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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, 22 09 16


On Friday September 23rd Liam Young will be speaking with Fiona Raby, Katie Torn and Chris Woebken at GSAPP’s Imaginary Futures Conference. In order to better understand and evaluate present social, cultural, and technological conditions and project future possibilities, architects, designers, and artists often utilize speculative or design fiction to consider “what if.” Using a strategy common to the work of writers and artists such as J.G. Ballard and Chris Marker, speculative and imaginative designs for the near future take a current scenario to an extreme endpoint, in order to enact a highly tangible and often prescient expression of the now. Imaginary Futures reflects the limitations of our current realities while attempting to transcend them through the scales of: the city, the object, the body, and the mind.

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Liam Young, 15 10 15


Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young will be premièring a 3 screen audio visual storytelling performance at Sci Arc in Los Angeles, Wed 7pm October 28th. With spoken word and a rapid fire assault of film, animation and live sound mixing we will go on a storytelling walking tour through the flickering screen and beyond the fog of the cloud, to explore City Everywhere, a fictional city of the near future, extrapolated from the fears and wonders of an increasingly complex present The performance will narrate a place found somewhere between the real and the imagined, stitched together from fragments of distant landscapes, extreme mega cities and designed urban fictions. Admission is free and open to the public. The venue address is 960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

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Liam Young, 16 11 13



Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today’s Liam Young will be doing the Great Indoors Lecture in Maastricht, Netherlands on Saturday 16th November. Liam will be doing a performance of Brave New Now, a storytelling walking tour through an imaginary city, extrapolated from the wonders and possibilities of emerging biological and technological research. A place found somewhere between the real and the imagined, both achingly familiar and exceedingly strange, stitched together from fragments of distant landscapes, interior worlds and speculative designed fictions.

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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, 06 10 12


Liam Young of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Todayis now running a Fall graduate Studio at the Princeton School of Architecture. BRAVE NEW NOW exists in the territory where science fiction becomes scientology, between the documentary and visionary, where speculative fictions become a way of exploring a world that realist fiction struggles to grasp. The studio will develop filmic fragments of the near future city. (more…)

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Liam Young, 08 08 12


The first glimpses of our new project Under Tomorrows Sky can be seen at 8pm on August 10th at MU in Eindhoven. On show will be a room sized movie miniature model of our imaginary city and behind the scenes work from the think tank.

Under Tomorrows Sky is a fictional, future city. Speculative architect Liam Young of the London based Tomorrows Thoughts Today has assembled a think tank of scientists, technologists, futurists, illustrators, science fiction authors and special effects artists to collectively develop this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains.

In online and live discussions held during the past months the think tank came together to design this future city and discuss the possibilities of emerging biologies and technologies. This time there are no dystopian visions of the future, we’ve seen enough of those. Under Tomorrows Sky imagines a post-capitalist urbanity full of optimism and joy, full of life and aspiration.

It is a city of extraordinary technology but at first glance appears indistinguishable from nature. It is an artificial reef that grows and decays and grows again as the city becomes a cyclic ecosystem. A city as a geological formation of caves and grottos covered by a thick layer of soil and slime, a biological soup of human and non-human inhabitants. The city and us are one, a symbiotic life form. The city grows and we grow with it. Together we form a giant complex organism of which ecology and technology are inseparable parts.

At this moment the phase of creation has begun. An intricately detailed miniature model of this future city will rise under tomorrows sky and come into being at MU in the upcoming weeks. Between August 10 and October 28 all involved with the creation of the model will develop a collection of fictions based in the city. The model will be the backdrop for animated films and a stage set for a collection of stories and illustrations. The audience will also be invited to contribute their own narratives to the city through a series of workshops. Under Tomorrows Sky will be the starting point of a new ecological urban vision. The city of the future is not of a fixed time or place but it will emerge through the help of many.

Opening on Friday August 10 from 8 pm onwards.
On view till October 28.

For more information and special program check the websites www.mu.nl and www.undertomorrowssky.com

image credit-Under Tomorrows Sky Concept Art by Factory Fifteen

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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, 26 04 12


Singing Sentinels, a new exhibition from Liam Young of  Tomorrows Thoughts Today will be opening at Mediamatic Gallery in Amsterdam from 26th April.

Coal miners once hammered rock with twittering canaries living beside them, their changing song a warning alarm for a dangerous gas leak. These living sensors watched over us and kept us safe. For the fifth New Order show, London-based architect Liam Young explores a future scenario where bio-engineered birds once again monitor the air for us. 80 live birds will be introduced into the gallery as an ecological warning system, living in the space and providing audible feedback on the state of the atmosphere. Across the course of the exhibition pollution DJs will alter the air of the gallery in line with the predicted atmospheric composition of the post-carbon world. You will experience an accelerated atmospheric change and listen to the canary song subtly shift, as they sing an elegy for a changing planet. You can watch a film of one of the performances here.

