SE.2 – Elective Seminar
A speculative manifesto
Tutor: Mathilde Marengo
Student assistant: Jonathan Irawan

In 2000, around 50% of the world population lived in cities. Across the globe, the number of people living in cities will increase to 5 billion by 2025, from 3.6 billion in 2010. As of 2015 there are 35 megacities with populations of more than 10 million inhabitants, 11 more than in 2000 (
With this we are faced with not just the challenge of overpopulation, but also water shortages, food shortages, poverty, energy shortages, inequality, unstable geopolitical situations, and of course climate change.
Traditional models and dogmas are no longer able to grasp and interpret the meaning – or the future – of the contemporary urban context, and demand to be revised with new models of urban thinking and perspective, a new phenomenology linked to new ideologies. It is apparent that the basis of theories related to the city fail to explain the current urban dynamics, that are at work both in the networked global city, thriving on economic centrality in a global system, as well as in the new megacities, exploding under the pressure of their seemingly relentless growth (Burdett et al., 2007).

IAAC Student Juan Diego Ramirez Leon proposes a tabula-rasa for the territory of VDNKh in a future where the space is populated by floating tranquil spaces projected upon a densified Moscow

Design has an inherent optimism, often oriented towards problem solving. However, it becomes more and more evident that many of the challenges we face today are in fact not fixable and that the only way to work through these is through drastic change in our values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour (Dunne, Raby, 2013).
It appears that a direct relationship between activities and places no longer exists. In parallel to the accelerated and shocking speed of growth and size, the distribution of densities, land uses and morphologically differentiated areas is no longer defined. Each possible form of this evermore complex urban context brings with it its own set of social, economic and environmental consequences.

So how do we plan for the future?
Let’s dream again!

How should we do it if we start form scratch? Can we re-imagine ecology, economy, inhabitation models and social cohesion?
Planning for the next planet, orchestrated following an analytical and experimental methodology, proposes to use speculation as a tool to study the dynamics and explore the trend scenarios for our future, imagining a new future, on a new planet, as the means to reflect on our planet and our future.
The study will be oriented towards the development of a Manifesto and promotional video of a new model based on the selection of 1 out of 3 topics (Ecology, Inhabitation or Production) and a selection of 1 out of 3 drivers (Energy, Economy or Society).

Terreform one – Smart city fam

Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic (Ed.), The Endless City, Phaidon Press Ltd., London, 2007
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2013

Weekly schedule:
Session 1 – Introduction to the Seminar, form groups, identify case studies (critical thresholds vs functional adaptation)
Session 2 – Presentation of case studies, selection of topic & driver, development of class matrix
Session 3 – Presentation of current situation related to Topic & Driver, Work in class, Open Discussion on criteria
Session 4 – New Model development with criteria and attractor points, working session + desk crits including illustration of next steps and tools (simulation…etc)
Session 5 – Illustration of Manifesto and mood board for promotional video, open discussion / workshop
Session 6 – Final Manifesto and Draft Promo video, illustration of any doubts.
Session 7 – Final Presentation (Spruik your manifesto and promo video).

you-know-hyphen-labs-ece-tankal-carmen-aguilar-y-wedgeYou know- Hyphen-Labs, Ece Tankal & Carmen Aguilar y Wedge