Liam Young took us on a storytelling walking tour through the Brave New Now, an imaginary city, extrapolated from the wonders and possibilities of emerging biological and technological research. A place found somewhere between the real and the imagined, both achingly familiar and exceedingly strange, stitched together from fragments of distant landscapes, interior worlds and speculative designed fictions.
Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is founder of the urban futures think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group whose work explores the possibilities of fantastic, perverse and imaginary urbanisms. With TTT he has consulted and conducted workshops on speculation, emerging technologies and future forecasting for firms including Arup- Drivers for Change, Phillips Technologies, BBC, the film industry and various arts and science organisations. His projects include ‘Under Tomorrows Sky’ a science fiction movie set for a fictional future city developed through collaborations with scientists and technologists and ‘Electronic Countermeasures’, a swarm of quadcopter drones that drift through the city broadcasting a pirate internet and file sharing hub.
He also runs the ‘Unknown Fields Division’, an award winning nomadic workshop that travels on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth to investigate unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and industrial ecologies. Unknown Fields have developed projects through expeditions from the Ecuadoran Amazon and the Galapagos Islands to far north Alaska, the mining landscapes of the Australia Outback, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Liam also coordinates events and exhibitions including the multimedia series ‘Thrilling Wonder Stories: Speculative Futures for an Alternate Present’ and is a curator of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Liam’s projects develop fictional speculations as critical instruments to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological futures.
Liam’s inherently collaborative design approach means his work is diverse in its scale and nature. He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Time, and Dazed and Confused. Liam was named by Blueprint magazine as one of 25 people who will change architecture and design.
Date: Saturday 16 November
Time: 16:30 hrs
Venue: Van Eyck, Academieplein 1, Maastricht