Green Leap Forward
What does a future world of photovoltaic material look like? How do smart walls, "Watt Torrent" power-sharing networks, and electric hyperbikes sound to you? In Metropolis' latest issue, these scenario fragments come to life -- or, at least, show up in a 2017 version of Craig's List. I wrote the piece a few months ago, and it was easily the most fun I've had building a scenario in quite some time.
Metropolis has long been one of my favorite magazines. It's design porn -- I spend as much time gazing at the ads for beautifully-crafted pieces of furniture and appliances as I do reading the articles -- but it's planted itself in the design world intersection of sustainability and futurism. Viridian Pope-Emperor and friend of the blog Bruce Sterling regularly shows up in the pages of Metropolis, so when the magazine asked if I'd be interested in penning a short piece for them, I jumped at the chance.
I went with the Craig's List conceit because it gave me a chance to play with some different manifestations of this future, and to hint at some of what it might include. Not just in terms of solar power and materials, but little bits of plausible surreality, like carbon quota checks in apartment applications.
As much fun as it was to come up with the entries, the work done by Team Pro-Am in creating the graphics for the piece just blew me away. It's a two-page spread of a user interface of the era, managing to hit the right notes of feeling familiar and utterly bizarre at the same time.
Thanks for pointing them in my direction, Bruce!