another pamphlet #03 2011

the future!

The future is bright.1 The future is over.2 The future is over-rated.3 The future is now.4 No future!5 The future is a dog.6 The future is going nowhere without us.7

The third issue of another pamphlet considers the future – the idea of the future, the mythology of the future, the possibility of the future, the problem of the future – the complex and changing capacity to think forward from our social, economic, and political present. As the Italian author and critic Bifo says, “The future is not an obvious concept, but a cultural construction and projection.”
The idea of the future is in constant flux. Compare the radical differences in the status of the future from the 1850’s (at the dawn of the industrial revolution and modernism), to the 1950’s (at the height of American post-war faith in technology and progress), to the late 1960’s (when the future contained the friction of social and political upheaval), to the 1970’s (when punk’s rallying cry of “no future!” announced an emerging dystopian imagination and the oil crisis ended the promise of limitless development), and to the 1990’s (when a wave of pre-9/11 tech optimism rekindled faith in the future). With the increased volatility of the past few years (the ongoing financial crisis, the Arab spring, the tea party, occupy wall street, etc.), the idea of the future seems once again to be changing course.
Instead of making predictions, this issue asks what’s at stake in the idea of the future? What is the history of the future? What is the current state of the future? And what is the future of the future?

1-Orange Wireless slogan, 2-Franco Berardi, 3-Cerith Wyn Evans, 4-Yona Friedman, 5-Sex Pistols, 6-Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, 7-Paul Chan

01 the future present
02 the distracted future
03 perfect futures
04 unwritten futures
05 consuming the future
06 future rules
07 metropolitan futures
08 the future of the grid
09 untitled futures
10 getting on with the future
>< future conversation
++ future postscript

THE FUTURE! pamphlet contributors:
AMALE ANDRAOS is a founding partner of Work Architecture Company (Work AC) and an assistant professor at Columbia University’s GSAPP.
PASH BUZARI is an artist living and working in New York City.
EDWARD EIGEN is a historian and Associate Professor of Architecture at The City College of New York.
ISAIAH KING is an architect in New York City and co-conspirator of another pamphlet.
RYAN NEIHEISER is an architect in New York City and co-conspirator of another pamphlet.
PETER SCOTT is an artist, writer, curator, and director of the non-profit gallery carriage trade.
MOLLY WRIGHT STEENSON is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University in the School of Architecture. Her dissertation is about artificial intelligence and architecture.
PETRA TODOROVICH is the Director of America 2050, a national urban planning initiative to develop an infrastructure and growth strategy for the United States.
GIANCARLO VALLE is an architect in New York City and co-conspirator of another pamphlet.
KAREN WONG is the Director of External Affairs at The New Museum in New York City and Co-director of the Festival of Ideas for the New City.

another pamphlet is a document of loose exchange, an excuse to play, a frame through which to look, a shared excitement. It is an open dialogue with our friends, our histories, and our surroundings.

Meaning both “more of the same” and “something different”, “another” contains the seeds of both continuity and change. another pamphlet mines this contradiction – this tension between past and future – opportunistically interrogating, critiquing, and celebrating the discipline of architecture.

It is deliberately short. We’re all busy and we want to keep the conversation quick, easy, relevant, and fresh.

It is perversely anachronistic – it is printed on paper and distributed via, gasp, the post. Against the haze of digital distraction we crave an object to hold our attention – something to touch, to fold, to tuck in our back pocket, to discard.

And above all it is a group effort. Distinct voices are provisionally brought together into a contingent collective. But while the contributors and the ideas they offer are vital, particular authorship is obscured. The authors are given credit for participating, but the ideas stand on their own. The collective dialogue is given primacy over the individual position.