plastic tits on an ageing celebrity, timeless, as everything around them continues to decay.

Our digital lives are accumulating in endless fields of super cooled server farms, containing tweets, check ins, instagrams, porn banks, pokes and now a menagerie of floating ice bergs. In sprawling warehouses browser searches sit beside glaciers, emails beside Mayan temples. Server Farms are something between filing cabinets and cathedrals. If they are the new repositories of all knowledge and ephemera then how is the data stored, how do we access it, and is anything ever forgotten. Can some data be designed to decay, could pixels erode with time, like a portrait of Dorian Gray, slowly ageing with our sins?

What we choose to remember, what we chose to keep, defines who we are. The permanence of a point cloud iceberg, drifting endlessly in a digital sea, is an eternal reminder of how much we have to loose.

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Liam Young, 03 02 13


Arc’s editor Simon Ings talks to Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young about his recent brush with Special Branch, and how a robotic ballet at Dublin’s Science Gallery led to him and his colleagues being recorded under the UK’s Terrorism Act. ARC is also media partner for our Future city project Under Tomorrows Sky and Future Perfect. You can see a preview of some of this work in ARC issue 1.4 out now.

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Liam Young, 25 06 12


Join Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young and Liquid Factory’s Kate Davies and their nomadic design group Unknown Fields Division as they take up temporary residence at Headlands Centre for the Arts, an ex military base just across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Employing contemporary surveillance technology to map the post-militarized Marin Headlands, the group will hack the landscape to imagine extraordinary futures.

Collaborators assembled from the worlds of art, architecture, and technology will guide sorties across diverse local terrains. Laser-scan forests using hi-res, long range optics; deploy infrared night vision cameras to peer through the mist; and build a fleet of drones to map from above. In these shifting fields of nature and artifice, participants will re-examine preservationist attitudes toward the natural world, the ecologically fragile, and the technologically obsolete.

Joining us will be collaborators including ScanLab, Geoff Manuagh, Nicola Twilley and many more. The program runs from September 7-September 12, 2012. The deadline for applications is July 17th. See the website for more details.

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Liam Young, 11 06 12


MU, Eindhoven.
Saturday June 16 start at 8 pm
Sunday June 17 start at 11 am
Free entrance or watch the live stream here

UNDER TOMORROWS SKY is a project by Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today opening in August at MU art space, Eindhoven. Liam has assembled a think tank of mad scientists, literary astronauts, digital poets, speculative gamers, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries to collectively author a proposal for a future city- an imaginary urbanism, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains. On Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17 the think tank will be coming together in physical space at MU but also in virtual space for a weekend of public presentations, discussions and workshops. Come behind the scenes as we open up the design process of the speculative city and expose the deliberations of the Under Tomorrows Sky think tank. See the work in progress and join us to debate the social, cultural, ethical and environmental consequences of emerging technologies.

At 8 pm on Saturday June 16th the members of the think tank will introduce themselves and present a series of wondrous visions of the future based on their own research or projects. On the following Sunday June 17 from 11am the group will get together for an open day of discussions, design workshops and live sketching as they begin to give shape to their city Under Tomorrows Sky. Eavesdrop on the conversations, take part in the debates on what the future city may be and contribute to the discussions on why such speculations on tomorrow may be of critical importance for today.

Joining Liam Young live at MU will be science fiction author and futurist Bruce Sterling, comic author, novelist and screenwriter Warren Ellis, synthetic biologist Rachel Armstrong, journalist, author and editor of Arc, New Scientist’s science fiction quarterly, Simon Ings, live sketching from Paul Duffield and many more.

The exhibition Under Tomorrow’s Sky will open on August 10 at MU. See www.undertomorrowssky.com and www.mu.nl for further updates.

[Image credit Paul Duffield ]

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Liam Young, 08 05 12


Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young has contributed to a BBC Click segment titled “How Buildings Come to Life”. Liam discusses, new forms of infrastructure, sensor networks and the future of cities. Also in the episode is biotechnologist Rachel Armstong and Cloud 9 Architects.

