Smout Allen

Paul Humphries Y5

The End of Technology. This research and design project attempts to document the space between the ‘known’ and the ‘unknown’ in cinema as a provocation for designing a future city– Zurich, Switzerland. Metaphori-cally, the media that inspires visions for the future both in cinema, literature and elsewhere are the unmapped areas of research that can inform a futuristic vision for Europe’s first smart city. 

Zurich, Switzerland in 2025, is due to be the first smart city in Europe. Based on the writings on French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, this project re-imagines Zurich fifty years from now as a smart city–but not as we imagine smart cities today. This project explores our relationship with data as a series of architectural responses via a new, non-physical boundary, reinstating Zurich’s 16th century fortification as a data network established by a series of ‘data architectures’. All archi-tectures explore ideas of a future where data is indistinguishable from reality, as observed by Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulation–known as the third stage ‘profound reality’. Although our technology may be physically non-existent, architecture will always embody a physical relationship with technology, now and in the future. 

This project aims to offer a critical fiction about the future of the first smart city in Europe, Zurich. Through this project, a story set fifty years from now (2019) illustrations and speculation form a se-ries of spaces and buildings that imagine life in a not so distant future where our obsession with technology has left inhabitants lost in a sense of hyper reality.

Terra Incognita 2019