Visions of the Future – Interviews + Art – LSC 2007

Visions of the Future – Interviews + Art – LSC 2007

Visions of the Future – Interviews + Art – LSC 2007

The Visions of the Future project was part of the “Skyscraper” exhibition that I lead and developed at Liberty Science Center. For this project we wanted to explore the futuristic visions of the world’s most experienced and prominent architects, so it became a very inspirational series of creative sessions distributed along three good years of my life. We invited a selected group of architects –specialized in the design of tall buildings- to share their vision of the skyscrapers of the future. They were asked to describe what they imagined in terms of the world’s needs, the technologies required and the social dynamics that would provoke such constructions.

Inspired by my father’s sketchy way to explain his ideas, I asked these talented artists to draw their visions while they explained them in front of the camera. We recorded the interviews through video, and during silent periods I made portraits of their creative process. For the exhibition, the original art was exhibited with excerpts of their interview in adjacent panels. Unfortunately, the video interviews were never published and only exist as original tapes in the archives of Liberty Science Center.

Here is a small selection of the architects and their work:

Visions of the Future

Architects design tomorrow’s skyscrapers

What will tomorrow’s skyscrapers look like? How will they be shaped by the needs of a growing world population? Will advances in science and engineering enable radical changes in the way we inhabit the sky?
Are there limits to how far we can go?
In these displays, some of today’s most notable architects have rendered their impressions about how tall buildings will evolve over time. In sketches and words, they express their visions of future skyscrapers.

Daniel Libeskind

Principal Studio Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind’s practice includes building major cultural and public institutions such as museums, concert halls, hotels and residential buildings. His work—including his winning World Trade Center design proposal—has been exhibited extensively around the world, and has also been the subject of numerous international publications.

"With cities all over the world growing rapidly, there is the excitement of possibility, but also the danger that you lose connection with the humanistic part of architecture. After all, architecture is not just about technology and possibilities of building. It is about the arts—the poetic arts of human beings. It’s about dreams; it’s about time; and unless those things are the primary considerations then cities will just turn out to be disposable objects." - Daniel Libeskind



Ken Yeang

Principal Llewelyn Davies Yeang (UK) and Hamzah & Yeang (Malaysia)

Ken Yeang is well known for designing signature green, high-performance buildings and for his pursuit of an ecological aesthetic in his designs. His work—which includes green skyscrapers such as the Tokyo-Nara Tower and the Mesiniaga Penang—has been widely published, exhibited and awarded around the world.

"The skyscraper of the future is a recreation of everything that we find pleasurable at the ground floor—up in the sky. It would be perfect to have spiraling vegetation that works its way up into the skyscraper. In this way, the upper parts would link to the ground. Ecologically this is a good thing because it enables species migration and interaction, provides greater resources for species and creates a single large ecosystem within the building."



Adrian smith

Principal Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP

Adrian Smith has been a practicing architect for over 40 years. His body of work includes some of the world’s most recognizable landmark structures, including the Burj Dubai. As one of the world’s foremost experts of super tall towers, he collaborated with Gordon Gill to design the world’s first net Zero-Energy skyscraper, Pearl River Tower, China. Projects under his design direction have won over 90 major awards for design excellence and have been featured in major museums.

"I think it is a viable approach to say that personal air vehicles will be the way of the future. Now, if you are in your plane, does it make any sense to fly and then go down to the ground to get into the building and go up? No. Why not just fly right into your parking space in the building? So I think the building of the future will have parking facilities for personal vehicles, at least on a series of levels, every 10-20 levels or so." - Adrian Smith



Patrick Schumacher

Director and Senior Designer Zaha Hadid Architects

Schumacher is an architect and philosopher whose designs and publications reflect a deep analysis on the nature of architecture. He is co-author and project partner on a series of projects like the Centre of Contemporary Art and Architecture in Rome. He teaches at international architectural schools, including a series of post-graduate studios with Zaha Hadid.

"There is always what I call the logical evolution of work. There is always a reproduction of known patterns. You cannot start from scratch; you cannot lead ahead because the base process is reproduction. Architecture is just tracing and finding social patterns, and it kind of shapes around that." - Patrick Schumacher



Dan Kaplan

Principal FXFowle Architects

Dan Kaplan has been designing complex skyscrapers for over 20 years. He is responsible for the design direction of skyscrapers like the Condé Nast Building and the Helena Tower, both in New York. Projects under his design direction have received several honors, most of them in the field of green design.

“Skyscrapers will be a crucial part of a much needed sustainability strategy for… a reduced carbon footprint. Tall buildings will need to respond to variable conditions around them. The building and its systems will change at different times of the day and with the seasons; it will adjust to the amount of people and activity in it. Rather than standing in opposition to nature, the skyscraper of the future will blur and meld the natural and built environments.” – Dan Kaplan



Jeanne Gang

Principal Studio Gang Architects

Ms. Gang’s work has staked out new creative territory in materials, technology and sustainability. The work of Studio Gang has received numerous awards and has been published and exhibited widely. Her work on the Aqua tower is receiving international attention because of the complexity and originality of its design.

"This skyscraper is about infrastructure—things that people need, like water, transportation and nature all brought up vertically. It’s a series of streets, walkways, roads, valleys and places you could access from your living quarters way up in the sky. The actual structures could be by different architects. This allows more freedom. That’s an interesting way for the skyscraper to go because, so far, it’s been dominated by a single image." - Jeanne Gang



Helmut Jahn

President and Chief Executive Officer Murphy/Jahn

Jahn’s professional activities are highlighted by numerous lectures and juries. His work has received over 60 awards in United States. Jahn’s work has been included in exhibits worldwide, including the Venice Biennale and in Verona, Italy; Tokyo and Paris.

"The way a skyscraper hits the ground is very important, and I think it is also very important how it hits the sky. The way it hits the ground has to do with how it fits into an urban context. The way it hits the sky has to do with its iconic, memorable value and its appearance." - Helmut Jahn



Liberty Science Center, 2007
“Skyscraper! Achievement & Impact” Exhibition
Video Interviews plus poster-size original drawings
Helene Alonso, Joel Servetz, Tony Morales,

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