Shape of things to come

Dokki1: The “citizen space” is the library of the future

Quartz: There’s hope for this new era in libraries, encapsulated in Denmark’s vast Dokki1, a mixed-used “citizen space” with meeting rooms, art installations, classrooms, performance stages, makers’ workshops, and playgrounds, in addition to the usual rows of bookshelves.

Dokki1

At 35,000 square meters, Dokki1 is the largest library in Scandinavia

“We aimed for—and have achieved—a cultural meeting place that will change people’s perceptions, not just of the harbourfront where Dokki1 is situated, but the entire city of Aarhus.”

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Hyper-Reality by Keiichi Matsuda

Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media.

(via)

Shape of things to come

Hyper-Reality

One vision of our AR future.

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Shanty Mega-Structures by Lekan Jeyifo.

These images juxtapose sites of privileged and much coveted real-estate throughout Lagos, Nigeria with colossal vertical settlements, representing marginalized and impoverished communities. The images consider how slums are frequently viewed as unsightly eyesores to be inevitably bull-dozed, leaving their inhabitants completely displaced.

Razing the homes and settlements of marginalized people is a practice that occurs from Chicago to Rio de Janiero, and throughout the world. So in this instance the dispossessed are given prominence and visibility albeit through a somewhat Dystopian vision that speaks to the fact that these communities often suffer from a lack of appropriate sanitation, electricity, medical services, and modern communications.

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Shape of things to come

Shanty mega-structures

“These images juxtapose sites of privileged and much coveted real-estate throughout Lagos, Nigeria with colossal vertical settlements, representing marginalized and impoverished communities.”

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Russian designer Evgeny Kazantsev has created a series of surreal illustrations that imagine what the world would look like once natural disasters and technology drastically alter human existence.

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Shape of things to come

Artist illustrates how technology might doom and save the planet

In ‘Cataclysm Happens’, Kazantsev constructs an eerie picture of the effects of climate change on humanity. In ‘Past in the Future’, he goes on to imagine a world in which humans have used technology to transcend the constraints of nature and—quite literally—engineer new and improved lives.

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Shape of things to come

Essential reading on the subject of our future

Four essential reads on the future of the web, business and our planet:

The end of capitalism has begun

The end of capitalism has begun

Paul Mason: New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past 10 years, which the media has dubbed the “sharing economy”. Buzzwords such as the “commons” and “peer-production” are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this development means for capitalism itself.

I believe it offers an escape route – but only if these micro-level projects are nurtured, promoted and protected by a fundamental change in what governments do. And this must be driven by a change in our thinking – about technology, ownership and work. So that, when we create the elements of the new system, we can say to ourselves, and to others: “This is no longer simply my survival mechanism, my bolt hole from the neoliberal world; this is a new way of living in the process of formation.”


The Web We Have to Save

Hossein Derakhshan: Six years was a long time to be in jail, but it’s an entire era online. Writing on the internet itself had not changed, but reading — or, at least, getting things read — had altered dramatically. I’d been told how essential social networks had become while I’d been gone, and so I knew one thing: If I wanted to lure people to see my writing, I had to use social media now.

So I tried to post a link to one of my stories on Facebook. Turns out Facebook didn’t care much. It ended up looking like a boring classified ad. No description. No image. Nothing. It got three likes. Three! That was it.

Illustration by Tim McDonagh

The Stream now dominates the way people receive information on the web. Fewer users are directly checking dedicated webpages, instead getting fed by a never-ending flow of information that’s picked for them by complex –and secretive — algorithms.


Is Advertising Morally Justifiable?

Thomas Wells: Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted.

Our right to preserve our own attention and to make our own decisions about how we spend it and with whom our personal information is shared must become part of the political agenda. We need a legal and policy response to the market failures of the advertising industry, and we need it soon.


The Freakish Year in Broken Climate Records

Tom Randall: The annual State of the Climate report is out, and it’s ugly. Record heat, record sea levels, more hot days and fewer cool nights, surging cyclones, unprecedented pollution, and rapidly diminishing glaciers.

The Freakish Year in Broken Climate Records

Last year was the hottest in 135 years of modern record keeping

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International Flag of Planet Earth
Shape of things to come

The Flag of Planet Earth

Oskar Pernefeldt’s graduation project at Beckmans College of Design is a flag for our world, “to remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries”.

Astronaut portrait

Centered in the flag, seven rings form a flower – a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked. The blue field represents water which is essential for life – also as the oceans cover most of our planet’s surface. The flower’s outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the universe.

International Flag of Planet Earth construction

Construction animation of The International Flag of Planet Earth by Johan Fredriksson


Inspired by this work, Wired has taken a look at other alternative flags for Earth as designed by visionaries and hippies

I particularly like this design by redditor ‘thefreck’ who designed an extensible flag that can be updated as humans colonise other planets…


Finally, Roman Mars gave a great TED talk recently based on an episode of his radio show/podcast 99% Invisible about flags: Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

In this surprising and hilarious talk about vexillology — the study of flags — Mars reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.

Give him a few minutes to warm up as it turns into a great talk.

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Fantastic behind the scenes photographs from the Blade Runner model shop

Blade Runner - Spinner

Above: The full-size prop, decals and miniatures for the Spinner

Above: The Tyrell Corporation pyramid building plus a look at how the vast ‘Hades’ cityscape vistas were accomplished

More pictures after the jump →

Light-based media

Blade Runner model shop

“You have to remember, Blade Runner was made years before digital effects became common. Even now there are times you just can’t beat doing some effects like these “in camera.” Most of these cityscapes are a combination of models and traditional matte paintings. For the aerial shots they used a set about 12 ft. wide, and those towers you see belching fire are about 12 in. high. They’re made of etched brass and model parts and use thousands of tiny, grain-of-wheat light bulbs like you’d find in a dollhouse.” — Adam Savage

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Solarpunk is a wonderful new genre conceived by Olivia Louise.

