science fiction


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.

science fiction


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.

science fiction


Liam Young, 22 02 15


On February 26th – March 1st Liam Young will be speaking and running a masterclass at the Sonic Acts 2015 festival: The Geologic Imagination.Inspired by geosciences, the 2015 Sonic Acts Festival zooms in on planet Earth. Fundamental to The Geologic Imagination is the thesis that we live in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Human activity has irreversibly changed the composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, and even the Earth’s crust. Humanity has become a geological force. Other speakers include Timothy Morton, Graham Harman, Alan Weisman, Jeff Vandermeer, Ben Bratton and many more.

Liam will also be running a masterclass titled Reimagining the Present, Scenes from a film that doesn’t exist that will explore traditional special effects tropes from science fiction and introduce the use of entry-level CGI, special effects, post-production film and animation techniques.

science fiction


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.

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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

science fiction


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 ]

science fiction


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.

science fiction


Liam Young, 21 11 10


On November 26th Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young and BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh will be coordinating the next installment of their Thrilling Wonder Stories series at the Architectural Association in London. The event will also be streamed live online here from 1pm – 8pm GMT.

We have always regaled ourselves with speculative stories of a day yet to come. In the polemic visions of Thrilling Wonder Stories we furnish the fictional spaces of tomorrow with objects and ideas that at the same time chronicle the contradictions, inconsistencies, flaws and frailties of the everyday. Slipping suggestively between the real and the imagined they offer a distanced view from which to survey the consequences of various social, environmental and technological scenarios. Thrilling Wonder Stories 2 gathers an ensemble of mad scientists, literary astronauts, digital poets, speculative gamers, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries to spin stories of wondrous possibilities or dark cautionary tales.

The TWS2 lineup includes…

COUNTERFEIT ARCHAEOLOGIES
Dunne and Raby [Design Provocateurs]
Gavin Rothery [Concept artist for the film Moon]
Paul Duffield [Artist and Author of Freakangels and Signal comics]

APOCALYPTIC VISIONS
Antony Johnston [Author of the post-apocalyptic graphic novel series Wasteland and Daredevil comics]
Splash Damage [Designers of the Ark, the war stricken floating refugee city from the game Brink]
Johnny Hardstaff [Filmmaker and designer for Ridley Scott Associates]

CAUTIONARY TALES
Will Self [Author of The Book of Dave, Psychogeography and Walking Through Hollywood]
Geoff Manaugh + Nicola Twilley [Founders of BLDGBLOG, Edible Geography and Future Plural]
Joep Van Lieshout [Founder of Atelier Van Lieshout and the speculative free state of AVL Ville]

NEAR FUTURES
BERG London [Technologists, Futurists and RFID magicians]
Rachel Armstrong [Biotechnology and Sci Fi Squishiness]
The Why Factory [Urban futures think tank]

ALTERNATIVE PRESENTS
Ant Farm [Architectural super group and counter culture heroes]
Jeff VanderMeer [Author of the fantasy novels City of Saints and Madmen and Finch]
Alex Rutterford [Motion graphics filmmaker, designer and director for Warp records and RSA films]

Also Featuring…
+ Xbox Kinect full body gaming with pre release demonstration of Ubisoft’s groundbreaking Children of Eden and discussion with Julian Gerighty and Jorg Tittel
+ live musical accompaniment from the melodramatic folk ensemble  ‘Plaster of Paris’  

Thrilling Wonder Stories 2 follows last years event that featured Francois Roche, Peter Cook, Viktor Antonov, Warren ellis, Squint Opera, Ian Macleod and Jim Roosignol. You can watch the event in the online archive here.

Both events will be novelised as a collection of illustrated future fictions to be launched with Thrilling Wonder Stories 3 in November 2011.

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 13 03 10


On 16th March 9.30am Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young will be speaking on Dystopias, ideal communities gone wrong and the end of the world at the SxSW ‘Design for the Dark Side’ panel. Other panelists are Jason Nunes screenwriter, author, interaction designer and a guy partly responsible for some of the best straight to video horror films to come out of the 1990s and Rachel Abrams- designer of technologically mediated experiences, writer, academic. The gig will be chaired by IDEO’s Ben Fullerton.

And so the blurb…

“Design usually focuses on making the world around us better – optimism often rules the roost in our industry. But what might happen if we forced ourselves to design for a catastrophic or dystopian future? Can we learn something by designing for a darker side of human experience?”

science fiction


Liam Young, 16 07 09


The work from the students of Liam Young (Tomorrows Thoughts Today) and Kate Davies’ (liquidfactory) design unit 7 ‘Necessary Monsters’ is being exhibited at the Architectural Associations projects review , 36 Bedford Sq London until July 25th.  (We are the glowing room just beyond the terrace) Those of you not in London can see the work by following the links to intermediate 7 in the online exhibition.  Read on for a full studio and project description.

(more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 19 05 09


Tomorrows Thoughts Todays Liam Young and Geoff Manaugh from BLDGBLOG are curating a symposium on Science Fiction and Architecture on May 29th 11am – 6pm. at the Architectural Association in London.

The event is free so come one come all. If you are outside of London the event will be streamed live online on the AA website.

Speakers include

Geoff Manaugh (Chair)
Journalist, Commentator, Author. Founder of blog BLDGBLOG
Vicktor Antonov
Art Director for game ‘Half Life 2’ and Production Designer for film ‘Rennaissance’.
Francois Roche and Stephanie Lavaux
R&Sie architects Paris.
Warren Ellis
Comic author. Creator of ‘Transmetropolitan’ and ‘Fell’, writer for Marvel and DC comics.
Ian Macleod
Science Fiction Novelist. Winner of 2009 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction
Archigram- Peter Cook/Dennis Crompton
Seminal visionary architecture group
Squint Opera
Film and media production studio.
Jim Rossignol
Gaming author and journalist.
Nic Clear
Editor of ‘Architectures of the Near Future: Architectural Design’ and Bartlett U15 tutor

(more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 01 04 09


Liam Young and Tomorrows Thoughts Today will be showing a selection of project prints at the FUTURE.city.past.FORWARD exhibition in the d3 gallery in Brooklyn New York from April 11 – May 3, 2009. The exhibition features work in art, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and graphics that expresses futurism at various scales and from emerging perspectives.

(more…)

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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…)

science fiction


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.