Cities of the Future
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By techgnotic   |   
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Metropolis KL 2210 by skian-winterfyre

What do you think your favorite city will look like in one hundred years?

Architect Rem Koolhaas has completed a “vertical city” complex in Rotterdam, bringing a new style of multi–purpose skyscrapers to the city skyline. Bennett Stein wrote about the new buildings for KCRW’s Design & Architecture blog, calling the creator “the Godzilla of architecture.”

Here’s an excerpt from Stein’s essay:

It’s a diva of biomimetics—you swear it’s a living, sentient thing that watches you as you watch it. And it loves itself so much it’s looking in the mirror all the time–wait a minute, it is a mirror. The building has a reflective shiny exterior of glass and steel which is repeated on the interior in planes of reflective glass and steel.

— Bennett Stein

We love imagining what the future will look like and how we will tell stories in this new world.

These new buildings are one vision of our future cities. On a page celebrating the completion of the massive complex, the architecture firm described the new design:

The three stacked and interconnecting towers of De Rotterdam rise 44 floors to a height of 150 meters and span a width of over 100 meters… Office employees, residents and hotel guests are brought together in conference, sport and restaurant facilities. The building’s shared plinth is the location of the lobbies to each of the towers, creating a pedestrianized public hub by means of a common hall.

Stein compared the building to the work of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The 20th Century architect imagined rebuilding Paris with “tall, concrete cruciform towers set in green, wooded parks.”

In a famous essay about the future of the city, Le Corbusier wrote:

We must create a mass-production state of mind:

A state of mind for building mass–production housing.

A state of mind for living in mass–production housing.

A state of mind for conceiving mass–production housing.

Could you live in this kind of city? Or do you hope for a different kind?

There has always been a prejudice against the vertical (How many stories?) in favor of the horizontal (How many square feet, miles, acres?) in this competitive egos society in which more counts for more than better.

Men like big numbers.

As the generations and genders evolve slowly to higher fields of perceived self–worth, the zeitgeist is forever changing, And as always, this is reflected in our trends in architecture. Bravo to better living through functional ecologically inter–engineered working and recreating spaces. How many acres of unused plains dust in Texas constitutes George W.’s “ranch?” I’m sure it’s an impressively large number. I’d prefer to reach for the stars in my life unit not using up any more space and resources than is necessary for my happy, healthy, creative existence.

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you do any sketching/painting/designing/inventing of buildings and architecture? What sorts of things? Have you ever built anything three dimensionally?

  2. What is your hometown like (city, suburb, rural, etc.) and has it influenced your interest in being an artist?

  3. What do you think of the architecture of cities and their influence on our everyday lives?

  4. What is your favorite building in the world and why?

anonymous's avatar
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RinoTheBouncer's avatar
RinoTheBouncerHobbyist Photographer
What a wonderful selection of mesmerizing artworks about the future. I'm really stunned by the variety, and even though most of those remind me of other artworks that I've seen, but they're all amazing, nevertheless. And I love the variety of art forms. I must say, though, that most of those are cities are like from 1000 not 100 years into the future.
CharlieVonGoethe's avatar
Is there anyway to say something that makes justice to all of this?
SolGravionMegazord's avatar
SolGravionMegazordHobbyist Artist
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JouchiroAvashi's avatar
JouchiroAvashiHobbyist Writer
zojo360's avatar
zojo360Hobbyist Writer
only if....
MitchellBratton's avatar
MitchellBrattonStudent Artist
I'm Not Really Good At Architecture So I Tend To Shy Away From It XD
Being 20 And Raised Exactly 10 Years in 2 Differrent Places In 2 Differrent Countries I Can Say My Hometowns Inspire Me To Rough Up The Shackles Of Ignorance So Many People Wear...
I Don't Have a Favorite Building XD Can It Be My House?
SaraMiddelhede's avatar
SaraMiddelhedeHobbyist General Artist
This was amazing!!!!
XelfrepuslaX's avatar
I wonder how far humans will go
AmputeeWrecks's avatar
There has always been a prejudice against the vertical (How many stories?) in favor of the horizontal (How many square feet, miles, acres?) in this competitive egos society in which more counts for more than better.

Not sure I agree with this statement. It's a comparison of two entirely different scales and forms of architecture and the built environment.

Land ownership has been a mark of pride and wealth for centuries, but as soon as technology allowed us to build up instead of out, the race has been on to construct the tallest skyscraper. This has been fairly consistent since 1884 when the first 'skyscraper' was completed, and I can assure you that is still a very dominant focus for many in the architecture and development fields, and generally considered far more lucrative than the 'mere' ownership of a plot of land or a large house.

