Friday, January 2, 2009

2009: A Year in Preview

It's funny reading the breakdowns of 2008, and the masses of predictions for 2009, (and a great one for 2010) specifically as the economy still reels due to wide-spread mismanagement, and there seems to be a non-stop (yet perhaps slower) parade of amazing, crazy, and just plain wrong projects - as witnessed in 2008. What will be the next big thing? It won't last, of course, but will be etched in our history - at least as a sidenote - with importance determined by font size, as in this diagram from "Modern Movements in Architecture” by Charles Jencks (1973).

:: image via In The Belly of an Architect

So, in lieu of predictions, I will offer a manifesto and guiding principles which will direct Landscape+Urbanism for the upcoming year, sort of. I'm still planning on more of the same, as I don't particularly care what others think of my blog, because I'm not writing it for anyone except me. Solipsism is good. This in mind, as always content is subject to the whims of culture, of course, and my personal schizophrenic nature when it comes to focus - but at least some form of predictions - which will of course, like new years resolutions - be forgotten by Groundhogs Day. So for now, here's some random musings, and an excuse to drop a bunch of links.

Veg.itecture will die of its own excesss and will be replaced with a world where every building image will be draped in shrubbery - with the exception of Modern architecture - which still views landscape as a blank field in which to drop the objet'd'art. This will mark the subsequent death of some other words in the lexicon - as evidenced by this 'dead-words' post from Lebbeus Woods. Designers will be able to design any building, and then apply the Vegitecture filter in Photoshop to make them look green.

:: image via Archispass

Metaphorical monumentality will be replaced with true monumentality - on a scale not seen since the construction of the pyramids, we wil mobilize, through economic-induced 'slave' labor - to construct monuments to our excess that are physical, rather than merely being paper - to show our true colors. See this post from Life Without Buildings for more.

:: The Colossus of Rhodes (Dali) - image via Life Without Buildings

Green will be replaced with blue as the color of choice for sustainability - due to climate change, air quality issues, water scarcity, and water quality issues. Green will be seen as a blight - and will be summarily eradicated from discussion, work, and our general pysche. It will be easier.

:: Waterflux - image via Arch Daily

Anyone using the words 'LEEDing the way' or its many variations will be killed... nuff said.

:: image via WebUrbanist

Relaxation will be the new 'work'. Think about it... how much time is spent working on crap, or crap we don't like, whereas a relaxed spirit and mind allows us to tap into our untapped creativity - making even crap somewhat lovely. And, if it's true our construction moratorium is good for sustainability, then non-building is good building. Let's all take a nap.

:: Oliver Bishop-Young’s SkipWaste project - image via Dezeen

Streets will be cool again: Forget Green Streets, as we've killed sustainability and the use of the word green - so these linear transportation networks will merely be known as streets... stormwater, pedestrian safety, multi-modes, sustainable, safe, and other benefits included - it's called green infrastructure. They will be transformed on a monumental scale. We will dance on the graves of old streets.
:: image via Treehugger

Infrastructure will be replaced with megastructure. Megastructure is based on bottom-up design that is flexible, adaptable, and self-organizing... like cities. See more here and here.

:: Archigram's Plug-In City, prototypical Megastructure - image via urb
We are reaching an apex of sorts. The trip down is going to be exciting, but the bottom is gonna be really, really bad. Or good, I'm feeling optimistic. Oh right, this isn't a bell curve, it's linear...

:: image via Treehugger

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