Author Archives: MikeG

Sean, Kyle, Jake, and Mike


Who imitates whom?


Life imitates art. Or is it the other way around?

Who decides what the future is? Is it our natural forward movement? Some invisible being? A small group of individuals, deciding our fate?Metropolisposter

I think we are heavily influenced by our own imagination and that of others. Ideas that spring forth gave us cell phones and computers. Some of this was from inventors but most of it was from the celluloid entertainment – movies.

One of the easiest places for us to look for a future city is the movies. They’ve been predicting what the future will look like since Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1927. Filmmakers carried through the 60’s and 70’s, weaving the idea of a living city into 1976’s Logan’s Run.

They took twists and turns about different utopian or dystopian societies from The Hunger Games to Idiocracy (please tell me this isn’t coming true this year).

citylayout_bigAlthough I would like to point to the idea of Blade Runner and it’s fanciful flying vehicles, it’s doom and gloom scares me away from thinking that dire. Its darkness works great for the silver screen but not an idea for a real future. For me, my concept of a future city is most in line with Minority Report.


une-scene-tiree-du-film-minority-report-de-steven-spielberg-2002Although I am a huge fan of Spielberg and his crazy talented eye, I don’t fancy Mr. Cruise. However, this movie shows a future city that, I believe, most aligns with where I see us heading. Its cities still have thriving suburbs but it seems that most of the activity takes place downtown and its crazy self-driving vehicles. These things can crawl up buildings and take you anywhere you want to go. I feel that’s the idea that we, as Americans, can’t give up. We need our vehicles and will hold on to them with a death grip.

Technology is what is the driving force today. Instant communication and gratification are the norm. Telecommuting is slowly replacing the actual commute. It is its own brand of isolationism. Self inflicted.

We all take advantage of knowing that. at advertising. Just like in the movie, advertising is specifically focused on you and your desires. I see a world where that will happen – walking down the street and the billboard is talking to me, telling me what I want (and I do want it).

I see us even more dependent on computers and the internet. We are getting more connected to our homes – our refrigerators are telling us when we are running low on milk! We bank online. We date online. We buy everything online. Our entire history is on google now.

My future city doesn’t have pre-cogs that eliminate crime but I do see a city where we feel safer to go out and play with our children. No not to capture fictional Pokemon, but to actually play games. I see spaces that allow us to do so. Allow us to interact. To get off the grid for a moment. I think we as humans need that.

No matter how much we try to isolate ourselves.

If we don’t, our future city will be more like Blade Runner or worse, Idiocracy.