Famed architect Rem Koolhaas says a lot of smart things in this WAPO sitdown. Here he responds to a question about cities in the age of cyberspace and smart technology like self-driving cars and the Internet of Things becoming large neural networks that will develop their own mind and consciousness:
Koolhaas: If we simply let cyberspace run its course to a future determined by Silicon Valley, those libertarian-minded engineers will paradoxically lead us to cities shackled by algorithmic conformity. It would be a neural network, yes, but one that operates in lock step.
Like many of my friends, I am a car fanatic. So we have been looking very closely at the development of self-driving cars. What we know without hesitation is that self-driving cars will only work at the price of total conformity of every member of society. Such a system of mobility will depend on everyone behaving with no exceptions. As exemplified by self-driving cars, there is a built-in authoritarianism in this managed space of flows we call cyberspace.
More and more people are becoming uncomfortable with such a future.
He also thinks LA is the protype city of the future.
Image: De Rotterdam mixed use towers, next to the Erasmus Bridge, by OMA
Director of Creation (new position – salary neg.)
Experience with multiversal systems generation preferred but not required. Management and coordination of poorly understood direction and leadership in accordance with ill-defined goals and objectives of the organization to safeguard and grow the assets of the organization for future generations or until such time as original systems expire.
The Director of Creation (DC) is invested with broad responsibilities and authority. Portions of these may be occasionally delegated though not the overall responsibility for the sustainability and profitability of the enterprise. Hands-off approach favored by many stakeholders; direct interventionist line by still others. Ability to tread lines between the two a must. Evidence for existence/non-existence must be salutary and mutually self-refuting.
Stakeholders: Time. Space. Matter. Shifting array of personnel with varied attributes including but not limited to cognition, lifespans, opposable digits and other physical capabilities.
Key Competencies: Simultaneous demonstration of passion, enthusiasm and indifference. Imagination, thick skin, flexible construction parameters of embedded design evolution, with the ability to authorize destruction and/or extinction of poorly performing entities. Ability to provide for deprivation means-testing of sample populations based on populations’ abilities to perceive and mimic key competencies of the DC. Maintain a healthy balance between multiple dimensions, obvious solutions within reach and absolute breaches of DC protocol. Direct interaction with personnel definitively prohibited though solicited without cease.
Benefits Package: Poorly defined though perceived to be significant.