Liam Young : Planet City and the return of global wilderness (March 30, 2022)



After David Ruy’s introduction, Liam Young notes the appropriateness of imagining different futures at a moment when students at SCI-Arc, film industry workers in California, and others are uniting to reject “the broken world they’re inheriting”. Young presents “Planet City” for 10 billion people, occupying 0.02% of the earth’s surface, not so much as a proposal, but “a provocation that helps us to see that normal is the problem.”

At 11:30, Young begins screening a movie, which he accompanies with live narration.

He contrasts the continuous dystopian, urban construct – Ecumenopolis – we all currently inhabit with the fictional “Planet City” that could be.

Instead of a global shipping industry circulating resources, at Planet City resources could be recombined efficiently and compactly.

Instead of a cities powered by the extraction of lithium, Planet City could be powered by water and tides; and fed by artificial farms and vertical orchards.

Instead of the exploitative and wasteful system of fast fashion, citizens of Planet City could be clothed by zero-waste recycled costumes.

Instead of cities that monitor citizens with body-identification technologies, citizens of Planet City could hack the city, developing choreographies that defeat surveillance technologies.

Instead of cities using technology to monitor and control citizens, Planet City could use technology to connect everyone to everything.

And outside the boundary of Planet City, nature would be left to re-wild the globe. Hence, “The beginning of planet city is perhaps the end of human-centered design.”

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