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Perspecta 55: Futures Index

Perspecta 55: Futures Index

Current price: $35.00
Publication Date: February 28th, 2023
The MIT Press
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A collection that explores how architecture ought to negotiate the future, when the future is anything but certain.

Architecture is fundamentally a practice of predicting the future. In designing spaces that will endure for decades, architects must reconcile their visions of future living with predicted economic, political, and environmental futures. Thus, whereas utopian architects of the past each sought to impose a singular future through visionary architectural form, architects of today must reconcile between the multiple futures projected by hired specialists, live modeling software, climate change prognoses, and financial markets. Perspecta 55 aims to undertake this much-needed analysis of contrasting techniques of prediction, investigating architecture’s relationship to these conflicting visions of the future. 

Perspecta gathers together contributions from the fields of finance, climate, security, and computation to unearth the particular disciplinary histories and social values that underlie future projection. They identify eight futurological modes with direct impact on architectural practice: the hypothetical speculation of scenario planning, the training drills of disaster preparation, the logic of resisting a certain future evident within resiliency, the imaginings of science fiction, the risks and profits of the financial futures market, techniques of building information modeling and simulation, the algorithmic prediction involved in data mining, and the future-reversing logic of repair.

In investigating and testing practices of future prediction, Perspecta 55 hopes to empower architecture to address its uncertain, contested futures so that it may successfully reconcile and articulate its own future.

Kyla Arsadjaja and Julia Schäfer are graduates of the Yale School of Art.

Orit Halpern, Matthew Soules, William Deringer, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Jack Hanly, Zeynep Çelik Alexander, Gökçe Günel, Davy Knittle, Adam Bobbette, Savannah Cox, Stephen Collier, Andrew Lakoff, Lindsay Thomas, Ross Exo Adams, Amelyn Ng, Justin Joque, Peter Polack, and Daniela Fabricius

About the Author

Ethan Zisson is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.
Matthew Wagstaffe is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.
Lani Barry is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.
Jeffrey Liu is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.
Nicholas Miller is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.