The uncertainties surrounding the future have tended to result in popular narratives that are nihilistic and reductive, if only for dramatic value, and It is clear that alternatives are necessary if we are to make positive sense of the increasingly complex technological opportunities that shape the world around us and the range of possible outcomes that we face.

Architectural design and Science Fiction (SF) share an important characteristic, in that they both, conceptually, take place in an imagined future, and potentially ask ‘what-if’ questions about the way we inhabit those futures.

In architecture the conclusions that are drawn are often seem prosaic though the effects can have far-reaching implications for millions. Many contemporary SF texts deal with more radical forms of futurity through imagining extreme forms of technology and otherness involving different expressions of identity, agency and new forms of collective action, and while they may seem quite fanciful such conceptions also have a direct significance to the type of built environment the future may hold.

Published: 2021-12-30