Nic Clear (picture extracted from Unit 15’s work by Ben Marzy)
1. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be what you think it is going to be; it certainly wont be the big bright shiny world depicted in the pages of the architectural press and fostered by the architectural profession. The architecture of ‘bigness’ offers nothing but a vacuous future of shopping malls, cappuccino’s and antidepressants.
2. The Architecture Of The Near Future is not the architecture of the architectural establishment, which has proved itself to be intellectually and philosophically bankrupt, the corporate architectural complex does not produce a vision of the future only images of the future.
3. The Architecture Of The Near Future needs to re-capture the speculative and the imaginative aspirations of earlier utopian movements without becoming mired in the internecine squabbling and neurotic formalism that plagued such tendencies.
4. The Architecture Of The Near Future, if it is to survive as a discourse and not just as a job, must embrace new ideas, new modes of practice and new forms of communication.
5. The Architecture Of The Near Future will be open and inclusive, the top down approach to architecture is already on the decline, architects must become enablers rather than iconoclasts, the heroic concept of the architect is a romantic fiction and largely a hangover from a late C18th conception of the ‘gentleman’ architect.
6. The Architecture Of The Near Future will be fun, play should be at the heart of the creative processes that inspire all architecture, we have reached a point where we understand the typological and programmatic issues that underpin the banalities of production, however we have lost a sense of purpose and joy that should be at the heart of every project.
7. The Architecture Of The Near Future needs to engage with a new set of values and develop new goals, the architecture of late capitalism predicated on consumerism and the false ideology of growth has to be abandoned; greed and conspicuous consumption are the false idols of a redundant epistemology.
8. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not see technology as an end in itself but will embrace technology in surprising and original ways, the very foundations of how we think about technology need to be reconceptualised.
9. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be predicated on the technology of the visible, but rather technology as an extension of the visceral. The idea of technology as ‘other’ has ceased to be viable; we are intimately connected with it and by it, we are technology.
10. The Architecture Of The Near Future will be a social discourse and as such it has to adopt social forms of communication; architecture is trapped by the conventions of its representations, which are insular and hermetic, we need to question the efficacy of our current forms of representation and adopt tactics derived from other disciplines.
11. The Architecture of the Near Future will utilise design skills developed by the current generation of young architects that allow migration across a range of different disciplines, young designers are no longer defined by the names of their courses or their jobs but by the software they inhabit.
12. The Architecture Of The Near Future will utilise open source methods and protocols, ideas and techniques will be collectively developed and disseminated, mutual co-operation is becoming the norm in the development of software and in on-line communities, if we can operate in this way in virtual environments we must be able to apply these ideas into our actual worlds.
13. The Architecture Of The Near Future will embrace the abstract and the speculative; it will not be constrained by client, cost or patronage but only by the limits of the imagination.
14. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be a thing it will be many wondrous and complex things, it will be inclusive and non-hierarchical, it will be about creating narratives that celebrate diversity and differance.
15. The Architecture Of The Near Future will be a hybrid, it will use ideas of collage, montage and bricollage, it will be an architecture of copy and paste, the architecture of purism and the mono-culture is already dead.
16. The Architecture Of The Near Future will embrace DIY and the role of the amateur, professionalism masks a discourse of vested self-interest and the perpetuation of a set of false values.
17. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be an exercise in shape making, whether we are talking about blobs or cubes we need to move on from reductive formalist concepts, shapism is the art of the banal and we need to look beyond the banal and toward the extraordinary.
18. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be simply about buildings, architecture has always been about more than buildings anyway, the first question an architect must always ask ‘is a building even necessary?’
19. The Architecture Of The Near Future will redefine aesthetics and good taste; the hegemony of morality, hygiene and functionality will be re-imagined as a playful intersection of the impossible, the improbable and the dirty.
20. The Architecture Of The Near Future will not be about the plan, the section and the elevation, the new architectures will be generated, developed, represented and experienced through time based means.
21. The Architecture Of The Near Future is already with us, though many people do not yet realise this. The ground has already shifted, the certainties that were once taken for granted have, to use Marx’s phrase, melted into air, we have entered a state of global flux, however it will take some time for the world we think we are living in, to be the same as the world we are actually living in.