Friday, June 24, 2011

Daily Link

(Prescript: I actually might have some time today for a few posts. Hoping to get to something on Valencia's public/private bike rentals as well as their Ciudad de las Artes y Sciencias, essentially their version of the Arts District.)

Just one. It's the only one you need. It is Kunstler's essay for Orion Magazine if you haven't seen it already. But it captures exactly why I go batshit insane every time I see a contemporary cities of the future competition where designers imagine what cities in 2050 will look like and their rendered imagery is really a collage (literally a photoshop collage) of every contemporary 'green' gadget and doodad they can't get into real projects.

Here is my beef/challenge: how about you work on how to design TODAY to be as clean, green, livable as possible and quit worrying about what 2050 will yield because as the last century has proven, architects are terrible at predicting the future, AND incredibly powerful at steering conventional wisdom into odd places. The future isn't created by imagining the future, it is created by adapting the present, and continuing to adapt the present, by all of us, every single one of us doing our particular part to improve the present. The aggregation then becomes the future. Kunstler:

Another favorite of mine in this genre, done in the mid-1950s to portray the far-off year 2000, depicts a city of towers cut through with swooping super-duper highways. So far, so good. It could be Houston or Atlanta today. The amusing part is that the cars depicted all have giant tail fins—because people were cuckoo for tail fins that year. So, naturally, the future would be all about tail fins.