Then again, this is because they are also two entirely different forms of ownership/investment and are also quite relative to local conditions. Most sane people know that building a skyscraper for themselves and their own family is not financially or environmentally feasible or responsible. And then there is Antilia.
hellogonzo's avatar
:iconbatmanbeyondplz: the future is....father than we thought...:iconmegasxlrplz:
T0maRuslanovna's avatar
It's very interesting collection.I sometimes try to imagine future too.
milyonery's avatar
milyoneryHobbyist Artist
cool.realy cool.. (y)
Rhunyen's avatar
RhunyenHobbyist General Artist
I enjoy imagining them all -- evolved or devolved -- though for storytelling some are more interesting than others. To live in however... ;)
AceTriad's avatar
My vision of the future isn't something that is your stereotypical "utopia" or "dystopia". 

Given the dreams of the past 50 years, where everyone feared a nuclear holocaust (which didn't happen), or people living in domes and already driving AI-powered cars (again, didn't happen until recently), I think the cities of the future would look slightly futuristic, but still look like today.

Sure, we would be using less fossil fuels thanks to cheaper non-renewable resources, and have some technological advances by the bright minds of today, but given how technology has stagnated in the past 5 years (Iphones, Ipods and TVs still look the same), unless a radical breakthrough occurs in technology.

Cities will still have skyscrapers, and look like today's because let's be honest, although it's cool, unless we found an antigravity mechanism that doesn't use hover fuel, it's impractical because of fuel costs. Also massive infrastructure costs, something that will take a long time because people need to shell massive amounts of money to make cities look like that. 

In terms of politics, nothing too much will actually change. No large-scale war will be waged because it's expensive and catastrophic for any country to do so. Just small terrorist action, that's all. There will be some crime here and there.

The trend of inflation may continue, but because we've suffered two economic crises before, companies are becoming more careful.

Overpopulation may be a concern, and a cause for revolution. Unless the future is bleak, then revolutions may not really happen, let alone succeed. If they do succeed, bear in mind that there are often negative consequences, like the situation in Libya.

Education wise, we need a reform in our educational policies. They suck, and are contributing to making our kids stupider every decade.

Just like racism, homophobia will be minimized. In fact, it already is, with the ultra conservative churches be laughed at/ignored/confronted. Nobody really gives a crap about what people do (or not do) in bed nowadays.

The new "Social Justice Movements" are the hippie movements 2.0. Nobody in the mainstream really cares.

My favorite city obviously has to be Toronto. But nothing's going to change much, just like everyone else in the world because ob human nature/infrastructure/massive monetary costs.  
HenryJonesVictor's avatar
HenryJonesVictorStudent General Artist
The new "Social Justice Movements" are the hippie movements 2.0. 

Amen to that. Let's hope they are.
xkai47's avatar
xkai47Student Digital Artist
i couldnt agree more
VirgoGarg's avatar
VirgoGargProfessional General Artist
I envision two different scenes:

Either humanity gets their collective heads out of their asses, and builds self-sufficient cities that run on green energy and grow their own food.


Archeologists that look like evolved octopi digging up human fossils and artifacts like beer bottles.
tmulcahy's avatar
tmulcahyHobbyist Photographer
All of this is fascinating conjecture, but unless the cities are destroyed and rebuilt, they won't look like anything pictured here. The closest image is the one that contains a building under construction, because that will be the reality of any future city. Even if our continuously-under-construction streets are gone, whatever infrastructure exists will alway be: "Under Construction. Please Be Patient." New buildings going up, old ones being renovated; water, air, food, and transportation arteries being redone.
FantasyLost's avatar
FantasyLost Digital Artist
I am in to peaceful :)

My favorite futuristic city:
Aquatic Slidewalk by Samuel-Nordius

My favorite real building:
Uglich: St.Demetrios Church by Nightcitylights
Demon-Works's avatar
100-1000 years from now i picture robots everywhere. Robots following our instructions and helping us fulfill our dark desires. Mean while our structures will be spectacular and grander than anything seen before.


Domes, domes everywhere as far as the eyes can see. Domes inside more domes. Domes so great that when the E.Ts arrive they will see them from space. They will drop their space coffee when they see two giant halve spheres  coming out of the planet. In addition to that they bounce light just right revealing 4 new primary colors never seen before.

Surely they will fall in their knees and feel love in their grey hearts! 
max400123's avatar
max400123Hobbyist General Artist
Really? I see ash and dust drifting among the ruins of a discarded humanity. But hey! Your giant boob idea sounds like something humans would definitely do!
ryoxsaku's avatar
This is all amazing 
AutomneBlue's avatar
AutomneBlueStudent Digital Artist
I like the designs with many curves, it looks light, buildings are like blocs and it adds a sort of airiness to the environment. 
As said in other comments, I think it is a pity that too many of those future cities look a bit stereotypical, I wonder if the blue light effect, which currently looks pretty futuristic will stay a symbol of future for a long time, I'm afraid it may quickly look old-fashioned since it's a bit overused, in my opinion.
mariosilvaartdesign's avatar
mariosilvaartdesignProfessional Traditional Artist
Outside the superb renderings, the propositions are the same as metropolis 1927 and before that the tower of Babel...
anonymous's avatar
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