Publisher: Uro Publications, 2021, Author: Liam Young, ISBN: 9780648685876, Format: Softback, 180 x 105mm, 408pp
Planet City is a project by Los Angeles-based film director and architect Liam Young, exploring the productive potential of extreme densification, in a speculative future where ten billion people surrender the rest of the planet to a global wilderness.
It imagines a radical reversal of planetary sprawl, where the world’s population retreats from our vast network of cities and entangled supply chains into one hyper-dense metropolis housing the entire population of the earth.
It is a vision of the future that runs counter to our current world, where humans dominate the planet. Where centuries of colonisation, globalisation and never-ending economic extraction and expansionism has remade the world from the scale of the cell to the tectonic plate.
Although wildly provocative, Planet City eschews the techno-utopian fantasy of designing a new world order. This is not a neo-colonial masterplan to be imposed from a singular seat of power. It is a work of critical architecture – a speculative fiction grounded in statistical analysis, research and traditional knowledge. It is a collaborative work of multiple voices and cultures supported by an international team of acclaimed environmental scientists, theorists and advisors.
In Planet City we see that climate change is no longer a technological problem, but rather an ideological one, rooted in culture and politics. This is a fiction shaped like a city. Simultaneously an extraordinary image of tomorrow and an urgent examination of the environmental questions facing us today.
About Liam Young
Liam Young is an Australian born film director and architect. Young’s work is situated within the fields of design fiction and critical design. His work explores the increasingly blurred boundaries among film, fiction, design and storytelling with the goal of prototyping and imagining the future of the city. Using speculative design, film and the visualisation of imaginary cities, his work asks provocative questions about the roles of both architecture and entertainment.
Other authors include:
Benjamin Bratton, Stanley Chen, Ashley Dawson, Holly Gene Buck, Ryan Griffen, Nalo Hopkinson, XIA JIA, Giorgos Kallis, Ewan McEoin, Chen Qiufan, Amaia Sanchez-Velasco, Saskia Sassen, Kim Stanley Robinson and Andrew Toland.
Planet City is edited by Andrew Mackenzie, with Charles Rice and Mark Campbell as contributing editors and book design by Stuart Geddes.
The book was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for the NGV Triennial 2020. The book was supported by The University of Technology Sydney.
What others think...
"...a strong argument for the value of fiction (film included) in shaping the imagination and for readying people to deal with issues at the scale of the planet."—John Hill, A Daily Dose of Architecture Books
Watch Liam Young talk with the NGV's Ewan McEoin and Planet City's book designer Stuart Geddes below: