Nicholas de Monchaux's Studio One Course on Radical Futures in Landscape Architecture Magazine

18 Apr, 2018

Nicholas de Monchaux's Studio One Course on Radical Futures in Landscape Architecture Magazine

BCNM Director Nicholas de Monchaux is leading a course on California's contributions to sci-fi urbanism and landscapes with previous BCNM Commons Conversation speaker Geoff Manaugh. According to the course description, this class is meant to guide students in imagining a radical, accessible, and more equitable future for the state of California. de Monchaux and Manaugh bring in other factors such as media and culture feedback loops as critical to postulating new environments.

The class looks at how California has been a leader in negotiating the dyanmic between technology and urbanism, focusing on companies in the Silicon Valley such as Apple and Google who have determined the layout of the future more than any other entity.

A few planned guests of the studio, such as Kim Stanley Robinson, will be part of the ATC Speakers line-up for 2018-2019.

From the article:

“We have already terraformed one world whether we like it or not,” says de Monchaux. “We are living science fiction to some extent. We might as well acknowledge it and mine it.” Their studio asks: Are the melting glaciers and climate refugees wrought by carbon emissions really any more otherworldly than Lucas’s cuddly rebels-in-arms and their forest canopy home? In science fiction, Manaugh and de Monchaux have located a body of work that meets extreme conditions with extreme solutions, a playbook applicable for the days ahead. “Because of the radical nature of what is happening to the Californian ecology thanks to climate change,” says de Monchaux, “we have no alternative but to imagine very radical futures.”

“When you look at things like the hydrology of the state of California,” Manaugh says, “making sure that this many people can live here with this much agriculture and industry requires an enormous design undertaking and an enormous amount of infrastructure that, to an earlier generation, would have been indistinguishable from a science fiction proposition.”​

Read the entire Landscape Architecture Magazine article here.