Sunday, 12 February 2012

James Bond Villan style nuclear shelter

Could this be the future?
Check my other blog for more nuclear shelter information.
Designed by Albert France-Lanord Architects, this building is a converted Nuclear shelter.
Not too sure about the sustainability of the building as it is underground, and therefore receives no light, yet it could be relatively warm!
I am considering putting on of these into my next design? What do you think? Please leave a comment!!!

Will we reach Utopia

The current political situation worldwide is dire. It has become a possibility that the world will collapse in the near future, so rather than looking at the world as a Utopian dream could we see it as an apocalyptic wasteland?

Examples of these 'alternate' landscapes can be seen in media such as; "I am Legend", "Book of Eli", games such as "Fallout 3" and many more.
The film "I am Legend" focuses on a disease outbreak, which is an unlikely result, but the latter 2 focus on a post-nuclear world. With unstable countries such as Iran and North Korea obtaining nuclear weapons, making the rest of the world paranoid, the chances of nuclear war are reaching the levels of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

However, do not fear as there is evidence to suggest that as a country obtains nuclear weapons they become more stable as anybody who doesn't have nuclear weapons
doesn't want to attack them and they know if they use them it could be the end of the world.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Is Shanghai the Future?

Shanghai, China's most exciting city, is changing at breakneck speed. That transformation, along with the hope, fear, greed and nostalgia that it engenders, is the stuff of novels, yet its rate of development is frightening.
Brian Castro is one author who draws inspiration from Shanghai.
"It was a mythical place for me, and it was a kind of dream world for him," says Castro, who was born in Hong Kong in 1953 to Eurasian parents.
Castro describes lavish parties on river piers where his great-great-grandfather showered money on rickshaw drivers who brought the guests.
"Can you imagine how obscene that is? But that was the kind of magical scenario I was brought up with," he says.
He says the scale of the transformation means is such that Shanghai feels like a completely different city, and he laments the lost worlds that will never reappear again.That Shanghai is constantly changing also has led Castro to contemplate "transience, and how memory and forgetting works, and how cities sink and rise." Shanghai is clearly ascending...
"It's like a star rising. It will take Hong Kong over in its pure industry and energy, yet at the same time, there's a lot of loss of the past."
Born in Shanghai in 1953, Qiu Xaiolong now lives in St. Louis and writes detective thrillers set in his native city.Qiu uses the city as a mirror to reflect the changes sweeping China, and how ordinary people, like his poetry-loving detective, Chief Inspector Chen, are caught in that transition and demonstrates the impact of crime upon architecture.Chen tries to change with the city, but can't help missing the old ways, author Qiu says. "He doesn't have a clear-cut answer whether this [change] is good or bad."However, Qiu believes that the city's essence lies in its ability to embrace the new: "Shanghai in China is always … changing with new trends. I don't think that kind of essence is changing."
Mian Mian, whose work speaks to a younger generation of Chinese readers, acknowledges the debt she owes to growing up in Shanghai.

"Shanghai is the most open city in China. We're more brave … I'm very lucky to be Shanghainese if I want to be a modern writer."
The author is a reformed heroin addict, and her books venture into the seamier side of China's reform era, with a cast of characters including drug addicts, gangsters, slackers and artists all products of the Megalopolis.Ten years ago, she described Shanghai as a "beautiful young bitch who loves money." She still characterizes the city as a "super-superficial" young female.For Mian Mian, the mood of the city has changed in the past decade. In the 1990s, Shanghai was like a small town, where everyone knew everyone and people were positive about the future.
Now, she says, the country is changing too fast. "Everyone is pushing and running because of business."
Shanghai, too, is rushing headlong into the future, towards the cosmopolis, even as its inhabitants struggle to deal with the present. It's racing to become a showcase settlement, a paragon of modernity. And yet in building a new tomorrow, it risks forgetting, or even erasing, its own past.

The Future of the World

The Cosmopolis.
The final state of existence.
But will we get there before we all kill each other?

Las Vegas is the Los Alamos of urban design, the nation's leading laboratory for experimenting with how our cities will look and function a half century from now. Among the questions currently under investigation: How much 'fake' do Americans want and what kinds of 'fake' do they prefer? How high and how far can celebrity-chef franchise dining go? How will new and improved hybrid hotel-condos actually work on a citywide level? How do you build a compact, pedestrian-friendly city around what amounts to a short but congested ten-lane highway?

Howard Hughes was right; he said Las Vegas could be a "city of the future," setting a course for the rest of America. (Hughes envisioned a "super environmental" city free of smog and run by an enlightened local government.) When I read that Las Vegas had opened a new monorail system last year to whisk travelers up and down the Strip, my first thought was, Of course: all cities of the future have monorails.

Now monorails are an interesting symbol of the future, but one that has seemly become part of the past. Often futuristic 'ideals' are thrown away and people fail to recognize that the future is now. It is less radical than you believe and that the former is just a nostalgic myth.