SWA summer school is in session; hosted by the Dallas studio this year, the seven student participants were asked to predict a radical advancement in their home city by the 22nd century and also to comment on what change they would most like to see. Johanna Cairns Harvard Graduate School of Design Hometown: Portland, Maine… Read more »
SWA summer school is in session; hosted by the Dallas studio this year, the seven student participants were asked to predict a radical advancement in their home city by the 22nd century and also to comment on what change they would most like to see.
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Hometown: Portland, Maine
Portland has been gaining attention for its growing restaurant culture, affordable housing, artistic character, and coastal location. I see its population increasing tenfold and predict the need for an advanced public transportation system. In addition to serving locals, it should connect Portland to major cities within the U.S. and Canada. I would love to see the strong pedestrian network that is currently in place downtown expand throughout the entire city, making it much less dependent on vehicles.
Lorenzo Maria Centioni
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
Hometown: Rome, Italy
Rome is a palimpsest, composed of different layers of history throughout the centuries that make it unique as well as messy. I see a total reorganization of public/ private transportation, which should be more oriented to a multimodal system in which cars are not the main means of transportation. The requalification of disused areas and the possibility to make developers interested in the existing urban voids could be an interesting point for changing the current trend of unchained expansion of the city. Revitalizing the interest of the public about rethinking and maintaining the city’s public spaces is probably the first step toward achieving important changes Rome truly deserves.
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Hometown: Ahmedabad, India
Ahmedabad grew up as I did. That is how cities are! They evolve along with their inhabitants. Ahmedabad has always been a business-oriented place. I wish for Ahmedabad a realization of its cultural values. I also look forward to its growth and prosperity along with nature. The traditional way of life allowed people to interact with nature. The future will be about learning to balance modern demands and traditional values. With increasing demands and stress on resources, Ahmedabad will have to awaken an awareness of its core DNA.
Autumn (Siyang) Jing
University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Taiyuan, China
The old identities of each neighborhood seem to be wiped out totally after the freeway systems were constructed on the city’s arterials. Pedestrian lanes and retail spaces were sacrificed in the process of widening the road for the freeway system. Now all of the neighborhoods seem similar, which is totally different from the past. I would like to see neighborhood renovations happen in order to restore the unique sense of place that was lost.
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Hometown: Kunming, China
Compared to the city Chongqing, China, home of my undergraduate school, Kunming is famous for the mild Southern China climate and is called “Spring City.” The flower industry gains great opportunities to develop in suburban areas thanks to the weather. I predict that flowers will be planted within the urban context as both an industry band also a city attraction. What’s more, flowers can be transported in a more efficient way to be kept fresh and sent to the world based on newly developed means of transportation. I’d like to see more environmentally friendly energy for transportation. Since fossil fuel is less available and has caused serious environmental problems, I’m looking forward to witnessing cleaner energy replace it on a large scale.
Ohio State University
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Design for cities that can help mitigate extreme weather changes would be especially welcome in Columbus, where weather can change dramatically from one day to the next. Toward that end, perhaps building materials could be self-heating and cooling to prevent build up of snow or ice. Buildings might shift their orientation throughout the day and year to collect optimal sunlight and turn it in to energy. Future city infrastructure will need to be higher performing and data driven. Thus, the blending of technology and design for daily life will surely be an exciting intersection.
I would like to see Columbus become a place where you can live and work without needing to own a car. I predict high-speed transit connections to other large cities in Ohio as well as elsewhere. The development of a transit hub would be a major advancement. I imagine that people will want to spend less time traveling from one place to the next and will want to multi-task en route. Public transit will allow them to stay connected with people and their digital lives while traveling instead of being focused on driving.
Ohio State University
Hometown: Tianjin, China
In the 22nd century, each home has its own storm water collection system. People plant vegetables and food in their homes on vertical walls that also adjust the indoor temperature, eliminating fears about food safety and access to air- conditioning. Reduced air pollution would mean that people would experience blue sky in the daytime and see stars in the evening. They would not be afraid to have meals outdoors and would never need to wear masks for outdoor activities.
Photo of Rome courtesy of Daryl Mitchell via Flickr Creative Commons.