TRANSFORMING FUTURES space.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/exhibits/summary/transforming_futures
Introduction by Anna Carlevaris Edited by Frank Mulvey March 29 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; April 19, 2012 Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery Dawson College 4001 de Maisonneuve West Montreal, Canada
David Hall (Professor, Fine Arts Department) Expo 67, 2012 oil on canvas 46 cm x 61 cm
Buckminster Fuller with guides for the American Pavilion at the opening ceremonies for Expo 67 (geodesic dome designed by Fuller). Source: Press photo April 27, 1967, Courtesy Field Enterprises Inc., Newspaper Division (photographer unknown).
REMEMBERING THE FUTURE
The theme of the present exhibition takes its inspiration from a little known event that took place at Dawson College in 1972. In October of that year, the college invited a special guest speaker named Buckminster Fulleri. Fuller had become a well-known name in Montreal because of the geodesic dome he designed for the American pavilion at Expo ‘67. By the time of his visit, the dome was already a landmark symbolizing the arrival of Montreal on the world stage. Fuller was also recognized as one of the leading spokespersons for the then burgeoning environmental movement. The catchphrase “doing more with less,” which had become synonymous with his name and his ideasii, was adopted for the title of an exhibition held at Dawson in celebration of his visit. The current exhibition, Transforming Futures, pays a modest tribute to the historically defining moment of Fuller’s visit to Dawson College. The week of Fuller’s visit at Dawson coincided with an event that became an iconic moment in Canada’s national memory in what came to be known as the ‘summit’ hockey series between Canada and the Soviet Union. In fact, the exhibition and activities were being organized as staff and students alike were reveling in the euphoria of Henderson’s tie breaking goal. But the early 1970s in Montreal is also remembered as a turbulent era that witnessed social and political confrontations and collective protests in which the universities and colleges played a key role. The silent revolution in Quebec had generated broad changes, not the least being the creation of the CEGEP system in 1967, and the opening of Dawson College two years later. At the time of Fuller’s visit Dawson College was still a new idea, so new that many viewed it as an unproven experiment. Forty years and two generations later, the reason Dawson first came into existence is now largely unknown to many. In the context of the present exhibition, however, the ‘new idea’ that was Dawson College is essential for understanding why Buckminster Fuller found himself addressing a few hundred students and staff on the nature of geometry, the future, change, and hope. Fuller’s visit had been engineered by a group of teachers who were part of a network of like-minded colleagues in Montreal and beyond. Like many of the new teachers that had arrived to fill the teaching positions produced by the recently formed CEGEP system, they were idealistic and marked by the spirit of the times. In the audience that day were students and staff from other schools, including McGill University and École Polytechnique de Montréal, with whom events had been co-sponsored. Models of geodesic domes were rising in schools throughout the city, from McGill’s campus grounds to the gymnasium of Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School for girls.iii Dawson too had its own 3-D model of a geodesic
Advertisement "Universal City", project by Franklin Thomas, presented at Dawson College and McGill University, 1972. Source: Advertisement, "Universal City", Montreal Gazette, April 1, 1972: 41. Courtesy the Montreal Gazette.
Great Stellated Dodecahedron by Craig Tandy, Viger Library, Dawson College, 1972. Source: "Doing More", Montreal Gazette, Thursday, October 5, 1972: 4. Courtesy the Montreal Gazette (photographer unknown).
