science fiction


Liam Young, 08 11 17


Liam Young is curating Fear and Wonder: An Expedition Through the landscapes of Fiction at Sci Arc in Los Angeles on Nov 11th 3pm – 9pm. Our perception of the world is largely shaped through the mediums of fiction. Our political positions are informed by fake news, we live out our lives in the pixelated territories of video games and we escape into the pages of a novel or the flicker of the movie screen. In film, games and literature we have always imagined alternative worlds as a means to understand our own world in new ways. In Fear and Wonder we join an ensemble of directors, concept artists, video game designers and storytellers for an expedition through an atlas of imaginary worlds, fictional cities and speculative geographies. Curated by Liam Young / Fiction and Entertainment Postgraduate Masters

Starring:

Hannah Beachler, Production Designer (Moonlight, Beyonce’s Lemonade)

Hannah Beachler is the award winning production designer of Moonlight, Beyonce’s LemonadeCreed and the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther.

Lauren Beukes, Author (Broken MonstersZoo City)

South African based Lauren Beukes is a best-selling novelist and author of comics, screenplays and television. Recent books include Broken MonstersZoo CityShining Girls and Moxyland.

Rick Carter, Production Designer (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Rick Carter is a multiple academy award winning production designer who has created the worlds of some of the most seminal films of recent times. Projects include Star Wars: The Force AwakensAvatarLincoln and Back to the Future.

Mike Mignola, Comics Artist (Hellboy)

Mike Mignola is a comic artist and writer known for creating the Mignola-verse with Dark Horse comics, a collection of titles including Hellboy and B.P.R.D. He has also created similarly themed titles including BaltimoreThe Amazing Screw-On Head and Joe Golem, Occult Detective.

Alex MacDowell, World-builder (Fight ClubCharlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Alex McDowell is a designer and world-builder working across feature films, and immersive storytelling projects for major industries and institutions. He was the production designer for such films as Fight ClubFear and Loathing in Las VegasMan of SteelCharlie and the Chocolate Factory and Minority Report and now directs the USC World Building Media Lab in Los Angeles.

Victor Martinez, Concept Artist (Blade Runner 2049)

Victor Martinez is an artist who works on concept design and world building for the entertainment industry. Victor has designed for films such as Blade Runner 2049Guardians of the GalaxyStar Trek BeyondAlice Through the Looking Glass and Batman vs Superman.

Ane Crabtree, Costume Designer (Handmaid’s Tale)

Ane Crabtree is a costume designer for film and television. Ane has developed the costumes for the recent television series’ The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld. Her clothes reflect the political power structures at play in the worlds she is designing for.

Jimmi Simpson, Actor (Westworld)

Jimmi Simpson is an actor who most recently played William, a key character in HBO’s hit series Westworld. Jimmi is also known for his role in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards.

David O’Reilly, Games Designer (Everything)

David O’Reilly is an independent games designer, animator and film maker. David has developed animated sequences for films such as Her, and has recently launched Everything, a reality simulator game featuring thousands of playable characters from the spanning from the scale of the universe to a bacterium.

Patti Podesta, Production Designer (American Gods)

Patti Podesta is a Production Designer for film and television.  She is known for her spare, moody design for the critically acclaimed film Memento directed by Chris Nolan and recently she has been designing the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Nivanh Chanthara, Concept Artist (Ghost in The ShellBabiru)

Nivanh Chanthara is concept artist who has been designing characters, environments and props for the Deus Ex franchise. Nivanh also designs for comics and the film and television industry and has recently developed art for the new Ghost in the Shelland his ongoing personal dystopian city project, Babiru.

David Delgado, Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Exoplanet Tourism)

David Delgado is a visual strategist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he creates experiences to bring audiences closer to emerging technologies and prompts them to emotionally engage with contemporary scientific research.

Angela Washko Games Artist (World of Warcraft)

Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in the spaces most hostile toward it. Angela has been intervening in various online game worlds, seeding within them such projects as The Councilon Gender Sensitivity and Behavioural Awareness which is based in the World of Warcraft.

Mike Mignola, Comics Artist (Hellboy) in conversation with Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG)

Mike Mignola is a comic artist and writer known for creating the Mignola-verse with Dark Horse comics, a collection of titles including Hellboy and B.P.R.D. He has also created similarly themed titles including Baltimore, The Amazing Screw-On Head and Joe Golem, Occult Detective. Geoff Manaugh is the creator of BLDGBLOG and author of A Burgular’s Guide to the City.

