A book recommended by the Strelka team that explores the new typology of the post-human and shows how technology and artificial intelligence are now computing, conditioning, and constructing our world. Edited by Liam Young.
This issue of Architectural Design (AD) discusses how the most significant architectural spaces in the world are now entirely empty of people. The data centers, telecommunications networks, distribution warehouses, unmanned ports, and industrialized agriculture that define the very nature of who we are today are at the same time places we can never visit. Instead, they are occupied by server stacks and hard drives, logistics bots and mobile shelving units, autonomous cranes and container ships, robot vacuum cleaners and internet-connected toasters, driverless tractors and taxis. This issue is an atlas of sites, architectures, and infrastructures that are not built for us, but whose form, materiality, and purpose are configured to anticipate the patterns of machine vision and habitation rather than our own. We are said to be living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are the dominant force shaping the planet. This collection of spaces, however, more accurately constitutes an era of the Post-Anthropocene, a period where technology and artificial intelligence now compute, condition, and construct our world. Marking the end of human-centred design, the issue turns its attention to the new typologies of the post-human, architecture without people, and our endless expanse of Machine Landscapes.
Contributors: Former Strelka Program Director Rem Koolhaas, current Strelka Program Director Benjamin H. Bratton, Strelka faculty members Geoff Manaugh and Trevor Paglen; visiting lecturers Merve Bedir and Jason Hilgefort; as well as Ingrid Burrington, Ian Cheng, Cathryn Dwyre, Chris Perry, David Salomon and Kathy Velikov, John Gerrard, Alice Gorman, Adam Harvey, Jesse LeCavalier, Xingzhe Liu, Clare Lyster, Tim Maughan, Simone C. Niquille, Jenny Odell, Ben Roberts.
Featured interviews: Deborah Harrison, designer of Microsoft’s Cortana; and Paul Inglis, designer of the urban landscapes of Blade Runner 2049.
You can purchase the book here.
Liam Young is an architect, filmmaker, fiction and entertainment coordinator of the Design Studio at SCI-Arc, and the core faculty member at Strelka Institute’s The New Normal program.