Liam Young, 11 03 10


This is the second installent of a series of projects to come out of our Power of 8 research trip to ‘Acres Green: The Way Life Should Be’.

…the hypnotic dance patterns of small, glowing insects against the warm colours of the dark sky left us in awe, and we wanted to know more. We stopped two people dressed in large netted clothing walking down the street. They introduced themselves as ‘hivers’ and told us the story behind these mysterious creatures:

These glowing creatures were the Beamer Bees or Beamer Signum Apis Melifera, formulated by a community of biologists and hired bio-hackers to service under-pollinated trees, plants and vegetables due to the disappearance of honey bees.

The Beamer Bees are guided by radiowaves and electromagnetic landscapes to crops requiring pollination. They are produced in a limited number each year, and their interactions with the bumble bees and other creatures are tightly monitored. It seems that the Acres Green residents can buy licenses to call the bees. License holders use the bugles or other personal mobile devices which transmits radiowaves that the bees can detect. The bees follow the waves to their source.

We realised how the Beamer Bees had became central to the Acres Green ecosystem and people seemed to be able to live in harmony with them. We see a glimpse of one family’s everyday interactions with the new creatures. Practical, yet stylish netted fashion ensured comfort on the way to a party, Gardeners who missed out on licenses opportunistically used wifi routers to attract bees to their plants. (more…)


Liam Young, 09 03 10


The first installment of an ongoing project.  Chapter 1: the electric aurora.

In the preface to his 1957 bestiary ‘The Book of Imaginary Beings’ Jorge Luis Borges describes a child’s first visit to the zoo. With wonder and joy the child marvels at the strangeness and mysteries of the unfamiliar creatures that they have never before seen. This encounter with a zoo of the real sits within the catalogue of a zoo of mythology, inhabited by ‘necessary monsters’ which are imbued with the dreams and fears of those who conjured them. (more…)


Liam Young, 08 03 10


Darting to the safety of the shadows a biotech ferret munches on its prey…

The fourth installment of an ongoing project.  Chapter 4: the Bioluminescent Billboard, the Roving Forests and an Augmented Ferret. (more…)


Darryl Chen, 04 02 10


Urban heat islands? Sink estates? Windswept alleys? The Mobile Mountain solves all your urban problems… for a limited season only! Read on to explore TTT’s latest riff on microclimate infrastructures…

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Darryl Chen, 07 11 09


A full house at TINAG’s Festival of Urbanism witnessed a healthy debate over whether dystopia offers us a productive way of looking at the future. Chaired by Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today’s Darryl Chen, a strong cast of emerging and seasoned urbanists responded to the topic with an incredibly broad range of projects. Click the vid for an introduction to the theme. Full documentation will be included in a forthcoming Critical Cities volume. But for now, here are some (out of context) highlights from the discussion: (more…)


Darryl Chen, 04 09 09


This project witnesses the result of the London Borough of Sutton’s desire to form England’s first “sustainable suburb” in the outer reaches of Greater London. What was first a twinkle in a councillor’s eye led to Sutton’s local government to write a policy document safeguarding Hackbridge as a showcase of carbon-positive living at the scale of the urban district. Sped by compulsory purchases and decanting of a small handful of resistant residents, the process gained more and more momentum until the milestone formation of the Green Grass Management Trust. First functioning as a para-governmental management arm of the fledgling district, the Green Grass MT gained in stature to be a renegade local government in its own right. As more and more people signed up to live within the confines of the newly established urban Ring, the Green Grass MT became less reliant on government subsidies and eventually became untouchable as a political entity, much to the quiet chagrin of local planners and councillors. Officially a special policy area under the umbrella authority of the borough, the Ring is now in actuality independent and self-sufficient in all respects.

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Darryl Chen, 03 09 09


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Darryl Chen, 02 09 09


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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. (more…)


Liam Young, 21 05 09


During the course of the 07/08 academic year a new school of architecture was formed in London. It was not celebrated in the university guides, it was not visible as a player in the end of year exhibition circuit but it was there lurking below the surface.  In this year Liam Young from Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today taught a design studio in 4 separate universities, choosing each studio so that together they covered every year of architectural education from first year to final year.

Although wildly unqualified for such an administrative position Liam had in effect become the head or dean of a school, albeit a new school parasitically embedded in an array of host institutions.  The school has been titled ‘The Menagerie’.  Pictured is its own end of year catalogue made from the stitched together unit pages printed from the host universities own publications. It is planned to celebrate the end of the year with a graduation roller disco.

Perhaps this is a new model for the institution, one that is exploded into fragments, camouflaged within the fabric of the city, co ordinated through blogs, txt messages and the 140 character haikus of twitter.

