On June 16 2013, urbanist Liam Young brought together an ensemble of thinkers, writers and artists to forge the collaborative blueprint for a future city. I went along to rub shoulders with, among others, Warren Ellis, Rachel Armstrong and Bruce Sterling, and to film this wrap-up discussion between Sterling and Young.
I talk to the architect and urbanist Liam Young for Arc about his brush with Special Branch, and how a robotic ballet at Dublin’s Science Gallery led to him and his colleagues being recorded under the UK’s Terrorism Act.
Can the future be predicted? In his book Time Reborn (2013), physicist Lee Smolin set out to show that the world is an unpredictable place, and that common-sense, Newtonian habits of thought prove seriously mistaken when applied to the great unbounded problems of our age, from economics to climate change.
In the first part of this interview, conducted for Arc magazine, Lee Smolin explains why Newtonian physics cannot be applied to the world as a whole, and why the work of Newton’s great rival, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, may hold the key to a new model of the universe.
… and in the second part Smolin explores the human implications of a world where time is real and true novelty in nature is possible.
I went along to London’s Design Museum to catch the opening of United Micro Kingdoms (UMK): A Design Fiction. The exhibition, conceived and curated by design studio Dunne & Raby, uses elements of industrial design, architecture, politics and science to explore the future of design. Anthony Dunne talked to Arc about his four fictional kingdoms, his love of science fiction, and the value of dystopic thinking.
China Miéville speaks to Arc about Railsea, his delirious and parched recasting of Herman Melville’s epic Moby Dick.
In May 2012, novelist and digital pundit Nick Harkaway talked to me about Attenuation, his story in Arc 1.2, and about The Blind Giant, a guide to being human in a digital world.
Mike Harrison, whose story In Autotelia appeared in the inaugural issue of Arc, reveals his love of science, takes a wry view of the human project, and looks back on his ten-year effort to give science fiction its long-overdue Saturday night.
And here he discusses In Autotelia: “There’s more crammed into those 4000 words than there is crammed into the entire Light trilogy,” he says. “The fewer words you use, the more you can stuff in, which is why poetry is so good, and so hard to unpick.”