Urban futures: from science-fiction to design fiction

Yesterday evening, I gave a talk at the Cinemathèque suisse in Lausanne. There was an event organized by the swiss radio and Les Urbanités about movies and cities and my speech was before "Brazil" by Terry Gilliam. The talk was called "Solar progeria versus renaissance of urban fictions" and it wasn't related to this film per se. Rather, I gave a talk about an interesting shift from urban representations of the future created by science-fiction writers/directors to design projects about urban phenomena created by designers: video games, visual representations, new forms of maps. All of these can be considered as "design fictions" which have something to say about cities. See the slides below, the images I used actually corresponds to several videos I commented to the attendants. [slideshare id=4488727&doc=cinematheque2010-2-100613131628-phpapp02]

In sum, new representations of the urban futures I'm interested are mostly design fictions with the following characteristics: 1. They’re not only about the urban morphology, they’re also about invisible phenomena such as radiowaves or the city metabolism (e.g. with cell-phone usage), 2. A new asthaethic emerges from the digital culture (video games, web and mobile culture) and leads to curious metaphors and representations, 3. The territory itself is augmented and new layers of information/experience is added on top of existing places.

Thanks YGM for the invitation!