urbanism


Darryl Chen, 03 03 13


Darryl Chen of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today will be chairing a live thinktank as part of the Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture. The event draws together experts from the fields of urbanism, planning, branding and development economics to explore the making of a radical entrepreneurial village on the outskirts of London. The event takes as its provocation the New [Socialist] Village project featured at the British Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, and currently being exhibited at RIBA London.

Comprising the thinktank is: Wouter Vanstiphout (Crimson); Beatrice Galilee (Lisbon Triennale/Domus/BBC), Finn Williams (Croydon Council/Commonoffice); Adam Scott (FreeState); Dr Paul Evans (UK Regeneration); and Levent Kerimol (GLA/DesignForLondon).

Thursday 14 March 6pm / Architectural Association

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 26 08 12


Darryl Chen, of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, in association with Hawkins\Brown, will unveil the New [Socialist] Village project to the public when the Venice Architecture Biennale opens its doors to the public on wednesday 29 September. Darryl was selected with 9 others to present ‘new ideas to change British Architecture’ for the British Pavilion, curated by Vicky Richardson and Vanessa Norwood.

Here’s a sneak peek of the two pieces to be exhibited: a 5-metre long scroll, taking inspiration from a renowned Song Dynasty masterpiece; and a mass-produced propaganda book. If you’re going to be in Venice, come down to the pavilion to collect your copy!

Darryl’s Venice tweet feed @darrylchen.

urbanism


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

urbanism


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 ]

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 13 03 12


Darryl Chen of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today has been selected to exhibit at the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. Darryl will be part of the Venice Takeway global research project, and will be travelling to China in order to speculate on the future of British architecture. More details to be posted here soon.

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 04 08 11


TTT is Associated Partner for Exchange Radical Moments! Live Art Festival, a Europe-wide art event that will take place simultaneously across Amsterdam, Berlin, Bitola, Chisinau, Linz, Liverpool, Praha, Riga, Slubfurt, Stockholm and others on the auspicious date of 11.11.11.

The latest happening as part of the lead-up to the big event is a competition for the re-use of objects in the city. See information below. (more…)

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 26 09 10


Just when most schools are kicking off for the new year, the MArch cycle is coming to a close. The MArch show at the Bartlett kicks off tuesday where Darryl Chen and Elena Pascolo’s Urban Provocations studio will also be on display.

Opening party Tuesday 28 September 18.00. Exhibition runs until 2 October. Wates House, 22 Gordon Street WC1H DQB

(more…)

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 17 05 10


Here are some pictures of the MBL.MTN from the recent Cities Methodologies exhibition run by Urban Laboratory.

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urbanism


Darryl Chen, 29 04 10


Darryl Chen will be exhibiting the MBL.MTN project at the Cities Methodologies exhibition. Organized by the Urban Lab, the interdisciplinary endeavour draws together urban research from across UCL’s faculties including the Bartlett and the Slade School of Fine Art. A series of talks and workshops will accompany the exhibition. Full programme can be found here. Stop in and say hi!

Launch party 18.30 Wednesday 5 May 2010

Exhibition open until 7 May 2010

Slade Research Centre, UCL, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 27 11 09


TTT has been selected as an Associated Partner for the upcoming Europe-wide Art Festival Exchange Radical Moments! Organized by Austrian kollectiv, Die Fabrikanten, the format will encourage interdisciplinary projects that explore the nature of contemporary Europe and will culminate on 11.11.2011 as a moment of simultaneous fruition. Featured participants include Gabriela Gerber and Lukas Bardill; Scott Bunham; Owen Mundy and Juliane Stiegele. Download the promotional magazine here. (more…)

urbanism


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…)

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 25 08 09


TTT’s Where the Grass is Greener project appears in the latest issue of MONU magazine. We’ve never seen so many urban thinktanks assembled in the one place (!) with projects from OMA, alumni from the Harvard GSD, Domus Academy and a curious outfit called What About It. MONU is the only magazine we know of that has its own youtube edition. Ahh, those clever Dutch. The issue on Clean Urbanism critically scrutinizes aspects of energy, consumption and waste and their effects on the contemporary city. Scroll down in Slow Thoughts to get a taster of our vision for a green future in all its wide-eyed potential, and grab a copy of MONU!

