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


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.


Liam Young, 20 03 14

On April 4 +5 Liam Young will be hosting  Data Drama: Crunching, Chunking and other Novel Data Technologies to Better Help us Escape From the Present at Princeton University School of Architecture. Across 2 days 20 speakers will be discussing the spatial possibilities and consequences of big data and the network. To accompany the presentations Andrew Blum, author of Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet, will be coordinating a field trip through the wilds of New Jersey to visit a series of local data centres and critical engineer Julian Oliver will be running a workshop on the tools and tactics for asserting and defending civil liberties in the networked domain. For details head over here where the event will also be live streamed. Use #datadrama to contribute to the conversation.

James Bridle [Artist and founder Of Dronestagram and the New Aesthetic]

Kevin Slavin [Founder of the Playful Systems group at MIT's Media Lab]

Tim Maughan [Science Fiction Author]

Ivan Poupyrev [Project leader at Google’s Advance Technologies and Projects Division]

Ben Lewis [Director of Google and the World Brain]

Kate Crawford [Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Visiting Professor, MIT Center for Civic Media]

Metahaven [Designers and Editors of Black Transparency: The right to know in the age of Mass Surveillance]

Joanne McNeil [Techno political Writer and Researcher]

Scanlab [Specialists in Large scale 3D laser scanning]

Benjamin Bratton [Director of The Center for Design and Geopolitics]

Carlo Ratti [Director of Senseable City Lab at MIT]

Usman Hasque [Founder of internet of things data infrastructure Pachube]

Adam Harvey [Countersurveillance fashion designer]

Mario Carpo [Architectural Historian]


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.


Liam Young, 09 02 14

Darryl Chen from Tomorrows Thoughts Today presented an extended stream of consciousness on Productive Dystopia as part of Failed Architecture #10 Beyond Failure at Trouw Amsterdam. Also speaking on the evening were Ole Bouman (Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture), Matthias Bottger (raumtaktik), Arjen Oosterman (Volume) and Mark Studholme (Archello) moving beyond ruin porn and blind futurism to discuss the benefits of failure.


Liam Young, 21 05 13

Sign Up Now! Applications close June 14th. Open to All.

Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young’s co run studio the Unknown Fields Division is launching the call for applications for their 2013 summer expedition to Madagascar. The Unknown Fields Division is a nomadic design studio that ventures out on expeditions to the ends of the earth to explore peripheral landscapes, industrial ecologies and precarious wilderness. These landscapes – the iconic and the ignored, the excavated, irradiated and the pristine – are embedded in global systems that connect them in surprising and complicated ways to our everyday lives. Each year they navigate a different trajectory as we seek to map the complex and contradictory realities of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures.

In times past an anarchist community of pirates called Madagascar home.  It was an island beyond the law and off the map, a place of rogues, booty and bounties. These were outlaws moored on a marooned ecosystem. Set adrift 88 million years ago, the island is a castaway in the Indian Ocean, inhabited by a band of ecological stowaways. In this splendid isolation it has evolved into an unparalleled wonderland of the weird and unique, diverse and unbelievable.

A political coup in 2009 left the country adrift once more – isolated from the international community, deprived of foreign aid and conservation funding. One of the planet’s most precious ecological treasures is home to one of its poorest nations and it raises difficult and complex questions about the relationship between necessity and luxury. Amidst political uncertainty, the island’s fragile and unique ecology is being smuggled out illegally, boat by boat, gem by gem. Rare tortoises leave in rucksacks, forests are carved into the ebony fingerboards on Gibson Guitars or $1million rosewood beds sold in China.

In the run up to the country’s first election since the coup Unknown Fields heads to Madagascar to catalogue the push and pull of economy and ecology and to trace the shadows of the world’s desires across the landscapes of this treasured island.  Along our way we seek to uncover some of the complex value negotiations that play out across this unique island and craft new stories from statistics, data, predictions, projections, measurements and offsets.

The Division will venture through wild west sapphire towns and mining landscapes and trek through rainforests ringing with the song of the Indri in search of rare and undiscovered treasures, a menagerie of preciousness and scarcity, of rubies, minerals and exotic spices, of ring tailed Lemurs, ‘octopus’ trees, and carnivorous plants; of pigmy chameleons, tomato frogs and moon moths. We will travel by plane and pirogue, train and taxi-brousse, from rough roads to rough seas, to fishing villages and up rivers silted with eroded soils. Unknown Fields will reimagine a territory that is equally wondrous and scarred as we follow the trail of global resource extraction into the heart of the most unique ecosystem on the planet.

Joining them on tour will be international collaborators from the worlds of technology, science and fiction, and together we will form a travelling circus of research visits, field reportage, rolling discussions and impromptu tutorials that will be chronicled in a publication and film developed en route.


The Unknown Fields summer expedition is open to all architects, designers, artists, writers and interested parties, students or professionals.  A portfolio or CV is not required, only the online application form and payment.


The deadline for applications is 14 June 2013. Application forms and additional information are available online at: www.aaschool.ac.uk/unknownfields and applications can be submitted to: visitingschool@aaschool.ac.uk or contact info@unknownfieldsdivision.com for questions. All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required. After payment of fees, the AA can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.