DJ Molly Shaman, Soundtracks

DJ Molly Shaman is resident at the Melody Lounge and the Lava Lounge in LA. She will be mixing the soundscape for the event from a collection of iconic film scores.

science fiction


Liam Young, 26 03 17


The Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery presents Liam Young: New Romance, the first U.S. solo exhibition of speculative architect, artist, and filmmaker Liam Young. The exhibition features three recently completed film projects – In the Robot Skies (2016), Where the City Can’t See (2016), and the debut of Renderlands (2017) – as well as a selection of props, materials and research that helped shape the fictional worlds encompassed in each film.

While storytelling, documentary film and multimedia performance have been central to Young’s practice, the exhibition reveals his emerging engagement with narrative film as an architectural medium and his ground-breaking experimentation with new technologies as cinematic tools. Young deploys autonomous drones (In the Robot Skies), manipulates laser scanning and data (Where the City Can’t See), and mines the digital detritus of the global industry of outsourced renderings (Renderlands) to create new worlds where fictions unfold. Harnessing technologies of visualization and narrative to craft urban imaginaries, the trio of films expand our understanding of how architectural design can uncover possible futures.

 

science fiction


Liam Young, 25 02 15


Available to download now- 1,49€ (iTunes), 1,78€ (Amazon)*

Brave New Now is a collection of specially commissioned short stories set in a fictional future city developed by speculative architect Liam Young for the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Authors have been invited to inhabit the city, to breathe life into its characters and cultures and give form to its streets and spaces through narrative. It is a speculative urbanism, an exaggerated present, in which we can imagine the wonders and possibilities of emerging biological and technological research. Authors include Warren Ellis, Bruce Sterling, Tim MaughanJonathan Dotse, Rachel Armstrong, Samit Basuand Anil Menon.  These speculative fictions are illustrated with a collection of photographs of the present, gathered from a group of photographers who venture out into the world documenting the weak signals and emerging phenomena that have been extrapolated into our imaginary city. In Brave New Now it is not clear what is fact and what is fiction, but rather the two productively intertwine.  The two modes of working sit side by side and we slip suggestively between the real and the imagined, between the documentary and the visionary, where speculative fictions become a way of exploring a world that the everyday struggles to grasp.

The future is not something that washes over us like water, it is something we must actively shape and define. Some of the people we meet in the Brave New Now are swept up in what the city could be, others are reserved and look on with caution. It is a place of wonder and of fear. We meet friends and strangers, we hear their stories, and we imagine our own life here. We have not walked these streets before, what things may come, in the Brave New Now.

Preview of ebook foreword

Brave New Now
Editor: Liam Young
Authors: Warren Ellis, Tim Maughan, Jonathan Dotse, Bruce Sterling, Rachel Armstrong, Samit Basu, Anil Menon.
Photographers: Michael Wolf, Greg Girard, Neil Chowdhury, Vincent Fournier, Thomas Weinberger, Charlie Koolhaas, Greg White, Daniel Beltrá, Victoria Sambunaris, Christina Seely, Brice Richard, Bas Princen.
Concept Art: Daniel Dociu, Hoving Alahaidoyan.

“A projective fiction is a critical tool that is both an extraordinary vision of tomorrow and a provocative examination of the pertinent questions facing us today.” Liam Young

This digital publication was commissioned by Close, Closer chief curator Beatrice Galilee, Art Direction by Zak Group and graphic design by Raquel Pinto.
*The support of The British Council has enabled a discounted distribution price of Brave New Now ebook.

science fiction


Liam Young, 19 10 14


Opening on October 4th at Z33 in Belgium, Future Fictions. Perspectives on worldbuilding explores how contemporary artists, designers and architects relate to future thinking and imaging: from map-ping, questioning and criticizing, to developing complex visions about the structures and systems that may shape our life in the future. Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young will première a 3 screen projection work ‘New City’, a series of near future city skylines. New City is a collaboration with the authors Jeff NoonPat Cadigan and Tim Maughan and musicians Coldcut.

With these visions/fictions, Z33 wishes to shift the debate away from what is possible, plausible and probable towards what is preferable: Future Fictions there-fore is essentially a project about ideas and ideals, about dreams beyond hope and fear. Can we learn to critically assess the future visions presented? Which criteria would be valid in doing so?  In other words, can we learn to become ‘future literate’? Other artists include Dunne & RabyAtelier Van Lieshout, Near Future Laboratory and many more. Curated by Karen Verschooren. Photo credit Kristof Vrancken/Z33

science fiction


Liam Young, 10 02 14


At EYEO’s 2013 festival in Minneapolis Liam Young gave one of the closing kenote lectures. In a multimedia performance he takes the audience on a storytelling walking tour through the Brave New Now, 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 and speculative designed fictions.

science fiction


Liam Young, 03 02 13


Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young is one of the curators of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Liam is developing the exhibition Future Perfect , a fictional future city that will open for visitors in September 2013. Future Perfect zooms into the fictional city developed for Under Tomorrow’s Sky and develops fragments of the future city at a 1:1 scale.