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 27 04 09


Everyone knows Golden Lane from the Smithsons, right? We’re talking streets in the sky and those great collages of convivial couples on elevated walkways. Well, it joins the ranks of architecture’s Most Famous Second-Place-Getters eclipsing the actual built scheme. It’s a pity that hardly anyone knows much about the architects who came first – Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, who are otherwise known for the ground- and rule-breaking Barbican development next door. Even fewer would care to realize that the Barbican’s high walkways represent a successful (!) and built (!) example of those streets in the sky. Maybe, those kinds of concepts are best remembered in the imaginary and speculative world of architectural competitions than actual physical realities. Plus, the Smithsons (three noteworthy leaking buildings and a crapload of dogma) are untouchable, aren’t they…? (more…)

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 25 01 09


The Bishop of Stepney once remarked that each parish church in his diocese was no more than five minutes walk from the last. As an organizing system of governance, accountability and dissemination of religious doctrine, the Anglican parish system was an effective means of organizing the burgeoning cities of England through the scale of the local neighbourhood. 

Tesco supermarkets are distributed with the same rigour. Each new store is planned with software allowing the right matching of store size with catchment area. Tesco’s market share is more than twice its nearest rival and so as the blue and red logo continues to sweep through England’s cities, we ask could the Tesco catchment area be the new urban parish? (more…)

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 01 12 08


 

Reinier de Graaf presented OMA’s Ras-Al-Khaimah project to a packed audience last thursday for the Architecture Foundation in London. After a characteristically thrilling account of global urban affairs effectively narrated by statistic and graph, the talk turned to the patronisingly-titled “city in the desert” project (as though we could describe London as a “city by the river”), bringing on what could be described as one of those “Elvis has left the building” moments.

OMA’s reading of Dubai as a study in banality has its response in the banal urban proposition for RAK, though in this case, banality is not the insistent cultural phenomenon of Dubai’s skyline, but rather the unashamed rolling out of the urbanist’s stock-in-trade – “compact city” densities, a public transport loop, and (yawn) the accommodation of a naturally occurring oasis. The mediocrity of this proposition is nowhere near recovered by its context-less square plan and generic city grid, tired emblems of what may be late-OMA mannerism. This is a scheme so mediocre it begs the question – what happened to one of the most intellectually engaging self-critical practices on the planet?  (more…)

urbanism


Liam Young, 03 11 08


Drifting endlessly above the earth are the suburban dwellers that occupy these visions of 70’s space utopias. In the looming shadow of the cold war fears of nuclear apocalypse led us to envision new worlds above the crust of the earth drifting endlessly as orbital suburbs with all the comforts of home. (more…)

urbanism


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.

urbanism


Darryl Chen, 28 07 08


In the broad range of street delights, Starbucks guarantees a minimum standard. It is the customer’s right to demand the Starbucks brew, but no more. 13,000 branches worldwide, and a basic beverage menu of 10. Keep the masses happy – so with coffee, also with urbanism. Limit your options to a basic street section, a basic building form, a basic elevation, a basic material range and a basic colour palette, and you can guarantee a basic product, mediocrity par excellence.
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urbanism


Darryl Chen, 21 07 08


Monthly mag for the city’s homeless, The Pavement, is running a campaign of self-information for London’s rough sleepers. It asks for a mobilization of perhaps the city’s most mobile demographic group to implement an easily updatable signage system. A kind of user-content noticeboard 2.0 that puts its hopes in the power of collective intelligence. Makes sense – who really knows the streets better on a day-to-day basis?It is the stuff of a young Tschumi’s dreams. An alternate reading of urban space and a corresponding notation that sits just below the radar of middle class commuting. A new psychogeography leaping from the boards of student diploma projects to be inscribed 1:1 scale on/in the physical space of the city. Just join the dots and photograph in grainy black and white.

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urbanism


Darryl Chen, 21 07 08


One might think it impoverished at first glance, though scratching and enquiring deeper, we find not so much an economic fringe, but a slowly evolving urban model. Born in the glow of a new era which suddenly died out, it finds itself detached from its divorced parents, caught in the throes of puberty setting on quickly with all its attendant growing pains – a crisis of identity, new foreign growth where before there was innocently nothing, and the desire of becoming an adult being held in check by an energy to live for the moment. we traverse highways through the neighbourhoods at great speed. here, a windmill, an abandoned factory – evidence of a productive countryside, perhaps still active? but the dominant typology – a super-typology – the bare housing block sometimes 400 metres long, maybe 800…. Unlike in China where rigid planning laws align all developments east west to face the sun (for one side, at least), here in Mahzahl, communes take on a variety of different patterns. They are distributed in this vast open plain their configurations knowable like crop circles only to those who see them from above. The scale of this landscape makes ideal viewing from a fast moving car. It is a seductive cinematic experience.