publication


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.

publication


Liam Young, 18 02 15



This new publication by Sonic Acts is inspired by geosciences and zooms in on planet Earth. Fundamental to The Geologic Imagination is the idea that we live in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the publication author Tim Maughan interviews Liam Young and Kate Davies on board a container ship travelling through the South China Seas during the Unknown Fields Expedition. You can order the book here.

Human activity has irreversibly changed the composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, and even the Earth’s crust. Humanity has become a geological force. Consequently, the perspective has shifted from humans at the centre of the world to the forces that act on timescales beyond the conceivable. These ideas challenge us to rethink our attachments to the world, and our concepts of nature, culture and ecology. With this book Sonic Acts examines how art and science map and document new insights, and how the changes and transformations that occur on a geological scale can become something humans can feel, touch, and experience.

The Geologic Imagination features new essays by Timothy Morton, Douglas Kahn, Paul Bogard, Michael Welland, and Raviv Ganchrow; there are interviews with Dipesh Chakrabarty, Matthew Coolidge, Liam Young, Noortje Marres, Kodwo Eshun, Kurt Hentschläger, and Mario de Vega; and visual contributions by Femke Herregraven,Mirna Belina, Ellsworth & Kruse, the Center of Land Use Interpretation, Marijn de Jong, and BJ Nilsen & Karl Lemieux.

You can read a few fragments from Tim Maughan that didn’t make it into the final piece-

Liam: Because like I was saying, it is quite extraordinary, like I was talking about the technological sublime. We see it in all these places we go to, we stand at the world’s largest gold mine, it’s a hole in the ground the size of the Grand Canyon, so big it generates its own weather system and planes have to divert around it otherwise they’re sucked into the wind vortex that it creates. We’ve done this…we’ve built the machines that have dug this fucking hole. People travel from all over the world to go and see the Grand Canyon, to go to this fucking hole in the ground. It’s the same kind of thing, it’s actually more impressive because that took millions of years of wind and rain and erosion to create it and we did this in 15 years ‑ that’s pretty amazing. So we used to paint the sublime which was about the fear and order of nature, and now we have the technological sublime where we approach the same kind of landscapes, we have the same kind of feelings about technological and industrial landscapes that we once did looking across the savanna, or looking across the grand canyon, or standing on a peak and seeing the amazon jungle unfolding in front of us. We stand underneath of a crane in a mega-port and we have that same sense of awe and wonder.

Tim: I was standing on the bridge, and the lights on one of them suddenly fired up and it slowly passed over me…a dozen little suns beaming on me, bringing daylight to the night.

Liam: And you get fucking goose bumps, you know what I mean? Like the artificial night when you see a factory on the horizon…it creates this strange kind of synthetic aurora and it’s desolate ‑ it’s utterly seductive. That’s our era’s great art…people used to do the Nazca Lines and we go to the oil pipelines.

Tim: That’s funny you say that because I went to Machu Picchu back in April, and it was fantastic. And then a few weeks later I went to Detroit. And that was fantastic too. And they both seemed strangely similar to me. And I couldn’t quite decide which impressed me more.

Liam: [laughs]

Tim: And they’re two of the same things, right?

Liam: Yeah. Two ruins of a civilisation.

publication


Darryl Chen, 20 10 12


Darryl Chen’s Mobile Mountain [MBL.MTN] project and essay “On Infrastructure” have been published in Architectural Inventions: Visionary Drawings. The Laurence King publication presents a arresting and awe-inspiring visual study of impossible or speculative structures. Highlighting visions that exist outside of established channels of production and conventions of design, Architectural Inventions showcases a multiplicity in concept and vision, fantasy and innovation. (more…)

publication


Liam Young, 17 10 12


As part of an ongoing collaboration with Archis + Volume, Liam Young and the Unknown Fields Division have co authored VOLUME 31: Guilty Landscapes. VOLUME joined Unknown Fields on ther Summer 2011 expedition form the chernobyl Exclusion Zone to Baikonur Cosmodrome and this research, developed  alongside Unknown Fields previous missions to dislocated hinterlands around the world have informed the issues theme. Guilt has been effectively used to control and manipulate the masses. But it can also be the start of a change for the better: awareness, concern, action. Engagement and guilt are never far apart. Engagement is sublimated guilt. We can build on guilt, but can we build with guilt? Is guilt a material to design with? You can see the table of contents or check out a sneak preview of the issue.  

In three sections: revelations, confessions, and atonement, the issue presents a global scan of large-scale guilty landscapes and our design relation to them. A major section is dedicated to the Chernobyl ‘exclusion zone’ as a post nuclear disaster area, with other contributions focusing on landscapes transformed by mining industries, waste, human atrocities and more, as well as ways to atone for these criminal acts.

publication


Darryl Chen, 26 06 11


Excerpts from Darryl Chen’s Productive Dystopia essay in ‘Utopia Forever’:

“Our narrative is modernity, and our dystopias are the super-planned, re-planned and unplanned environments of the modern world. The aberrations and abandoned spaces of our modern environments, the margins that are squeezed by the excesses of development, the new natures that are produced in lieu of what was natural, the waste that is left behind after the flight of capital— these are the instable interstices of modern life. They are latent territories that are both the unforeseen consequences of our modern impulse, as well as the raw material for a renewed project on the city. (more…)

publication


Darryl Chen, 03 04 10


Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today is part of Superfront gallery’s group show “Unplanned”. If you can’t make it to LA, the catalogue can be ordered online, which also features essays by Geoff Manaugh (BldgBlog), David Turnbull (GSAPP), MitchMcEwen (Superfront), Ines Moreira (Petit Cabanon) and Cristina Goberna Pesudo (Fake Industries Architectural Agonism). Writes Pesudo: “…it is in the lack of consensus where this exhibition succeeds the most, where perverse imaginaries create a field for disensus apart from institutionalized points of view…” (more…)

publication


Darryl Chen, 21 12 09


DIY Urbanism makes a debut in this quarter’s Urban Design magazine – the voice of many an embattled professional urban designer and sourcebook for shared surface roads, character-based place-making and high quality inclusive public realm (among other para-governmental best practice design guidance).

The journal devotes its regular Viewpoint pages to the “cheeky? incisive?” TTT project which is otherwise featured on this site as “How to be a successful urban designer” (scroll down for that post in this column). (more…)

publication


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…)

publication


Darryl Chen, 27 07 08


[originally published in Architectural Review, Feb 2003]

Shanghai presents a unique almost control-model kind of urban subject matter among world metropolises. It is a city which after experiencing incredible economic prosperity through the turn of the nineteenth century froze its free market development under thirty years of failed socialist revolution, and then started again on an accelerating trajectory towards capitalist ideals. The city currently exists in a giddy state of equilibrium between government control and market forces, the monolithic state regime acting as a valve for releasing massive forces which would otherwise send the country into a multi-directional frenzy of socio-economic instability. (more…)

publication


Liam Young, 19 07 08


Watson house. Photo by Richard Stringer

The commitment to form. A small house by andrew wilson explores complex relationships between image, figure and experience, and the potential of contemporary country life.

 view the full article online at Architecture Australia