All inclusive Expedition fee: £1500, which includes flights from London, all internal transport, accommodation, entrance fees, meetings, consultants, workshops and all other group costs (excludes meals). Please note: If you are based closer to Madagascar you can meet Unknown Fields on location in Antananarivo and we can arrange a reduced fee that excludes return flights from London.

+ £60 Architectural Association Membership. If you are already a member of the AA, this is not required.


Liam Young, 19 01 12

Liam Young and Kate Davies, leaders of the Architectural Association’s award winning Unknown Fields Division, have announced a recruitment drive for their next public nomadic studio which will run from 20 Aug – 01 Sep 2012. You have until July to SIGN UP! Last year the division travelled on a cross section through landscapes of obsolete futures from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, through the Ukraine and the oil fields of Azerbaijan to rocket launch pad of kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrone. This year go in search of Alien Encounters on a roadtrip from Mexican Border towns and the Roswell UFO crash site, through Area 51 to the Burning Man Festival.

Unknown Fields is a nomadic studio that throws open the doors of the AA and sets off on an annual expedition to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies. Each year we navigate a different global cross-section and map the complex and contradictory realities of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures. You will be both visionaries and reporters, part documentarian and part science-fiction soothsayers as the otherworldly sites we encounter will afford us a distanced viewpoint from which to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological scenarios.

This year the Division will be heading off on a reconnaissance road trip to chronicle a series of extraterrestrial encounters from the borderlands, black sites, military outposts and folkloric landscapes of the United States. From the ‘illegal aliens’ of the New Mexico border towns we will head north exploring territories of negotiation and conflict, zones of transgression, suspicion and speculation. We will rumble along the UFO highway, past the mythic territories of Area 51, listening to tall tales from conspiracy theorists amidst the sonic booms crackling in the quiet desert air.

We will visit covert military test sites and the alien technologies of the aeronautics industry as we shape our own experimental craft to launch in the skies above the psychedelic community of the Burning Man Festival, where our journey ends. By the bonfires we will examine the mysteries and conspiracies that surround what lies off the map, off-grid and below the radar as we propose new truths and expose alternative fictions.

Joining us on our travels will be a troupe of collaborators from the worlds of technology, science and fiction including Geoff Manaugh [BLDGBLOG], Nicola Twilley [Edible Geography], futurist Stuart Candy and UFOologist, folklorist and author Mark Pilkington. Together we will form a travelling circus of research visits, field reportage, rolling discussions and impromptu tutorials that will be chronicled in an annual publication and travelling exhibition. Throughout our journey the Division will identify opportunities for tactical intervention and speculative invention as we examine the unknown fields between truth and fiction.

Enlist now before all the postiions are filled! Email l.young (at) tomorrowsthoughtstoday.com with any questions.


Liam Young, 22 10 11

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


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

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

Scifi author and futurist

Game designer and spatial theorist

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

Digital media artist and experimental architect

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

Designer, technologist, and researcher at the Near Future Laboratory

Taxidermy artist and sculptor, to lead a live taxidermy workshop

Head of the Natural Robotics Lab at the University of Sheffield,to lead a live Swarm Robotics demonstration

Concept artist for Moon, directed by Duncan Jones

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

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

Music, composition, and sound design for film and television

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


Hosted by

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

Architect and author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

Novelist and author of Gods Without Men and The Impressionist

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

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

Architect and co-director of The Living

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

Researcher and educator in biological materials and engineering design

Nettle’s latest album, El Resplandor, is a speculative soundtrack for an unmade remake of The Shining, set in a luxury hotel in Dubai

Interaction designer

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

Architect and author of Organs Everywhere

Insect agriculturalist at Small Stock Foods

Researcher in evolutionary robotics and the future of 3D printing

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

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

[Image credit 'Inception' dir. Christopher Nolan]


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.



Darryl Chen, 28 07 09

Last weekend the Watermans Gallery sponsored a kick-off event for the ‘Power of 8′ project. Opening up our discussion to the public, a steady stream of participants ranging from the radically activist to the playfully naive populated a main table with walking houses, snow stimulators, solar powered airships, public free boxes, new wireless connectivity and human spinning tops. More images here.



Liam Young, 09 07 09

On 14th July at the Barbican Liam Young hosted a screening of two amazing films, ‘Buckminster Fuller Meets the Hippies’ and ‘Counter Communities’, for the Architecture Foundation’s Architecture on Film series. See the Spaceship Earth and the Designer Guru website for film and event details. Liam wrote the following essay to accompany the screening.

Once Upon an Island: Utopian Cowboys, Guru Astronauts and Other Hopeful Tales of Misadventure

The hippies gather round, they sit together on the grass as Bucky holds court at their centre, waxing lyrical, a suited up,  button down island in a sea of beads, headbands, beards and cowboy hats. Children giggle, smoke and optimism fill the air and the crowd blows bubbles that float off, glistening like the geodesic domes of Bucky’s utopian dreams. The hippies had lots of questions and it appeared Buckminster Fuller had all the answers. He was a prophet, a counter culture guru, a mad scientist and maverick architect. For Guinea Pig B, as he came to call the experiment that was the fashioning of his own life, we are all astronauts on this great spaceship earth, and any individual has the capacity to change its course.



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.