In a time of crisis architects need to be exploring big visions and bold gestures. It is not the time to retreat. The future must become a project again. Future Perfect brings together an ensemble of scientists, technologists, futurists, science fiction authors and designers to collectively develop the props, spaces, machines, cultures and narratives of their own brave new future city – an imaginary urbanism, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains.

Emerging in the shadows of the decaying towers of a post oil Dubai, Future Perfect is imagined as a new terraformed urban island. It is a city that is grown rather than built, a computed territory, faceted and abstracted, endlessly reprinting itself as demand requires. Buildings tessellate down the landscape as an inhabited geology of crevice rooms, and public valleys. Its material fabric has evolved as a complex endemic ecology where nature and technology intertwine and where biology becomes an economy. The city has developed in a near future heavily influenced by the imminent boom of the Indian subcontinent, an emerging technology and economic superpower- a hybrid culture, part Bollywood call center, part European cultural capital.  It is an imaginary landscape extrapolated from the wonders and possibilities of emerging biological and technological research.

In future Perfect project collaborations are forged between designers and technologists to develop a collection of commissioned works that can be inhabited as large scale fragments of the future city. Inhabit these moments of the from the future, sit within its pharmaceutical gardens, listen to the drone infrastructures drifting in the skies above, watch as the city endlessly remakes itself. These strategies bring the architect closer to the technologies that are increasingly shaping the urban realm and the public closer to the scientific research that is changing their world. The Future Perfect think tank includes Bruce Sterling, Warren Ellis, Rachel Armstrong, Daniel Dociu, Paul Duffield, ARC magazine, Centre For Science and Imagination, BLDGBLOG and many more. Artists and designers for Future Perfect will be announced shortly.

We are also accepting applications to be included in the other associated exhibitions of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Close, Closer. You can propose ideas for Crisis Buster Grants, Associated Projects, Student Prizes and a young architect Début Award - all details in the PDF attached! Check out our website for more details or download our launch booklet. You or your company can also be part of our project by becoming a friend, patron or benefactor. We are a non-profit organisation and hugely appreciate all and any support you may be able to give

science fiction


Liam Young, 22 10 11


WONDER STORIES 3
Live in London and New York Oct 28th

Created by
Liam Young [Tomorrows Thoughts Today]
And Geoff Manaugh [BLDGBLOG]

In Association with the Architectural Association, Studio-X NYC, Popular Science

We have always regaled ourselves with speculative stories of a day yet to come. In these polemic visions 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 these narratives offer a distanced view from which to survey the consequences of various social, environmental and technological scenarios.

Wonder Stories chronicles such tales in a sci fi storytelling jam with musical interludes, live demonstrations and illustrious speakers from the fields of science, art and technology presenting their visions of the near future. Join our ensemble of mad scientists, literary astronauts, design mystics, graphic cowboys, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries for an evening of wondrous possibilities and dark cautionary tales.

For the first time, Wonder Stories will be simultaneously hosted in London and New York and Popular Science will join the Architectural Association and Studio X NYC in coordinating the event this year. Join us for the third event in the series as we chart a course from science fiction to science fact with talks, a hands on taxidermy workshop, animatronic guests, swarm robotics demonstrations, datascapes walking tour and live movie soundscapes.

Free to all. OCT 28 1200 – 2200 at the Architectural Association London and OCT 28/29 at Studio-X NYC

The event will be streamed live streamed here and you can follow the twitter feed with #tws3

LONDON EVENT

Hosted by
LIAM YOUNG (‘Tomorrows Thoughts Today’ and the AA’s ‘Unknown Fields Division’)
MATT JONES (‘BERG London’, Design technologists)

VINCENZO NATALI
Director of Splice, Cube, and forthcoming films based on J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise and Neuromancer by William Gibson

BRUCE STERLING
Scifi author and futurist

KEVIN SLAVIN
Game designer and spatial theorist

ANDY LOCKLEY
Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor for Inception,compositing/2D supervisor for Batman Begins and Children of Men

