Given the rapid evolution of concepts such as smart cities, who are the architects riding the wave of new possibilities for urban design? How do contemporary agencies find pathways to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by evolving urban technology, and how does architecture engage with the expanding pool of associated disciplines? How should schools of architecture and urban design engage with radical digitalised urbanism?
This issue of AD claims that this is contested territory. The two-dimensionality of planners’ urban construct is as limited as engineers’ predilection to zero-in and solve problems. Urban Futures contends that society needs a much broader professional brush than has been applied in the past: interdisciplinary urban design professionals who can reach across the philosophy and mundanity of urban existence with a creative eye. The issue identifies a selection of internally resourceful visionaries who combine sociology, geography, logistics and systems theory with the practical realities and challenges of mobility, sustainable materials, food, water and energy supply, and waste disposal. Crucially, they seek to ensure better urban futures, and a civil and convivial urban experience for all city dwellers.
Contributors: Refik Anadol, Philip Belesky, Shajay Bhooshan, Jane Burry and Marcus White, Thomas Daniell, Vicente Guallart, Shan He, Wanyu He, Dan Hill, Justyna Karakiewicz, Tom Kvan, Areti Markopoulou, Ed Parham, Carlo Ratti, Ferran Sagarra, and Bige Tunçer.
Featured architects: Arup Digital Studio, Guallart Architects, Space10, Space Syntax, UNStudio, and XKool Technology.