Designing new systems using current and future technology is necessary. A world where human civilization isn’t wiped out by the climate crisis will have some kind of a man-made appearance, every aspect of it has to look like something. Transportation, energy extraction, buildings etc. It is the job of architects to imagine how every aspect of this world looks like. The architectural profession must change for this to be possible. Today it legitimizes a destructive economic system . Profit maximization for private unaccountable tyrannies should never be the job of an architect or anyone else for that matter.
This project starts about questioning the distribution of goods. Today the distribution is controlled by unaccountable private corporations using energy inefficient and segregated modes of transportation. These transportation methods are accompanied by a massive infrastructure that is not designed for humans to use. Soon our distribution system will change, instead of consumers entering a grocery store and collecting goods, they will be transported to consumers. Our current leading neoliberal theory will lead us to replace our existing system with a new profit maximizing system. Drones owned and manufactured by private corporations, designed to be obsolete every other year so that a newer version can be bought. Flying from warehouses also owned by private corporations that seek profit. My proposal comes from an imaginary world where technology is used to benefit the public, not to maximize the profits of a few individuals.
For a distribution system to benefit the public first, its mechanisms of movement must be public. The Borgarlína, which is the new public transport system for the city of Reykjavík is therefore imagined as a train what will not only move passengers but also goods. This will eliminate the need for private corporations to work as middlemen in the distribution system of food. When systems and ideologies become architecture they solidify in society, for example in Reykjavík the automobile is considered the main mode of transport because our infrastructure reflects that value. Water pipes are another example, we believe it is our right to have essentially free running water in our homes. Neoliberal theory would make us get rid of these water pipes and exclusively sell bottled water, so it is the infrastructure itself that guarantees our rights. Public space is the most powerful weapon that we have against excessive privatization.
Technologies effects are not pre-determined, but when the ruling power of a society sees nothing except for profit maximization it is easy to deduce what power will do with technology. There is no hope right now and there shouldn’t be any as long as our prospects for survival become bleaker by the day, architects and city planners produce false hope that serves power systems when they present seemingly progressive ideas that don’t get at the heart of our collective problem which is an economic system designed to drain resources and expand inequality.
Architects must rebel against this system if they truly want change.