Futurescape

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The year is 2116, and this is the Futurescape.

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The economic market has imploded.  Unsustainable demands for mass manufactured goods have caused the industry to buckle.  China, where the majority of goods had been produced in the World Before Planned Obsolescence (World BPO), turned to unlawful labor practices in an effort to keep up with market demands.  However, these attempts backfired, creating widespread poverty regions surrounding factory towns.  Waste emissions from constant production and rural colonization destroyed the natural resources necessary for an industrialized society to function.

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The Earth’s landscape as we have known it has changed.  With the end of mass manufacturing came the end of international trade relations.  The WorldWide Government (WWG), has restricted CO2 emissions in cases of global emergency or for the distribution of Life Supplies, which includes personal water filtration straws and powder food ration packs.  The primary mode of transportation is by foot, assuming the immediate scope of the landscape is well traversed and resources are dutifully harvested.

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The majority of the Earth’s landscape, hereby referred to as the Crust, is barren given the depletion of natural resources.  Rather than being broken up by named countries and continents, areas of the Crust are identified by the resources found there.  The land is dehydrated and the soil is arid, making building infrastructure or cultivating agriculture a near-impossible task.

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Instead, valleys of detritus from the destroyed industrial landscape of the World BPO are sparsely found across the Crust.  These junkyards become a place for the people of the Futurescape to salvage workable parts for building their own artifacts.  In the junkyard, what was once determined obsolete by the World BPO, is now smartly repurposed.

 

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House fans built from telephone components and an LP vinyl disc as blades, and standardized metal meal trays are repurposed as television antennas, visible on rooftops across Cuba.  Photos by Ernesto Oroza & Penelope de Bozzi.

 

Much like the segregation of Cuba from the rapidly industrializing nations of the World BPO, necessity has spawned creativity in the Futurescape.  The potential of the human mind is instinctively tried, as survival relies on the imagination of the individual to tactfully render their own material goods. The Architecture of Necessity suggests that, “Urgency provides for the individual a foundational alibi. Every sexual or physiological impulse, every birth and even death, will provoke the appearance of new walls, columns, stairways, new windows or plumbing and electrical systems. Form follows Necessity.”[1]

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The critical element in constructing out of deconstruction in the Futurescape is recognition of the materials at hand.  Aside from the detritus of the World BPO, there are minerals and microorganisms found in the Crust that have yet to be identified.

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Renderings of matter that does not yet exist.

Part of living in the Futurescape is the responsibility of collecting and recording new found matter.  The compounds created in the World BPO have dematerialized in unexpected ways.  The minerals found in the futurescape are unknown in chemical structure and structural abilities.  Therefore, new matter must be analyzed and recorded in an effort to find new uses for the discoveries, so as not to contribute waste.

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Collection kits for harvesting matter, and a harvester’s notebook.

Newly discovered matter is collected by individuals who work to harvest and analyze all types of minerals, chemicals, and gaseous compounds.  The harvesters publish their studies and findings for public record, and encourage participation in finding ways to creatively interpret the materials. Open communication between the harvesters and others fosters a society co-dependent on survival.  Open-sourced collection data and uses are encouraged in the same way ration recipes and cookbooks developed during World War II in the World BPO.  As with the scavengers in the junkyards, the harvester’s primary goal is to find useful solutions for previously discarded matter.

 

 

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Given the requirements for collecting and salvaging in the Futurescape, storage clothing has evolved as a popular fashion among land dwellers.  Storage clothing, like these parkas, allow for people to be more mobile than ever before.  Minerals, compounds, and junkyard treasures are easily collected and stored, but the limited space of each storage parka limits the amount of hoarding any one person can manage.  Limiting collecting promotes a society that does not live beyond its means and resources.

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Individual property does not extend beyond personal possessions in the forms of matter, shelter, and sustenance.  Due to the limited resources in any one area, and the requirement to scavenge for purpose, most people live as nomads.  The population of the Futurescape has no permanent dwelling, as they consider the Crust to be their shared home.  Do not let “nomad” be misconstrued to mean “no home”, in the Futurescape, everywhere there is a community is home.

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Communities, like everything else in the Futurescape, evolve out of necessity.  Cities emerge from the landscape as places of natural congregation given the rich resources of the surroundings.  The modularity of the Futurescape is reflected in the architecture which, like everything else in the Futurescape, is built from the lost industrialization of the World BPO.  Common architecture is built on top of the crumbling infrastructure of the past, often utilizing shipping containers as living spaces.

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The Futurescape may seem like an apocalyptic dystopia, but in actuality is rooted in the fundamental idea of pushing human potential beyond recognizable limits.  The necessity of survival works the human mind to a point beyond current comprehension.  In the Futurescape, creativity is a skill and imagination is a tool.

Work Cited

[1] “Architecture of Necessity » Ernesto Oroza.” 2016. Accessed May 20. http://www.ernestooroza.com/category/architecture-of-necessity/.

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