Art by Owen Carson

Okay, so I’m pretty sure that by now everyone at least is aware of Steampunk, with it’s completely awesome Victorian sci-fi aesthetic. But what I want to see is Solarpunk – a plausible near-future sci-fi genre, which I like to imagine as based on updated Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Edwardian aesthetics, combined with a green and renewable energy movement to create a world in which children grow up being taught about building electronic tech as well as food gardening and other skills, and people have come back around to appreciating artisans and craftspeople, from stonemasons and smithies, to dress makers and jewelers, and everyone in between. A balance of sustainable energy-powered tech, environmental cities, and wicked cool aesthetics.

Character art by Olivia:

Here are some buzz words~

Natural colors! Art Nouveau! Handcrafted wares! Tailors and dressmakers! Streetcars! Airships! Stained glass window solar panels!!! Education in tech and food growing! Less corporate capitalism, and more small businesses! Solar rooftops and roadways! Communal greenhouses on top of apartments! Electric cars with old-fashioned looks! No-cars-allowed walkways lined with independent shops! Renewable energy-powered Art Nouveau-styled tech life!

Can you imagine how pretty it would be to have stained glass windows everywhere that are actually solar panels? The tech is already headed in that direction! Or how about wide-brim hats, or parasols that are topped with discreet solar panel tech incorporated into the design, with ports you can stick your phone charger in to?

Read more on Olivia’s blog, under the Solarpunk tag.

(via Thiefree)

Shape of things to come

Solarpunk

Uninspired by the bland, white, sterile aesthetic of most futuristic science-fiction technology and architecture, Olivia Louise conceived of a new genre similar to steampunk, but with electronic technology, and an Art Nouveau veneer: Solarpunk.

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Shape of things to come

Apple’s “1997” concept video from 1987

Wired: Watch Apple’s Awkwardly Wrong Prediction of the Future From 1987

In 1987, two years after founder Steve Jobs was run out of the company, Apple produced a video that predicted a phantasmagorically glorious future for the maker of the Macintosh. It may be the oddest, most brilliant, and horribly wrong prediction anyone has ever made.

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It’s a plastic world

If you think the brief reference to a ‘new continent made of plastic’ is just a bit of hyperbole, then read up on the Great Pacific garbage patch.

I do take issue with one point of the film though – that it’s our responsibility to change our habits. Ultimately we do need to make change happen, but not by just being more mindful at the supermarket. Instead we need to force those with the power to make meaningful change to do so. A very small percentage of the human race are benefiting from these cheap but environmentally costly processes: those who value profit above all else.

We can either try to gradually bring awareness to billions of consumers around the world, or we can force relatively few industry leaders to grow a conscience and do the right thing and make all the difference.

Magic Highway

Paleo-Future:

Kevin Kidney has uploaded some amazing Magic Highway, U.S.A. images taken straight from publicity stills of the era.

(via Overhead Compartment)

Craft and creativity

Magic Highway

“On May 14, 1958 the Disneyland TV program ran an episode called “Magic Highway, U.S.A.” It examined the past, present and (paleo)future of transportation.” — Paleo-Future

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Climate change map of the world by Jay Simons

The first map of its kind on such a scale and level of complexity, depicts our planet as it would look without its polar ice caps, with sea levels 260ft (80m) higher than they are today.

By Jay Jason Simons – Halcyon Maps

Shape of things to come

Climate change map of the world

This world map by Jay Jason Simons, inspired by a wide variety of historical maps, aims for bringing the best of traditional cartography to a contemporary setting, while reminding us about the dangers of global warming and subsequent climate change.

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Hypermorgen is an interdisciplinary lab for futures research:

We recently designed some icons to represent topics that will most likely become increasingly interesting in the next few years.

Some of them are tongue in cheek (like the Stanford bunnies in the 3D replication icon), some are more critical (like the synthetic biology spidergoat). They are meant to provoke different associations to start discussions about the future.

(via futurescope.co)

Shape of things to come

Icons for the future

Hypermorgen have designed some icons to represent topics that will most likely become increasingly relevant in the next few years, available on the fantastic Noun Project site.

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SH-06D NERV

Based on the aesthetics of the Evangelion universe, the Sharp DoCoMo SH-06D NERV is an Android phone skinned to look like a futuristic gadget.

I’m a year late to this particular geeky party, but it would be cool to own futuristic hardware that actually looks futuristic.

Watch promo and hands-on review →

Craft and creativity

Sharp DoCoMo SH-06D NERV

Based on the aesthetics of the Evangelion universe, the Sharp DoCoMo SH-06D NERV is an Android phone skinned to look like a futuristic gadget.

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Shape of things to come

A game designed to be played in the distant future

Game designer Jason Rohrer designs a game meant to be played 2,000 years from now, hides it in desert

future-game-pieces

It’s called A Game for Someone. The game was inspired by ancient board games like Mancala, as well as the architects and builders who, over hundreds of years, constructed religious cathedrals that they themselves would never set foot in, never see completed in their lifetimes.

“I wanted to make a game that is not for right now, that I will never play,” Rohrer said, “and nobody now living would ever play.”

polygon.com

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