Future city vs Dream city (a mise en’ abyme of proposals)

the outskirts of a future city, sketch

I always thought good sci-fi as a creative medium that presents to the viewer, reader an alternative but convincing enough universe with its unique set of physical, social laws on which primary human emotion and behaviour gets superimposed and tested on. Science fiction can be a useful tool; an experiment to ground test daring ideas and concepts not nessesarily for the purpose of prediction or for creating something spectacular but to truly form a study for the “Soul City”, the memory palace that resonates in everyone something of their primary needs, desires and aspirations. Therefore the genuine sci-fi city, which is a result of that conceptual superimposition, is closely related with the city of dreams, the city of memories or the city of secrets. The sci-fi city is a poetic city that grows in each one of us as we become its explorers.

So I am thinking a lot of the European ‘future city’ as a conceptual backdrop with its own sets of physics and laws where we could superimpose various narratives. Following the city I would think about the State and following the State I would think of Europe as a continent of states and cities as interacting powers. In architectural terms that macro-world would be comprised of structures that interact and are either at war with each other or are in some form of mild to addictive symbiosis. Size, weight, choice of materials, significance of geographic location, altitudinal differences of buildings and follies. All those could become factors of play at a new global monopoly game us artists could contrive.

Snehta residency, open call & promotional poster

Rotterdam City scape

Rotterdam City scape

Edinburgh city view

The more we seem to settle in the new social and financial situation post, 2004 era the more it becomes apparent that we can’t reciprocate the affluent lifestyles of the 90’s.

Snehta = (Athens in reverse), all concepts are now reversals..

A new social ethos seems to settle in and the post 2004 era could be largely described by the notion of appropriation of concepts, materials, a return to primary and older practices that revolve around ideas about reusing resources and re-thinking established practices.

(below) Rough proposal for the erection of an organ donours memorial. Scotland (unrealised)

            “To combine Various Parts of demolished buildings, quadrilles of parts, three in preference then ‘stitching’ them together. Purpose is to build a sort of indefinite space made out of re-appropriated parts of buildings from Edinburgh (full-re-use, reminiscent of the concept behind the giving an organ to someone else), and around the idea of using local material – then specific furniture’s will have to be built to dress the interiors, the space will look like a tomb a dark space.”

Then what sort of structures and energies can we devise, what objects and structures will occupy the space of the future city. Is our dream city all about unforeseen meetings and interactions, is it the city of our passions, desires and fears. Will it be a pastiche about all those. Will in every corner be something hiding, something that we had wished or not wishes for at all?

The European future city needs to revoke ideas of geopolitical centrality and periphery. Who benefits from who, what are the games what are the networks?

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 19.03.14

screenshot from the documentary the Brussels project – a geo-map of the corporations involved in the transeuropean networks project

Looking at those landscapes I do indeed want to predict how they will look in a hundred years from now. My immediate response would be to re-draw these by making their towers taller, bigger, their building more square like if they are square, pointier if they are pointy. I am constructing stereotypical impressions of each city, culture. Flags, posters and advertisements are all at play.


buildings at war or at various levels of symbiosis. early sketches for a proposal.


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