Monday, August 03, 2009

Have cube, will travel





This immediately reminded me of the cardboard squatter community depicted in William Gibson's "Idoru." (Evidently Gibson thought so too.) Bruce Sterling calls this sort of thing "design fiction" -- and certainly conceptualism can rival the best science fiction short-stories in terms of implied narrative.

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6 comments:

Red Pill Junkie said...

I don't want to appear as a cynic here, but... these are the kind of projects Architecture firms develop in order to appear original and avant-garde —and that have zero chance of being implemented in the real world. In other words, it has more value as an art installation than as a proof of concept.

For the record, I'm an Interior Designer.

One thing is certain, though: in human activity, what takes longer to catch up is not the technology, but policy. Modern nomads may find new inventions that help them cope with their life-style, but that doesn't mean they will be allowed to use them.

Or do you think a city government would gladly permit the establishment of transient neighborhoods where people appear out of nowhere and stay for days or weeks? For a city council, a bum is a bum no matter how cool his tent is.

Mac said...

@Junkie--

I don't want to appear as a cynic here, but... these are the kind of projects Architecture firms develop in order to appear original and avant-garde —and that have zero chance of being implemented in the real world. In other words, it has more value as an art installation than as a proof of concept.

That's the very definition of "design fiction."

Red Pill Junkie said...

...Oh.

Well, maybe I'm envious that these guys have time & $$ to design fiction, while me and the rest of Architects of designers are stuck designing the real world as best we can ;-)

Mac said...

@Junkie

I understand your point, but I think conceptualism and experimentation play important, possibly understated, roles.

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Matthew said...

Despite aesthetic hyperbole, something like this wouldn't be too bad in some city park, establishing immediately personal space and boundaries while enabling one to enjoy the view.

As far as ideas go, I think it's important to let the imagination run ahead of practicality, to let it enter a dialectic with a culture.

Personally, I'm waiting for a return of these: taste to pay