PHILIP BEESLEY
Digital media artist and experimental architect

CHRISTIAN LORENZ SCHEURER
Concept artist and illustrator for video games and films such as The Matrix, Dark City, The Fifth Element, and Superman Returns

JULIAN BLEECKER
Designer, technologist, and researcher at the Near Future Laboratory

CHARLIE TUESDAY GATES
Taxidermy artist and sculptor, to lead a live taxidermy workshop

DR RODERICH GROSS AND THE ‘NATURAL ROBOTICS LAB’
Head of the Natural Robotics Lab at the University of Sheffield,to lead a live Swarm Robotics demonstration

GAVIN ROTHERY
Concept artist for Moon, directed by Duncan Jones

GUSTAV HOEGEN
Animatronics engineer for Hellboy, Clash of the Titans, and Ridley Scott’s forthcoming film Prometheus

SPOV
Motion graphics artists for Discovery Channel’s Future Weapons and Project Earth

ZELIG SOUND
Music, composition, and sound design for film and television

RADIOPHONIC
Throughout the day we will be accompanied by electronic tonalities from Radiophonic

NEW YORK EVENT

Hosted by
GEOFF MANAUGH (BLDGBLOG, STUDIO-X NYC)
NICOLA TWILLEY (EDIBLE GEOGRAPHY, STUDIO-X NYC)
POPULAR SCIENCE

BJARKE INGELS
Architect, WSJ Magazine 2011 architectural innovator of the year, and author of Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution

NICHOLAS DE MONCHAUX
Architect and author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

HARI KUNZRU
Novelist and author of Gods Without Men and The Impressionist

JAMES FLEMING
Historian and author of Fixing The Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control

ANDREW BLUM
Journalist and author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

DAVID BENJAMIN
Architect and co-director of The Living

MARC KAUFMAN
Science writer and author of First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth

DEBBIE CHACHRA
Researcher and educator in biological materials and engineering design

JACE CLAYTON AND LINDSAY CUFF OF NETTLE
Nettle’s latest album, El Resplandor, is a speculative soundtrack for an unmade remake of The Shining, set in a luxury hotel in Dubai

CHRIS WOEBKEN
Interaction designer

SETH FLETCHER
Science writer and author of Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy

SIMONE FERRACINA
Architect and author of Organs Everywhere

DAVE GRACER
Insect agriculturalist at Small Stock Foods

HOD LIPSON
Researcher in evolutionary robotics and the future of 3D printing

ANDREW HESSEL
Science writer and open-source biologist, focusing on bacterial genomics

CARLOS OLGUIN
Designer at Autodesk Research working on the intersection of bio-nanotechnology and 3D visualization

[Image credit 'Inception' dir. Christopher Nolan]

science fiction


Liam Young, 13 09 11


Liam Young is part of the Glitch Fiction exhibition for the inaugural Paris Design week. The exhibition is open daily from 11:00 – 19:00 12 – 18th Sept at Cite de la Mode et du Design, Docks en Seine, Qai de Austerlitz, Pars 13. If you can’t make it to Paris then you can download the Glitch-Fiction Newspaper to see a summary of the projects.

“Glitch Fiction is the false error, the point of chute, the wormhole in the timeline, the what could have been? At the edge between science fiction and reality, a series of thought-provoking, participative and speculative design projects will be revealed.

From 12th to 18th September, Glitch Fiction will land in Paris for the very first Paris Design Week. Visit us at la Cité de la Mode et du Design to witness a chaotic Black Swan unfold, to feel the spitting heat of ash hit your high-heels in your living room, to have a machine generate your fairytales, to get caught in a thunderstorm of fish, to see your eyes, lips and skin lost in the fragments of others, to explore a new techno-social landscape through your ears or to imagine scientific rituals not yet explored.

Come, test out and experience the fringe of design for yourself. Glitch Fiction mixes activist and experimental designs in a real office of wonders. Dreams, nightmares, near realities and hyper fantasies meet in the middle to explore the implications of current and emerging technologies through the presentation of fictional scenarios, parallel worlds, extrapolated tangents, cautionary tales and design fictions. Inspired by science and technology the following proposals use design as a medium to speculate, be critical and stimulate debate around our human relationship to science and technology in our current, alternative and imagined future everyday lives.