structure installed in the college library (at the time located on the Viger campus). The thirty-foot structure was built by Craig Tandy, who named it Great Stellated Dodecahedron. It was the centerpiece of an exhibitioniv that included didactic panels on green design, a mural by Francis Capriani, and a maquette of Franklin Thomas’s spiraling Universal City.v The weeklong exhibition, L’Austerité Joyeuse, Doing More with Less, introduced Fuller’s concepts to Dawson students in a way that was both tangible and engaging. ‘Fuller Week’ was a festival of sorts that put into action Fuller’s belief that innovation relied on collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that valued creativity, experimentation, and whole-systems thinking. There was no better example of this thinking than his concept of the World Game, a problem-solving challenge in which global issues were approached from a ‘doing more with less’ perspective. Playing World Game was one of a number of activities that week at Dawson. Fuller’s visit was marked by two special ceremonies.vi One was the awarding of a diploma to Fuller by Dawson’s first Director General Paul Gallagher, making Fuller the college’s first honourary student. Upon receiving the parchment, Fuller replied,—“I cannot conceive of anything more beautiful happening. Many of you know how much I care about what you have done in making me a student… I am a student on my own initiative and I hope I will always be. I think we all are, but to be allowed to be a student with you is such a joy.”vii Fuller’s words reveal his esteem for students and for the learning environment as a whole, which he saw as a laboratory for original thinking. His enthusiasm and respect for the power of young people is no more clearly expressed than in the following words from that day —“I admire you young people because your natural reflexes are not as powerfully conditioned as are those of your parents. You think and react honestly… and that creates problems for the bureaucracy.”viii The second ceremony that day was the presentation of a newly translated French language version of Fuller’s now famous Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.ix The book had been translated by Serge Laliberté who, while handing it to Fuller, explained that he had worked on it “so that French-speaking people can understand your work and your ideas,” at which the audience broke out in loud applause and boisterous cheers. In the volatile politics of the time, Fuller’s visit seemed to generate a positive, ‘yes we can’ attitude about the future in an audience that was living through an important historical transition wherein the nature of collective identity and global citizenship were being reassessed. This sense of forward momentum affected many of the participants, including Paul Gallagher, who announced that the exploration of Fuller’s ideas would not be limited to a single week but would extend throughout the year and find expression in a number of college wide activities. The passion of the moment is evident in Gallagher’s concluding remarks which share in Fuller’s ‘big picture’ approach to life when he said that he hoped the ideas generated that week “would pervade our lives beyond the current year as associates of Dawson College, and become greater and greater as time goes on”.x
Exhibition poster “L’Auserité Joyeuse, Doing More with Less”, Dawson College, October 1972 (artist unknown).
Unpublished manuscript “Vaisseau-spatial: manuel de l’operateur” (Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1969), translated by Serge Laliberté and presented by him to Buckminster Fuller at Dawson College on October 7, 1972.
Newspaper page layout including photos of Buckminster Fuller, Fall semester, 1972. Source: Dawson Planet, 1972-1973, no. 1: 4. Courtesy The Plant, Dawson College (photographer unknown).
Time has indeed moved on. Looking back over forty years the question remains as to whether the philosophy of ‘doing more with less’ became part of the legacy that earlier generation of Dawson College bequest to the following generations of teachers and students. Transforming Futures does not attempt to answer this question but instead offers a window onto the imagination of some of our current students and staff who were asked to reflect on the city of the future. Drawing from a variety of programs and departments, the exhibition offers an interdisciplinary view of the city of tomorrow and the life we envision for our communities and ourselves. To paraphrase the words of one of the key participants of ‘Fuller Week’, teacher Henry Strub, “it’s a small but heroic effort.”xi Poetic, witty, thoughtful, the images and objects on display reveal the future as a place of unbound invention and extraordinary possibility. Anna Carlevaris, March 2012.
Richard Buckminster Fuller, American 1895-1983.
Fuller’s aphorism “doing more with less” finds its origin in architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s (1886-1969) modern aesthetic “less is more”. After Fuller’s visit, Dawson’s student newspaper The Planet adopted it as its motto. ii
The Montreal Gazette 28 March 1972: 18.
The exhibition was a joint project between Dawson College and Fanshawe College (London, Ontario). Dawson Planet No. 4, 1972-1973: n.p. iv
The Montreal Gazette 1 April 1972: 41.
The Dawson College Library was to have had its name changed to the “Buckminster Fuller Library” but this proposal was never enacted. R. Buckminster Fuller Archives, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford University, California. vi
The Montreal Gazette 9 October 1972: 21.
R. Buckminster Fuller. Vaisseau-spatial: manuel de l’operateur. Trans. Serge Laliberté n.d. Unpublished manuscript. Centre d’archives de Montréal (BANQ). ix
Newspaper two-page layout including photos of Buckminster Fuller, Fall semester, 1972. Source: Dawson Planet, 1972-1973, no. 4. Courtesy The Plant, Dawson College (photographer: Leo Charbon).
Julie Chu Yew Yee (Creative Arts, Literature and Languages, 2nd year) StereoFuture, 2011 Acrylic, color pencils and collage on canvas 45.7 cm x 61 cm
“The future is something very unpredictable for any of us; all that we can do is to change how we look at it and plan accordingly and hope that we are constantly striving towards a better future than we would have had otherwise. This artwork called StereoFuture demonstrates the technological advancements that human beings were able to make all around the world through time in terms of architecture and infrastructures. While we are continuously changing our world into a digital one, we are still aware of the negative impacts that this has on nature. Thus we try to merge modernity and nature together in hope of keeping a balance. The background of this painting has a similar pattern to that of an electric circuit. It suggests the idea that human beings nowadays are all connected primarily through technology that is progressively and rapidly becoming the most fundamental part of our world. Hence, it is a fact that this ‘wired’ society in which we are currently living will transform along with unimaginable discoveries of technology in the future.” 12
â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this piece I wish to express a vision of the future where the world is a better place, not a utopian society free of crime and injustice where all is wonderful and problems no longer exist, but a time where we are much better off from that which we know today.
Clayon Anthony Coke (Creative Arts, Literature and Languages, 2nd year) Roots, 2011 Wood, Plywood 76.2 cm x 50.8 cm x 50.8 cm
Roots explores the notion of a city where technology and nature are no longer two separate entities that exist only to battle each other. Today, to create a metropolis we are forced to first find a location, and nature is usually the first to pay the price in order to create such grand cities. However, in my vision of the future, they now work together; a technorganic (technological and organic) balance exists, and instead of destroying one to create the other, they are both one and the same. We have to take a few steps back in order to go forward, for in this alternate reality, cities are and in giant trees, where the levels of the tree comprise several levels of life. But trees are not like we know them to be now, they are not covered in leaves, but have single large surfaces that resemble the ground we walk on, thus we are able to live in them as opposed to from them. As I strived to create such a spectacle, I was inspired by the contrast between natural unprocessed and processed wood and how the two could work together to create my vision. The processed wood can be an image of the technological aspects while the unprocessed a representation of the natural qualities needed to make the merger. Lastly, to illustrate, in a simple manner that we reside in these gigantic tree cities of the future, I added constructs of varying shapes and sizes in order to represent households, buildings and corporations.â&#x20AC;?
Mihai Delapeta (Creative Arts, Literature and Languages, 2nd year) Hope = Tesla, 2011 Acrylic and graphite on canvas, metal components attached. 91.4 cm x 61 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The work of Nikola Tesla, the forgotten genius and father of the 21st century, gave mankind unprecedented gifts. Some of his best ideas were ignored and hidden from the public, such as the Wardenclyffe tower (a concept that is 100 years old). This tower is designed to capture radiant energy (a simplified explanation is: static electricity in the air), and it would end our need for oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energies. Why it was this concept hidden? Because this technology involves propagating electrical energy through the ground (wireless) anywhere in the world, and it cannot be regulated nor a price put on it. It would provide free energy for the whole planet. My painting represents the cover of "Hope" magazine, in an alternate time line, where we eventually adopt this amazing technology. Attached to the painting is a small device which captures radiation from the air and converts it to electricity. It is a small scale model showing off the "Free Energy" concept (based on Tesla's technology). Due to the currents that are sweeping the globe at this time, with people demanding change, maybe the vision that I portrayed in this artwork will become real.â&#x20AC;? 14
Kelly Griner Futuristic World, 2011 Drypoint 27.5 cm x 37.5 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was influenced by the movie Inception where people live within their own dreams and learn endless possibilities of what they can create within a given setting. They make a mirror image of one experience on top of the other and I thought that was a perfect depiction of a world I could imagine to exist in a futuristic sense, mirror images all around with connected and swirling roads in the middle. I portrayed space ships instead of cars to suggest the notion of space travel that we all assume will be a characteristic of what our world will transform into in the future.â&#x20AC;?
