Darryl Chen, 29 08 09

“Where The Grass Is Greener” documents a radical alternative in contemporary living, an urban infrastructure, a social experiment, a political statement…. Three thousand residents and counting. In London’s outer suburbs, a community has gathered walling themselves off from the rest of society. These postcards bear testament to their vision.

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  • 1. Alex  |  September 26th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Hopefully this is more Nostradamus than dreamland. The images each have a distinctly unsettling element, bringing up a more explicit question than the ones the author of the post raises; not whether the grass is GM (though the scenes certainly paint a green future reliant primarily on tech and rules than behavior) but whether you would want to be a part of this world?

    From the incredibly mismatched juxtapositions of industrial and sublime nature, people and machine, comes particularly uninviting settings. Preflooded Wetlands looks like the pastoral makeover of war of the worlds. And as much as I love bats, their prominence in that world, flying in or out or at your window would not be welcome by most residents. As the green tech wades in the river of Waste and Biogas the water takes on a warily polluted looking angle. Today’s world has established that industry and people do not mix, it’s a smell thing (as well as a health thing). The associations in this image though are visual only and therefore we cannot take in just how new this world might be. Permacultural Hinterland is such a forced mating of old and new that the people living there (happy hippies though they are) have felt left out of the implementation process of grand new green bill. So much has been dumped into their frame that it has no option other than to be a busy mess. Finally the Primordial Garden Sanctuary exposes this green future’s failure. Excluding humans in the interim creates a culture where we can look but not touch nature (sort of an incomplete idea, can you get it anyway?).

    This is not my dream but a portent I can believe in. Each image lacks in design thinking so severely as to make the viewer uncomfortable just gazing on it before even imagining being there. Thanks to Liam Young for putting together such strong, questionable images. I am thankful that these images only reinforce my feelings about design and its important role in our future. I wonder if these were put on display if they could actually lead to constructive critical discussion by the public of what our future should look like, beyond how it/we should function.

    I also wonder what would be written on the backs of these postcards from our future generations. Do they love it or hate it? Is everything better with the world? They could have a lot of answers for our present.

    What do you think? How should our future look?

    And what’s with all the geese?

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