A project by TIM DURFEE & BEN HOOKER, with JENNY RODENHOUSE

What is a city? Is it buildings, infrastructure, people? Is it the organic product of geography? Is it a legal phenomenon, identifiable only through policy? Is it the intersection of thousands or millions of individual lives? Is it an epically slow coincidence? An economic conspiracy? Is it an idea or promise simultaneously commercial, political, and possibly existential—of everything, on time?

This work takes five chapters:

UAV URBANISM
The capabilities and limitations of Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) will influence the physical shapes of cities. Just as an acre was the amount of land one could plow in one day, new dimensional measures will emerge from the particular characteristics of these machines, such as their efficient use of space, their particular service functions (security, freight, transportation), their patterns of movement, their battery life.

MILLEVIEW ESTATES
Cameras are everywhere. Images have always been eloquent in ways language is not—and indeed, image-centric social media is ascendant. As mores of visual privacy dissolve, cameras become increasingly more acceptable; well beyond mere security, but rather as expected elements of the civic infrastructure. Vast networks of cameras to enable real-time, virtual navigation of cities—Google Street View, but live—are a believable future. How might this change a community? Is the selfie stick of 2015 actually a primitive antecedent to a more architecturally facilitated narcissism.

FREE-K ZONES
YouTubers with enough followers are now becoming rich. We are leaving the era when the obscure enthusiasts that populate the niche realms of user groups and subreddits are outside of the reach of capital and agency. As traditional political entities yield to the much more engaged worlds of social media and other non-geo-graphically defined structures of identity, will long-tail, niche groups begin to express their new-found power in the ways the powerful always have, through edifices and grands projets?

PROGRAMMED NATURES
The heroic gardens of the French Enlightenment were extreme expressions of the Cartesian will to control nature. Will today’s development of technologies for the control and manipulation of our environment—including flora, fauna, and the weather itself—lead to new forms of gardening, expressions of the time-honored human impulse to shape and control nature?

THE LOGISTICAL BAROQUE
Uber orchestrates private individuals into municipal scaled transit networks. Amazon has fulfillment centers executing, nonstop, increasingly complex streams of transactions. If the algorithm is hallmark of our upcoming era, how will it be manifest architecturally, socially, culturally?


A project by TIM DURFEE & BEN HOOKER, with JENNY RODENHOUSE. Project team ADAM FUJIOKA, CODY MINER, MARIANNE WILLIAMS with JOSH BOOKMAN, ANA MONROE FITZNER, GISELLE GUO, XING LU, NAN WANG. Actors JOSH HILLINGER, BONNIE JEAN, DARREN MARVEL SMITH, FOSTER WALKER. Interviewees JAMES DECKER, TOBIAS JOHANSSON, JUSTIN KELLIS, ROBERT ROGUS. Thanks to ELI ARENSON, BETH CORRY, AARON FOOSHÉE, ANDREW NAGATA. Support from ARTCENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN (DEPT OF MEDIA DESIGN PRACTICES RESEARCH GRANT 2015 & FACULTY PROJECT GRANT 2015)