Come and wander the augmented aviary of new order. With binoculars and your Birdwatchers Guidebook to Toxicity Sentinels you will be able to spot these specimens of unnatural history. Spy, high up on the rafters the green throated coal gull, bioengineered to be sensitive to increased levels of CO2. Track the infrared canaries of the Amsterdam Archaeology Institute as they scan the ground for the echoes of lost cities, see the luminescent plumage of the Roseshift Canaries as they fan their tails and sing sharply in the presence of dangerous Nitrous Oxide. Sit in the engineered ecology, watch the birds fly past and listen to their live song, a requiem for the new world order.

As a spinoff from the exhibition a new book “The Field Guide to the Singing Sentinels: A Birdwatcher’s Companion” is now availible. Co written by Liam Young, Geoff Manuagh and Tim Maly and with illustrations by comic artist Paul Duffield the field guide is a catalogue of these specimens of unnatural history including descriptions, behaviours and helpful tips for future sightings. You can see an excerpt and purchase your copy of the limited edition book online here.

[Illustration of the Red Radar by Paul Duffield]

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Liam Young, 13 09 11


Liam Young, of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, will be giving a lecture at the MU gallery in Eindhoven to accompany our Circus Babylon exhibition curated by Lukas Feireiss. Entrance is free and the event will kick off at 8:00pm 15th September in the gallery space. Details are here. Liam will also be on hand earlier in the afternoon to talk through the Landscapes of Unnatural History installation (see fast thoughts). The event will be titled ‘A field Guide to the Landscapes of technology’ and will be a virtual walking tour through a stranger than truth history of Nature, touring roman mythology, medieval bestiaries, zoological hoaxes, travelling menageries, imaginary plants, Galapagonian invasive species, Australian supermines, japanese anime and fictional biotechnological mutants.

image credit- Nausicaa dir. Hayao Miyazaki

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Darryl Chen, 08 11 10


Ji Hoon Kim from Darryl Chen and Elena Pascolo’s Bartlett M.Arch studio has been awarded second prize in the SCI-Arc Cleantech Corridor International Competition. Ji Hoon responded to the brief to reimagine LA’s Downtown with a scenario of a near-future creative industry as a place of prolific physical production. Juror Stan Allen noted that “a strategic way forward re-imagines the city of the future as a place not only of consumption, but a place where things are still made….” The MegaCreativeFactory muses on what kinds of near-dystopias are produced when the creative industries take on the scale and infrastructures of the postindustrial city.

More projects from last year’s Bartlett studio can be found at the newly launched Urban Provocations website.

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Liam Young, 18 10 10


After winning last years RIBA presidents medals with a project from their 08/09 studio ‘Necessary Monsters‘ set in the Galapagos Islands Liam Young and Kate Davies’ 09/10 ‘End of the World and Other Bedtime Stories’ has been named one of the top 10 London architecture units by the Architectural Review. Set in the Arctic Circle the studio’s Department of Intangible Technology has encoded the ephemera of web 2.0 into data fossils that calcify on our own bones and are etched into the layers of glacial ice. Their illegal biology unit has cultivated a psychedelic mushroom farm in which to drown our sorrows and in our department of climatology a hanging community squats a waterfall as a protest for water rights and a weather sensitive landscape broadcasts the song of a dying world. Projects will be posted on TTT shortly and you can read the brief below.

Stay tuned for their 10/11 Unknown Fields Division studio ‘Never Never Lands: Prospecting in Dreamtime‘ set in the mining landscapes of outback Australia.  Also look out for the launch of their new AA summer travelling studio ‘Unknown Fields’- a collaboration with Phillips Design probes, Volume Magazine et al. (more…)

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Darryl Chen, 24 04 10


TTT’s “Where The Grass is Greener” project  – singled out for its “erotic spatial possibilities of the accumulation of trash” – features in Cristina Goberna Pesudo‘s article on LA Superfront’s Unplanned exhibition. The article “The Architectural Agonism of the Unplanned, a Play in Ten Acts” can be found on Domus Web here.

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Liam Young, 22 09 09


If you’re in London this Wednesday 23rd September Liam Young will be speaking at the Launch for the first issue of the Bookazine Beyond: Short Stories on the Post Contemporary. The first volume is themed Scenarios and Speculations and includes contributions from Bruce Sterling, SuperStudio, Wes Jones, Aaron Betsky, Sam Jacob, Shumon Basar and many more. The event will begin with a presentation on Urban Fictions by Colin Fournier followed by a roundtable discussion with Liam Young, Sam Jacob and book editor Pedro Gadanho. (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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Darryl Chen, 23 10 08


TTT is presenting the next session of “Universettee” – a mobile series of lectures that takes place in living rooms throughout East London.
Robots, micronations, perverse urbanism
… and other fiction from the not so distant future
… narrated by TomorrowsThoughtsToday.
 
Monday 3rd Nov 2008
7.30pm for food. 8pm presentation
The Barbican – RSVP for more details
 
universettee website
janiceelaineharding@yahoo.co.uk

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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.