The Future Cities Project has been critically exploring issues around the city and society for more than a decade. From New Labour’s Urban Renaissance to the Coalition’s Big Society, we have written several books, hundreds of articles, and organized innumerable local, national and international events that have tried to unpick the arguments. We pride ourselves on having a wide range of interests and are always ready to say the unsayable. Of late it has become fashionable to chastise a wide range of things that we, in the Future Cities Project still consider worthwhile. We appreciate automobiles, airports, carbon, choice and consumption. We are not phased by density, demographics, development, energy use or experimentation. We relish growth, infrastructure, modernism, population, productivity, risk and speed; and we celebrate transportation, urbanization… and even Westernization. The project of The Future Cities Project is, to a certain extent, to return to first principles and critique the rise of determinism, instrumentalism, dogmatism and didacticism in urban and city discourse. In so doing, we want to challenge the malign influence of sustainability, the precautionary principle and risk-aversion within the broader social and political environment in which we all operate.
Who is Future Cities?
Austin Williams is the director of Future Cities Project Ltd and tenured associate professor in architecture at XJTLU university in Suzhou, China. He is an architect, film producer and journalist. He is currently China correspondent for The Architectural Review and was previously technical editor at the Architects’ Journal. He is the founder of mantownhuman and an independent programme-maker, writer and illustrator of Shortcuts; co-editor of The Lure of the City and The Future of Community and author, Enemies of Progress.
Alastair Donald is associate director of the Future Cities Project and the British Council’s project director of the British Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale. His background is urban design and urban policy and he’s convenor of the Future Cities Salon as well as co-founder of mantownhuman and a convenor of its architecture and design international summer school Critical Subjects. He co-author of the Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture and co-editor of The Lure of the City and The Future of Community.
THE FUTURE CITIES TEAM INCLUDES:
Chloe Spiby Loh has completed the first part of her architectural education. She lives in London and splits her time between working in an architectural office and personal creative pursuits. Before returning to a masters programme she intends to continue learning and to expand her knowledge through a year of reading, drawing and debating.
Rozie-Jane Saunders is a writer training to be an architect. Graduating from Liverpool University with a 1st Class BA (Hons) in Architecture, she moved to London and gained experience designing schools and housing for councils. Rozie-Jane approaches architecture from a humanist viewpoint and considers her designs to be narrative. She has previously lived in California and China and will be studying at University of Westminster in London from 2015. Rozie-Jane can’t wait to see where her training will take her next, she hopes somewhere with a temperate climate and good broadband.
Matt Bloomfield spent two years working in practice in London, and is now pursuing a MArch at the University of Sheffield. He became involved with the Future Cities Project after attending their 2014 Critical Subjects Summer School, and contributes to their publicity at @fcp_salon. His membership of the FCP team is framed by a desire to understand architecture within a broader social, political and philosophical context.
Nick Pocock graduated with an MArch degree from Leicester School of Architecture in 2015. He currently works at Ashton Porter Architects in London, and has previously worked in New York and the Architectural Review. Nick is particularly interested in establishing debate between design disciplines and is working to produce video and media for the Future Cities Salon by a desire to understand architecture within a broader social, political and philosophical context.
Martha Pabel is a recently graduated architect, who moved to London after receiving her Masters in Architecture from the TU Delft, Netherlands. She began her design career in Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and has worked in a number of studios in Rotterdam. In her spare time, Marta develops her drawing skills and interest in art and explores the areas of design across different disciplines of art, crafts and architecture.
Readers’ Group coordinator:
Elisabetta Gasparoni is convenor of the Future Cities Project Readers’ Group. She taught Italian literature and language in Milan, Hamburg, San Francisco and London and has been engaged in academic research on Italian modern literature since 2014. She is a contributor to The Future of Community.
Media (Podcast): Damien Smith
If you want to find out more, or join in the project, please contact the Future Cities team.