‘Products from the future’ come under the category of Neo- Futurism in architecture for they use an advanced technology that is not yet available to the masses. This technology is available to the few and is still in its exploration stages, hence it is used only by experts to avoid disaster. In architecture, this is more of an avant-garde movement where more thought has been put into the aesthetics of the building as compared to before. Here buildings use new modern materials with fluid motion mass. Movement and fluidity and use of angles aside from 90 and 180 are observed here. What follows is a list of architectural/non architectural products created by architects who follow this Neo-futurism movement.
No list on neo futurism can be started without naming the pioneer of Neo-futurism i.e. Zaha Hadid. She didn’t just design structures but also footwear and clothing all with the concept of movement and dynamism which symbolize neo futurism. Some of her projects are-
1. Heydar Aliyev Center
Designed in the Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, this fluid and dynamic structure is the epitome of modern and futuristic architecture. Its fluid curves emerge from the site like the site grew into the structure. The structure establishes a deep relationship between the open outside landscaped areas and the inner areas making the whole structure and its surroundings a part of the urban fabric of the town.
2. Shoes by Zaha Hadid-
Architect Zaha Hadid had also a limited edition exclusive line of shoes called the NOVA shoes and the Melissa Shoes, with collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and the Brazilian brand Melissa respectively. Both shoes combine Zaha’s concept of dynamism with the ergonomics of the human body.
It is believed by many that the future not just holds dynamism in structures through advancement in technology but also a deeper connection and merger of nature with technology. With the advancement in technology, we’ll be able to understand ecology better. Thus further advancing our scope as surviving as being on this planet. One such thinker is Neri Oxman whose work lies at the intersection of technology and ecology. She has coined the term Material Ecology to describe her work. I have picked some of her projects and described them here-
3. Silk Pavilion-
As the traditional method of harvesting silk kills the worm, this project looks for alternative solutions where the creator isn’t destroyed during the process of rearing silk. The structure consists of 3 layers- 1st is the steel wire mesh which supports the structure, 2nd is the two-dimensional silk layer on which the worms will start working and the third is the three-dimensional silk layer that the worms will spin over 10 days. Neri Oxman says-
The Silk Pavilion demonstrates structures can influence silkworms to spin in sheets instead of cocoons. This project illustrates how this small yet unique insect can act not only as a construction worker but also as a designer, in collaboration with a man-made structure that guides its movement and deposition of silk to create an enhanced form.
4. Living Mushtari-
By studying the most primitive micro-organisms, this project answers questions such as can we design the relationship between the most primitive and sophisticated life forms on this planet. The study resulted in the development of wearable clothing which would adapt itself to its environment and support the wearer’s body accordingly. So in the future, if man inhabits Mars or any other planet this clothing will adapt itself to the environment of that planet and protect our bodies.
This project explores the possibility of 3D printable glass. New technology along with 3d printers for glass was developed. This technology shows the potential/possibility of 3D printing our buildings in the glass.
Now the list continues with other prominent architects who contributed to the Neo-futurism movement with their designs.
6. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge / Santiago Calatrava
No list on Neo-futurism can be complete without the master architect Santiago Calatrava. His buildings seem to defy gravity and give a sense of movement and lightweight. The project chosen here is a very famous bridge where it seems that the whole bridge is tied to one arch using threads.
7. Kunsthaus graz by Peter Cook
Built by Peter Cook this biomorphic building also known as the ‘friendly alien’ combines biomimicry with architecture. It symbolizes a merger of the past and the future along with a sensible understanding of the needs of the project and the surrounding of the structure.
8. Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome
Buckminster Fuller was not just an architect but much more. He was a theorist, inventor, and visionary. The first designed Geodesic Dome done by him acts as a backbone to all the parametric architecture we study today. Originally designed from aircraft tubes to support the weight this dome has now been modified to make various shapes using the same principles.
9. The Gherkin London
Designed by Sir Normal foster, The Gherkin looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. Made with lateral beams and cross grid this building is a product from the future.
10. Issey Miyake clothing
Although not an architect Issey Miyake is one of the most famous artists and fashion designers who started experimenting with futuristic clothing. His clothes break the boundary of era and period and fuse the past and future into a single line of clothing which can be considered eternal.