About us

 

As a group of architects, computer scientists and theorists we do more or less the opposite of what is usually done today. We don‘t want to exhaust our intellectual capacities in reflecting our limits, instead we surprisingly project a wide new space of possible existence based on the primary abundance of clean energy, information and health. We are able to do that by learning to acquire and inhabiting a new body of thinking, one that is at eye level, in terms of the abstractions it needs to incorporate, with today‘s information technologies.

There are all these numbers about globalisation, urbanisation, population growth, increasing densities of living space, scarce resources, flows of all kinds of goods that can barely be controlled analytically, or profits which turn corrosively against the means on which their own production depends. And people get afraid of globalisation, financial crisis, scarcities, natural catastrophes or global warming. There are all these architects, sociologists, planners, trying to make things better, trying to establish better infrastructures, healthier living environments, more adequate control systems, trying to establish or maintain richer cultural grounds … making things better and better, talking more and more, writing more and more, engaging in projects with more and more computing power, more and more data and case studies … ending up in a situation which Rem Koolhaas calls junkspace and generic city: nearly 100% designed, 100% optimized, 100% empathic, 100% aestetic, 100% safe, 100% comfortable, 100% reliable. And, just because of that, not a city. A deadlock. One cannot leave this deadlock by doing things better. Or even worse: by not doing things better. Neither by top down or bottom up approaches, nor by global ambitions and local understandings. One always ends up in the self-reflection within the limits of the analytical, bureaucratic and capitalistic world view within the concept of the national state and market economy. By doing so we are captured in the mechanical body of thinking.

Our hypothesis is simple: Computers, the technical and economical driving force of the 20C globalisation, are not just fast machines of the same kind as we know them. Computers are abstract machines. Computer literacy can open up a whole new and wide space of possible existence, just like literacy in reading and writing is doing. This is surprising and frightning. This puts the world upside down and inside out. Economy, politics, engineering, planning, urbanisation, nature, landscape. Everything. But at the end it is an elegant and optimistic perspective and our specific contribution to the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) under the auspices of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) in Singapore.

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