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.

THE END OF THE WORLD and Other Bedtime Stories. By Liam Young and Kate Davies

We sit in wait for the end of the world. We have always regaled ourselves with unnerving tales of a day yet to come. Tomorrow is a dark place and our culture is full of tales of a natural world out of control. Whether it be nuclear apocalypse, viral epidemic, tumbling asteroids or eco catastrophe our anxieties about our future demise chronicle the flaws and frailties of the everyday.

We have recruited a vagabond troupe of doomsday cultists to join us in this world after the crash; to dance in the shadow of catastrophe and question our fears and misgivings about the future. We have breathed life into the characters and actions of our UNKNOWN FIELDS DIVISION and we have armed ourselves with the props and paraphernalia to survive in the new world.

Together we have voyaged to the edge of the world, ‘the last wilderness’ of the arctic. We pilgrimaged to visit the glaciers before they melt and we shed a tear under the electric skies of the aurora. We have not gone quietly into the night but instead in the arctic we have forged an intentional community and cult compound of activist architectures, eco terrorist responses and maverick manifestos.

We are visionaries and reporters, part documentarian and part science fiction soothsayer, critically engaging with the conditions of today through speculation about the coming of tomorrow. Standing at the brink we contemplate an end that is laden with fears and inconsistencies yet at the same time proves to be ripe with unknown escapes and wondrous possibilities.

‘The End of the Universe is very popular’, said Zaphod… ‘People like to dress up for it… Gives it a sense of occasion.’ – Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

[Image credits: Ioana Iliesiu and Harry William-Jones]

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