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Future Cities: Architecture and the Imagination

Paul Dobraszczyk



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Reaktion Books
11 February 2019
Theory of art; Architecture; Architectural structure & design
Architects, artists, film-makers and fiction writers have long been inspired to imagine cities of the future, but their speculative visions tend to be seen very differently from scientific predictions: flights of fancy on the one hand versus practical reasoning on the other. Challenging this opposition, Future Cities teases out the links between speculation and practice, exploring a breathtaking range of imagined cities - submerged, floating, flying, vertical, underground, ruined and salvaged.

In the Netherlands, prototype floating cities are already being built. Dubai's recent skyscrapers resemble those of science-fiction cities of the past, while makeshift settlements built by the urban poor in the developing world are already like the dystopian cities of cyberpunk. Bringing together architecture, fiction, film and art, the book reconnects the imaginary city with the real - proposing a future for humanity that is already grounded in the present and in creative practices of many kinds.

'A compendious, dizzying collection of the cities of the future, and their analogues in the present. Future Cities holds out the important hope that our cities could be better - fairer, more equal, more open - rather than just taller and weirder.' - Owen Hatherley, author of Militant Modernism and Trans-Europe Express
By:   Paul Dobraszczyk
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 208mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9781789140644
ISBN 10:   1789140641
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   11 February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Paul Dobraszczyk is a researcher and writer and a teaching fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London. He is the author of The Dead City: Urban Ruins and the Spectacle of Decay and Iron, Ornament and Architecture in Victorian Britain, as well as coeditor of Global Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within, the last also published by Reaktion Books.

Reviews for Future Cities: Architecture and the Imagination

A fascinating, erudite survey of visionary cities, from the ocean depths to the skies above. At once fantastical and meticulous, Dobraszczyk's book is anchored like Robida's soaring airships to iron structures. An engaging and revealing text that demonstrates when we create speculative cities, whether utopian or dystopian, we are always writing about our present; our dreams, our fears, and our memories. Delving into fictional places, we are delving into ourselves. --Darran Anderson, author of Imaginary Cities When we dream of the future, Dobraszczyk suggests in this rich and impeccably timed new book, we often dream of buildings. Dobraszczyk makes the case that visions of future worlds, from ancient myths to science fiction, are resolutely urban because of a deep imaginative pull that only cities can satisfy. --Geoff Manaugh, author of A Burglar's Guide to the City Future Cities is a philosophically and culturally wideranging look at the usefulness of imagined cities. Appropriately for this examination of creativity, its classification of cities into three types is itself rather imaginative: unmoored (in the water or air), vertical (skyscrapers and subterranean structures), and unmade (ruins). The text is accompanied by a number of images that usefully show how visual artists have imagined future cities. --Environment and Urbanization A compendious, dizzying collection of the cities of the future, and their analogues in the present. Future Cities holds out the important hope that our cities could be better--fairer, more equal, more open--rather than just taller and weirder. --Owen Hatherley, author of Militant Modernism and Trans-Europe Express Dobraszczyk's eloquent redefinition of ecology, of the imagination, and of architecture is breathtaking in its audacity and indisputably brilliant. Future Cities is much more than a book about buildings or Blade Runner, dealing as it does with the critical importance of multiplicity and integration in an increasingly disordered world. --Australian

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