Also in the exhibition is Gunnar Green,  Bernd Hopfengaertner, Studio Good one, Xavier Poultney , Austin Houldsworth, David Benqué, Nicolas Myers, Nitipak Samsen, Ilona Gaynor, Zoe Papadopoulou, Nelly Ben Hayoun and Good Wives and Warriors

An exhibition coordinated and managed by Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio, Visual Design and website by Nicolas Myers and David Benque

science fiction


Liam Young, 18 10 10


Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young and Liquid Factory’s Kate Davies have just launched the 10/11 Diploma 6 programme for their Unknown Fields Division studio at the Architectural Association. The studio outline is below.

‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ Arthur C. Clarke

This year the Unknown Fields Division continues to enter into new relations with the territories of science, nature and fiction. We explore the complex, rich and contradictory realities of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures and probe our preservationist and conservationist attitudes toward the natural world. In our  Galapagos Island studio we mused on evolution,  last year in the Arctic we contemplated the end of the world and now we look toward strange new beginnings as we embark on a voyage to bear witness to the reinvention of nature through technology in the Australian Never-Never. 

The Division will head off on a dust blown road trip across Australia, into the vast and mysterious interior of this remote island continent in search of its ancient tribal hinterlands and its vast techno-landscapes. This land of rich resources and sparsely inhabited expanses houses huge feats of engineering; technological incisions into the narrative landscape of the Dreamtime – the creation mythology of the indigenous Aboriginals. Stories and ceremonies of dreaming beings that once shaped the sacred sites of mountain ranges and river-beds are now spun with the ghosts of modern technologies. 

Here beneath the Southern Cross, telescopes listen to the beep-beep from alien worlds, solar arrays track the sun, observatories scan the Milky Way and all the while, machines harvest the earth for the precious ingredients of our daily lives. We will venture ‘out back’ into a hidden terrain – a strange landscape behind the scenes of modern living – visiting the vast mines of the interior, stalking mechanical beasts the size of buildings and exploring excavations the size of cities. Violent gestures of accelerated geology employed across these vast expanses create landscapes of erasure, excavation and re-articulation. Towering mountains of tailings, articulated valleys and vast lakes emerge from these incisions; re-made as new nature.  We will be both visionaries and reporters, critically engaged with the conditions of today through speculation about the coming of tomorrow. Clambering over the wreckage of the future, our architecture will operate in the no-man’s land between the cultivated and the natural: a new Dreaming for a new kind of wilderness.

Image credit: Space Project by Vincent Fournier

science fiction


Liam Young, 19 10 09


This year’s edition of Liam Young’s and Kate Davie’s Intermediate 7 design studio at the Architectural Association has just launched. Read on for this year’s agenda and watch this space as last years ‘Necesary Monsters’ studio projects will be posted shortly.

The end of The World and Other Bedtime Stories

‘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

We stare out through Hubble at the light from the creation of the universe. At CERN we hurl electrons at each other looking for clues to its beginning only to set in motion our collective anxieties about our demise in black-hole oblivion. 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.

This year Inter 7 continues to slip suggestively between the real and the imagined, in the space where architecture enters into new relations with the territories of science and fiction. It is an experience of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures. Last year in the living wunderkammer of the Galapagos Islands, we explored the origin of the species and breathed life into a menagerie of architectural monsters. This year we will once again investigate our preservationist and conservationist attitudes toward the natural world but this time we embark on a voyage to bear witness to the alien landscapes of technology. We have mused on evolution and now we will flirt with extinction.

We will set forth on a psychedelic road trip, a last chance saloon tour of sites at their point of collapse. We will clamber over the wreckage of the future to visit a no-man’s land between cultivation and nature and spin a cautionary tale of a new kind of wilderness. Here the radio crackles, skies darken, the weather warms, grey goo seeps from between the cracks, mutant crops roam free – it’s a beautiful day in the strange landscapes that lie behind the scenes of modern living.

Our projects may be militant solutions or last gasp redemptions; a call to arms or a head in the sand; swan songs, manifestos or glorious celebrations in the shadow of an imminent end. We will be both visionaries and reporters, part documentary and part science fiction, we will critically engage with the conditions of today through speculation about the coming of tomorrow. Standing at the brink we will 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 collapse of the stellar universe will occur– like creation– in grandiose splendor.” – Blaise Pascal

(more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 12 08 09


Another spinoff from the Thrilling Wonder Stories gig we co curated is this futurist menage e trois organised with Icon Magazine between TWS contributors architect Francois Roche, blogger Geoff Manaugh and graphic novelist Warren Ellis. It was edited and transcribed by Icon’s Justin McGuirk and William Wiles and is published in their september issue. Also check out the same issue for William Wiles review of Roche’s kinky new project ‘I’m Lost in Paris’. Read the full conversation after the jump.

