Future Culture – Theodore Spyropoulos

12th January 2018

M.Arch Jury Week Keynote Lectures (Design Research Lab)

“The future of the future is the present”

Marshall McLuhan

It could be argued that two words (future & culture) motivated much of what would be considered progressive design thinking historically. What once gave agency, as a rallying point for an attitude and an approach towards design, theory, and technology has been for sometime in question. Who speaks of the future today? What defines culture? Marshall McLuhan reminds us that if one speaks of the future, then we must look to the present because we live in the past. He also reminded us that culture is what most people do everyday. If this should be so within our contemporary condition, then we would by necessity need to expand this understanding beyond the living to include the algorithmic and robotic as part of an ever-evolving ecology of interrelated things.

Within our current design research agenda, Constructing Agency, future and culture attempt to explore this world through a framework to understand this ecology as ‘human/human, human/machine and machine/machine’ entanglements. As we re-factor our everyday within an ever-evolving interface of communication, how will our relationships with things evolve? How will we engage?

As we speculate on future culture today, we seek to understand how architecture and design is thrown into question. What new architectures will evolve and push design into the future of future present?


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