Interview: Liam Young on Speculative Architecture and Engineering the Future
Liam Young is a speculative architect who, in his own words, “operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures”. With his London-based design think tank, Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, he explores the future implications of emerging urban developments. Named by Blueprint magazine as one of 25 people who will change architecture and design, Young uses fiction and film to discuss probable futures. He has also co-founded Unknown Fields Division with Kate Davies, an award winning nomadic workshop that travels on annual expeditions to the ends of the Earth, investigating unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and industrial ecologies. Unknown Fields have developed projects through expeditions from the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Galapagos Islands to North Alaska, the mining landscapes of the Australian Outback, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Recently, Young gave an interesting lecture at the Sonic Acts Festival 2015 in Amsterdam. His visually engaging storytelling took the audience on a virtual trip with the infamous celebrity Kim Kardashian, whose derriere broke the internet recently. During his talk, he meditated on the emergence of virtual landscapes and hinted at new futures originated by developing technologies. On that occasion, we talked to Liam Young about his work in speculative architecture, the future, and our role as humans in relation to the nature.