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Liam Young, 05 05 11


Tomorrow’ Thoughts Today’s Liam Young is now running a new image catalogue Where the Wild Things Are. Check it out for your fill of black technologies, fanciful beasts, strange futures and alien landscapes. Get in touch with any suggestions for the catalogue.

technology


Darryl Chen, 06 09 10


Just released is Pepin Press’s Web Design Index 9 which features www.tomorrowsthoughtstoday.com in its list of best designed websites. The WBI has become the industry standard for tracking innovations in web design. Thanks guys! You’ve obviously got your finger on the pulse!

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Liam Young, 12 08 09


Are the 140 character twitter splurts a modern form of haiku. Web 2.0 poets or prayers to the gods of procrastination. Make up your own mind I guess. I have formed a super fast thoughts column over on Twitter. You can follow it at @Liam_Young. Lets build a twitter ninja army.

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Liam Young, 03 03 09


A selection of pieces from the Specimens of Un Natural History project will be on show in the Spaces and Narrations exhibition in the Triangle Gallery at 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU. The exhibition will run from 9th March until the 13th March. For those of you not in London you can follow the work in the Slow Thoughts column. Update: More photos added below. (more…)

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Liam Young, 19 02 09


Liam Young from Tomorrows Thoughts Today and Kate Davies will be hosting a public lecture by designer Fiona Raby from dunne and Raby at the Architectural Association in London on Friday 20th February 6.00pm. (more…)

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Liam Young, 15 12 08


One from the ‘I must write about this but never got around to it pile’. An article in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal and on BBC looks at how a recent virus outbreak in the online game community World of Warcraft is being used as a research tool to study and predict the patterns of a real world pandemic. (more…)

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Liam Young, 03 11 08


Japan thinks the real world should be more like Gundam, the apocalyptic robot war series. Next year, a team of experts from all walks of life will join together to form the Gundam Academy, an academic institution dedicated to bringing humanity into the age of mecha suits, helper robots, and space colonization. It’s time for the Universal Century. (more…)

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Liam Young, 03 11 08


Nothing dates like images of the future. As a wide eyed child I remember sitting cross legged on the floor, with the flickering images of the Jetsons illuminating my saturady morning, thumbing through the pages of the Usborne books of the Future and the World of Tomorrow series. (more…)

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Liam Young, 02 11 08


We have been invited to exhibit The Specimens of Un Natural Histories project at the upcoming DesignCinema Exhibition in Istanbul. The exhibition and accompanying conference will run from the mid till the end of November. On display will be drawings and photographs of a range of specimens. If you cant make it to istanbul then cast your eyes across to the slow thoughts column where you can see the project immortalised in blog form.

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Liam Young, 20 08 08


"The 21 Steps" by Charles Cumming screenshot

It begins suggestively “I was the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” This is the opening to “The 21 Steps” by Charles Cumming. It is the first of six stories written in answer to the Penguin challenge to reinvent fiction through the medium of the internet. This narrative unfolds across the birdseye London of Google Maps. Click after click you follow the story from the air, familiar places of the city, overwritten with the invisible trials of our intrepid protagonists. Here Google Maps is not just a tool of location and navigation but an excursion into daydream and fantasy. read it here

phantom bird nests

I am reminded of my recent trip to Beijing where I played architectural tourist, scouting out a preview of the Olympic icons guided by my Google Map print outs. Just like our ’21 steps’ hero I was consistently the wrong man in the wrong place, this time however it was the misinformation of my Google guide that led me astray. I had to track down each building from somewhere within a point cloud of misguided user added Google markers. Like a roadtrip couple bickering over who gets to use the map, it seems the collective intellegence of the web is yet to reach a sightseeing consensus.  I was walking a fictional Beijing, filled with eight imaginary Bird Nests, a new reading of place built from the mistakes of hundreds of Google literate, lost tourists.

So here we are, iphone at the ready, Google Maps in hand, embarking on journeys of strangeness and novelty as our cities are imbued with the traces of invisible maps of fantasy, mistakes, and misdirection, all uploaded by the connected population of the world/web 2.0.