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KEYNOTE: The radical visions of the future

The Future of Urban Design (and Digital Tools)
Keynote talk
May 21 16:00 - 17:15

From the 1960s until recently, digitisation was primarily about speeding things up and making it cheaper and more efficient. In line with falling prices and increased market maturity, these basic technologies have become common commodities for most companies.

But digital technologies are developing exponentially. A smartwatch currently has more computer power than the US Space Program had when sending astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s. Digital technologies are weightless, their capacity is expanding towards infinity, all while their commodity price is plummeting towards zero.

This means that any idea can, in principle, be realised if there is access to the necessary skills and capital.

Keynote Speaker: Today’s second keynote speaker, Sir Peter Cook, started the avant-garde group Archigram back in the 1960s and was inspired by technology to create new visions for the future physical environment. The group has visualised and devised radical solutions that have completely changed the way city planners think of a physical space. Solutions that can be developed to invite citizens to use them. Their ideas, which involved technology in different ways, were at the time considered futuristic, sci-fi dreams.

Today, this technology is increasingly common and familiar. It’s a kind technology that to a lesser degree involves a screen and is far more integral to our physical world, such as self-driving cars and social robots. Sensors are being incorporated into pavements, façades and waste bins. And now we must also increasingly relate to artificial intelligence that makes life-or-death decisions in a split second.

But what impact will this technology have on our creativity, and what values and principles will still carry weight when planning future cities? These are some of the issues Sir Peter Cook will address in his talk "Radical Visions of the Future".

Sir Peter Cook has spent many years teaching, such as at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCLA), where he also served as Dean.

In addition to founding Archigram, Sir Peter Cook co-founded CRAB STUDIO, and he has also been involved in designing the renowned Kunsthaus Graz and Soheil Abedian School of Architecture (Bond University).


Sir Peter Cook
Founder Archigram & CRAB Studio
Natalie Mossin
Co-chair, UIA Commission on the UN Sustainable Development Goals