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2006 09 04
Toronto Landscapes Of The Future?



I've followed new visualization technologies for a while now fascinated by the way they can enhance our understanding of today's cities as well as tomorrows. A lot has been written on the subject. Academics like Christine Boyer (Cybercities, 1996) and WIlliam Mitchell (City of Bits, 1995) were part of the vanguard on the subject. In 2001, Steve Johnson wrote "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software," a book that deftly connects the complexity of cities with other examples of emergent systems -- like software.

Complexity is the key. The patterns of some cities do not represent the work of master planners. Often their complex patterns are the result of the accrued, unplanned building activities of the city's inhabitants over time. Let's say for the sake of simplicity they are organic rather than mechanical.

The images shown here are from the digital film, "Biovisions: The Inner Life Of A Cell" from Harvard University. The film visualizes the human body on a cellular level. What is remarkable is how many of the images suggest almost recognizable landscapes of the future (think Frank Gehry if he is working some fifty years from now). I say this not just because the images are so beautiful and seductive but because of the idea that as we become more adept at replicating nature, the patterns of emergent systems that are part of our city's DNA, as it were, will be given opportunities to exist.

So, look at these images and imagine Toronto parks, landscapes, and even buildings in the future.

Thanks to Pruned for the link to the movie.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 09/04 at 01:15 PM

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