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Beyond is a new book series devoted to the exploration of the boundaries between architecture, literature and visual arts. The first edition of Beyond, directed by Pedro Gadanho and suggestively subtitled Scenarios and Speculations, addresses our common uncertainties towards the future of the urban world through a series of prospective essays authored by European architectural writers.

Science fiction was always built upon the reality of its time. As the world changes, so does our imagination and our fears. The fiction of the modern world was dominated by the oppression of ideology and collective control. Huxley’s Brave New World is a powerful manifest against the menace of an absolute Utopia. Forty years later, George Lucas envisioned such a world in his first feature film. THX 1138 was released in the height of opposition to the Vietnam War and portrayed a dehumanized world where individual feelings and compulsions were suppressed, through drugs and indoctrination.
Interestingly, contemporary fiction is not so much about control as it is about the loss of control. The post-contemporary is a world of uncertainty, of spontaneous, uncontrollable phenomena. If we were once afraid of that which we expected, perhaps we are now more terrified of a future we cannot perceive in depth and scale.

The stories presented in Beyond range from near-fiction to the realm of pure conjecture. In his introductory article, Taken to Extremes, Pedro Gadanho speculates about the future of high-rise buildings under a declining economy: vertical megastructures become strongholds for the chosen few, surrounded by never-ending urban slums. A dystopian future that could pay tribute to the fictional works of William Gibson, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick. A place where architecture may become the greatest social divide of mankind.

1 Messages to “Beyond”

  1. Blogger Pierre 

    Rad illustrations!

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