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Archinet. Student Works: Putting Utopia Back To Work

From Archinet: a very interesting article that puts forward some important questions for architecture but more importantly about how we live now, our own perception and implications for the future...
Student Works: Putting Utopia Back To Work

Oct 27, 2008
"Editor's note: It's a familiar claim by now: A lush new city will rise from the super-heated sands of the Gulf, in perfect zero-carbon equilibium. The enticingly difficult technological problem of conquering the uninhabitable desert and the peculiar opportunity to social-engineer new communities has put the Gulf in architectural headlines again and again.

Starting with an adaptation of Jorg Schlaich’s solar chimney power generators, Behin's project employs the stack effect to moderate the temperature of the city, and to provide for some of its energy needs. Already a successful engineer-entrepreneur when he decided to study architecture, Behin uses his strong understanding of technology to enter the problem of the zero carbon city from a pragmatic point of view, but ends up asking us whether we're ready to re-engage utopia. - Bryan Boyer, Senior Editor - Archinect"
"Boyer: Is the "machinistic" in your project entirely cynical? If we built it, what role would the machinistic play?

Behin: Here I would refer to Melvin Kranzberg's first law of technology: "Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral." My intent in this project is neither to celebrate technology, nor to demonize it, but merely to point out that it underlies an emerging form of urbanism, and that it will ultimately be only what we make of it. Technology presents us with a series of choices, with both pitfalls and opportunities. To address them, we require not additional technology, but rather its integration with culture and politics. It is precisely here that I think architecture has a role to play; it can provoke discourse about the ethics which will shape the nature of technology in our future environments. The "machinistic" in Stack City is intended to provide such a provocation."

"I don't know if it makes sense to talk about nature as distinct from the man-made any more."
"An "ethics of the future" has been replaced by a tendency towards atomization and instant gratification."
Find this article: here
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