 


Liam Young, 20 04 09


The role of landscape is evolving. Developing from a historical position based in conservation and preservation the ‘nature’ of ‘nature’ can now be seen as both generative and dynamic, offering the potential for new ways of engaging with the environment. The distinctions between technology and biology or the natural and artificial are dissolving to the point where they have now become outmoded terms.

Developing from Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s urban proposal ‘City Zoo’, ‘make me a mountain!’ is a standalone infrastructural landscape project.  Whether deployed in a backyard, on a football pitch or a fragile wetland the building mutates from its context to create a habitable ecosystem that (e)merges into and out of its site. More a wilderness than an architecture, ‘make me a mountain!’ operates as a synthetic organism, reinforcing the metabolic and symbiotic conditions found in the surrounding landscape.

In its first iteration the project is tested as a Bathouse, Visitor Centre and Research Station for a London Wetlands site. Like a scuttled ship molded fiberglass shells containing observation, education and research spaces perform as an artificial reef. Glistening from within the rough and lively rock of the artificial mountain is this intertwined set of sinuous and smooth public spaces. This is a dark, discovered, augmented wilderness embedded with technology for remote virtual bat viewing and arranged for intimate but unobtrusive onsite observation. (more…)


Darryl Chen, 06 04 09


In the outer suburbs of London, a population has voluntarily separated themselves from the rest of society, and has taken up the mantle of sustainability in an extraordinary way. Driven by a set of ethics that places them in sometimes radical opposition to the rest of London, they have adopted a lifestyle that effectively makes them a carbon sink for the remainder of the city.

Postcards bear witness to how existing geographical patterns have been consolidated to create a giant infrastructural ring containing a series of productive and social programmes. Comprised of terraforming, hybridised architecture, natural obstructions and electronically surveilled barriers, this sophisticated urban crust is a new kind of urbanism – a fortress that protects a community of carbon-positive altruists, and reserves a place within the disorderly fabric of suburban London for pure ideology… where the grass is greener.

‘…where the grass is greener’ by Tomorrows Thoughts Today will be published in full shortly.


Liam Young, 08 12 08


The third installment of an ongoing project.  Chapter 3: the Silk Factory.

Pulled by moths an automated nomadic silk factory is spinning its glistening web under a lonely streetlamp. (more…)


Liam Young, 02 11 08


The second installment of an ongoing project.  Chapter 2: the CO2 Scrubber (more…)


Darryl Chen, 27 07 08


 

Barbicanism and its Errant Child refers to the critical process of urbanism as the city makes and remakes itself, and more specifically to the Barbican as a potent reference point. This project is for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, a long vacant site in London’s inner city. The Barbican’s own ideals, aspirations and current state of post-pubescent maturity indicate how one might go about developing a large brownfield site on the fringe of the highest concentration of financial capability in the world. (more…)


Liam Young, 21 07 08


 

Contemporary cities are no longer just accidental homes for animals that have been displaced from their natural habitat. They can now be seen as hotbeds of evolutionary change, shaping the adaptations of their resident fauna and providing an ideal theatre in which to see behaviour evolving at a pace rarely seen in the wild.

As we begin to view our cities as worthwhile ecosystems this project investigates the possibilities of a symbiotic relationship between two different systems of organization- technology and nature. (more…)


Liam Young, 21 07 08


Barcelona and the satellite city. Rethinking growth: Hyper-density and relational equilibrium

The project has recieved an honorable mention in the AA Prize for Unbuilt Work 2008

 you can view the reults and other entries here

This international architecture competition entry responds to a call for the rethinking of growth given a projected migration into the Barcelona region of 400,000 people over twenty years. Outcomes of the speculation are demonstrated into specific sites in Barcelona and the satellite city of Amposta, 2 hours from Barcelona by very fast train.

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Liam Young, 21 07 08


view from river

Design competition for a residential / commercial tower, podium and U2′s new studio. The project was imagined as the centre piece of the Dublin docklands regeneration. With Jennifer Chen and Andy Chen.

view the project online at IrishArchitecture.com

It was proposed to fold the city streets, the public spaces and parklands of the docklands campshires, from an active engagement with the river, up through the height of the tower. The trajectory between the river and the stacked program of the tower is facilitated by a continuous ramping. The network of precast ramps provides circulation between the floor plates and is utilized to transfer loads to the structural skin. The spiralling public route, which facilitates programmatic exchange, forms the silhouette and image of the buildings as a new marker on the skyline. The vitality of the tower is seen through and across the buildings own ‘songlines’ and provides a fitting notation for the collision of future aspirations and industrial working heritage within the docklands regeneration. (more…)

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