Fantasy Homes: Futuristic Design

Postmodern

I did promise to move away from storybook/medieval fantasy style when discussing fantasy “homes”. As much as ultra modern design is not something I would choose to live in, I can definitely appreciate it and find the design aspect of it fascinating. Futuristic, space age design tends to lead away from individual homes to multiple dwelling complexes. This is probably because, in most places, especially Europe and Asia, there are too many people and too little land to accommodate horizontally sprawling urban centres. Even here in North America we are starting to see the advantage of moving vertically rather than destroying more and more forest and pasture land. Architects are, therefore, predicting trends toward upward movement and multipurpose complexes.

Although you will see a lot of boxy modern houses shown as the current trend – clearly still influenced by Bauhaus and Postmodernism – grander scale, ultra modern designs seem to move toward organic forms based on nature. As you can see in the illustration above, the building is predominantly round and curving as opposed to boxy. Obviously this is a concept design that hasn’t yet been implemented, however, it’s not that far off what is already being built. Interestingly, when I was viewing concept drawings of ultra modern design, one place on earth actually popped into my mind that has actually has started to take on this very futuristic look.

The United Arab Emirates is a place like no other place on earth. From the sky, you’d swear Dubai was something out of a Science Fiction film. In fact, I had a very difficult time deciphering real photos from computer generated conceptual drawings as I was looking for examples. Obviously there’s a lot of money put toward design and construction in that city and in its neighbouring city, Abu Dhabi. Not only are their buildings quite magnificent (think the tallest tower in the world) and cutting edge, but they are also contending with land which would otherwise be relatively inhospitable to living. There are, of course, a lot of negative aspects to creating a city on inhospitable land (think Las Vegas), but I’m sure there have also been great strides in innovation with respect to working in such an environment.

The thing that I think about when I see futuristic buildings such as these is, who the architects are behind the projects. The Burj Khalifa was designed by a Chicago firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and the lead architect was Adrian Smith. Architect Tom Wright of the UK firm, WKK Architects, designed the Burj Al Arab. The architect behind the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre is the most interesting result of my research. Zaha Hadid and her firm, based in London, England, are some of the most creative and innovative architects I have ever seen.

I will not go on to explain how truly amazing they are but will, instead, suggest (strongly) that you watch the following video. I think you will be impressed with the leaps in technology used for design to bring these truly unique concepts to life. I was really blown away.

You see how futuristic, science fiction/fantasy is not really that far in the future? It’s happening now and, if you ask me, it’s REALLY COOL (or “sick” as my son eloquently put it)!

Until next time…enjoy the here and now. Your future is not far behind. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Fantasy Homes: Futuristic Design

  1. A fantastic and thought provocative post (and video) about postmodernism in Architecture. I am an avid follower of Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid, although not a big postmodernism fan. While this school’s main contributions revolve around connectivity, creativity and awesome aesthetics, I feel that a sense of human belonging is lost in the process. This is most evident in postmodern residential projects. They are awe inspiring for a tour, but can you imagine how they would feel like after being lived in for five or ten years?
    On the other hand, the various cultural and commercial projects “invented” by Zaha Hadid Firm will inevitably become among the most prized historic landmarks of our era in the future. Dubai, where many postmodern structures dot the skyline, was conceived as an imitation version of Las Vegas. It has of course surpassed the original in functional and aesthetic architecture but remains, in my humble opinion, a city without a soul. Soul!!! Perhaps this is what postmodern architecture is missing 🙂

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    1. I tend to view much of modernism as being without a soul. I think that is why I feel so uncomfortable in it. You have definitely hit the nail on the head. As much as I appreciate the innovation in ultra modern design I’m much more of a “Storybook” girl.This may also explain why I don’t enjoy hard scifi. I find it too cold and the vision of future cities being like the first photo in my post makes me happy that I probably won’t be around to experience this type of design at a residential level. 🙂

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  2. I’m not quite sure if I like that much modernism. Maybe my architectural self is not that developed, maybe I’m not a connaisseur. What I remember was the time when year 2000 was far away and we imagined it will come witj people riding spacecrafts instead of cars. Who would have guessed the “future” was going to be that much different?

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    1. I don’t think it’s a matter of being a connoisseur, Gabriela. I think it’s just a matter of taste. As I’ve said, I can appreciate the creativity of the designs but have no desire to live in it. When I was 7, my parents moved me to a new suburb away from an 80+ year old home. I was devastated. It wasn’t until we moved again when I was 14 into an old home that I felt “at home” again. I think that explains it, doesn’t it. I need the soul. 🙂

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