(more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 09 07 09


The Thrilling Wonder Stories architecture and science fiction symposium curated by Tomorrow’s Thought’s Today’s Liam Young and BLDGBLOG‘s Geoff Manaugh has been uploaded so it can now be watched on demand as an onlne stream from the Architectural Association. The whole day is broken down into 4 videos. You can watch the first installment here or go to the index page for the others.

(more…)

science fiction


Darryl Chen, 19 12 08


With anxiety one of the themes of the early twenty-first century, it is worth revisiting Paolo Soleri and his Arcology projects of the tumultuous late-60s.

From Hexahedron, Mesa City and Babelnoah, these late-Modern and ecologically driven projects are much more than a foretelling of a clean-energy and resource-conscious future, than paint a paranoid vision of a future we perhaps now inhabit.

Hexahedron

Babelnoah

(more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 20 10 08


Invisible Man by Jeff Wall

“Going mad is the only way of staying sane.”  J.G.Ballard

In addition to the design studio I am running at the Architectural Association I am also running a studio with Paolo Zaide at the Bartlett school of Architecture.

 The Studio is titled Altered States. The studio outline follows.

Lost on strange islands suspended within the familiar spaces of the everyday is the vagabond troupe of DIY eccentrics, adventurers and malcontents who conjure their own atlas of Micronations. These fictional states vary in physical scale from the islands of 17th century pirate utopias, to an abandoned anti air craft tower in the middle of the North Sea or the sitting room of an anonymous flat in east London. ‘They merge fact, myth and speculation in their embrace of a parallel world, motivated by political subterfuge, legal loopholes, an immoderate love of royal titles, or a disenchantment with the commonplace.’*

This year Unit 6 will author our own archipelago of fictional states. We will navigate this critical space between the actual and the imagined, a space where architecture can enter into new relations with the territories of science and fiction. We will wander off the map, through the speculative landscapes of dreams and desires, on a future safari into brave new worlds that have mutated from our own. These projective states will actually be readings of the world we are now in, an experience of the present as a site of possible futures. Projects will slip suggestively between mistakes, myths and lies – a ‘combinatory capacity’ of infinite and unsettling possibilities. (more…)

science fiction


Liam Young, 21 09 08


This is Gurmail Virdee’s student project form a Diploma Thesis studio I ran last year. The project was just submitted as a silver nominee for the RIBA Presidents Medals. you can view the entry online here. An extract from his work follows.

The project is developed as an experiment in the tangible applications of complex system theory by designing an intelligent, collective corporate organism.

Scripting and animation studies inform the swarming and parasitic behaviour of a designed ecology of schizophrenic robots. By responding to daily, weekly and seasonal cycles the robots aggregate to create volumes and surfaces supporting both the corporate and public life of the surrounding city. The result is a ‘strange nature’ of emergent species, a bio-artificial wilderness of interactive environments and habitable digital landscapes.

Design strategies are tested in the real context of Wall Street, across three ascending scales, from the individual robot specimens and their local interactions to the generic office floor plate and ultimately the adjacent New York streetscape.

It is an intriguing project that poses questions and probes uncertain possibilities. It is both unfamiliar and novel but also unquestioningly relevant and architectural.

science fiction


Liam Young, 11 09 08


anthony crossfield_foreign bodies

Foreign Bodies by Anthony Crossfield

 “Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.” J.G. Ballard

This year I will be running a design studio at the Architectural Association in London with Kate Davies from Liquidfactory. Work from the studio will be posted as it develops. 

The studio begins by exploring the dark menagerie that inhabits the pages of Borges’ “Book of Imaginary Beings”.  This register of curious specimens forms a zoo of mythology, a miscellany of ‘necessary monsters’ that are imbued with the dreams and fears of those who conjured them.  These monsters inhabit both the realms of nature and culture ‘slipping suggestively’ between the actual and the imagined – a ‘combinatory capacity’ of infinite and unsettling possibilities. 

Necessary excursions into myth and play can disrupt the surface of the familiar to reveal gaps of useful uncertainty.  We can then wander off the map, through the speculative landscapes of science fiction, on a future safari into brave new worlds that have mutated from our own.

The studio will navigate this critical space between the real and the imagined, a space where architecture can enter into new relations with the territories of science and fiction.  Surveying fields whether literary, biological or electronic and experimenting with devices such as futurology, film and gaming you will be encouraged to consider the mythic dimensions of emerging technologies as a way of critically engaging with the conditions of today and the coming of tomorrow. (more…)