Alex Provost, (2nd year, Creative Arts, Literature and Languages) Turtleback Metropolis, 2011 Birch plywood, basswood 24 cm x 55 cm x 36 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;This utopic city is constructed within a spherical space station. Its organic form is based on the myth that the land that we walk upon is the actually the back of an enormous turtle. It features a municipal park, retaining a part of nature within technology, even though this city is off-world. Future generations will build on this idea and this dream-like future city will become a reality.â&#x20AC;?
Stephanie Wei-Tzan Shian, Jennifer Rassi and Tahana Kalantzis (2nd year, Creative Arts, Literature and Languages) Everlasting Lights, 2011 Birch plywood and basswood 51 cm x 61 cm x 61 cm
“Everlasting Lights represents the only city on earth powered by a living plant. The city is divided into two parts. Firstly, the ground level constitutes most of the populated area where the civilians inhabit. The community strives to preserve the energy of the plant by protecting it. Secondly, the top level is characterized by the city’s signature forms: three skyscrapers, which represent the power of the plant and also the growth that is possible after devastation. The recurrent motif of circles symbolized life and how the community works as a whole to rebuild the environment after the effects of global warming. Plant roots run around the entire vicinity proportionally distributing energy to the people. The name of the city is inspired by the eco-friendly use of energy, making it possible to keep the lights on and to give the city its radiant appeal.”
Miles Petrella (1st year, Fine Arts) Creator, 2011 Graphite and colored pencils on paper 66 cm x 48 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe it is important to look to the past when dealing with the future, because we can see how humans have dealt with the evolution of their world. My drawing was inspired in part by creationism and religion. I feel that the notion of a Creator being responsible for nature and human life may seem somewhat surrealistic as science develops in modern society. This leads to questioning the beliefs humans will have in the future. Furthermore, will humans take the role of the Creator? The nonsensical space, created by using the laws of perspective, suggest that artists, and humans in general, have the power to create their own world as well. The landscape refers again to the notion of the creation of nature as well as the balance between the natural world and the calculated man-made world. This drawing questions the place of old values such as religion and perspective in the future.â&#x20AC;?
Jasmine Blais (1st year, Fine Arts) Dreams, 2011 Graphite and colored pencils on paper 66 cm x 48 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we were given the opportunity to transform our dreams into reality, our whole universe and future would change. This drawing is based on dreams and how they often offer very strange ideas. We constantly dream of situations or goals we desire to achieve, but most of us never live to accomplish them. The future holds many secrets and we are left with questioning ourselves: How can humans create their own world from the fruit of their imagination? Is it even possible? The truth is, we will never be able to predict the future. That is why this drawing tries to portray the relation between the dream and reality through perspective. This artwork has an optimistic view on the future that makes us want to believe that there are still many things to discover and to create. â&#x20AC;&#x153;
Paul Yates (3rd year, Illustration & Design) Future Cities, 2011 digital art
“The main ideas behind my future city concept were sustainability and harmony. I felt that the city should be built with the people and environment in mind. My inspiration came from Buckminster’s environmentalism and original thinking. One idea was to use natural forces instead of finding ways to compensate for them; specifically to use meteorological phenomena and natural energy to our advantage. This led me to thinking about rain, wind, solar energy, and natural radiation (life force). The main design and architecture of this city would look as if it was heavily influenced by nature. Images of mushroom shaped homes, vine-like towers, living buildings, and organic shapes came to my mind. After some brainstorming, I came up with more starting points for my future city. I developed concepts related to the circulatory system, synergy, photosynthesis, transparency, positive energy, cleanliness, fun, community, natural materials, minimalism and a nerve center. I imagined the surrounding environment as a heavily wooded area with ridiculously huge trees; a city within a nature reserve. I felt that the depiction of this city should reflect all of these themes and carry the message that we can work with nature and each other to create a better quality of life for all living things. The mood should be serene yet lively, not boring. A challenge may be to keep the city from looking sterile or brainwashed. There should be a strong sense of life to the city.”
Audrey Lauriston (1st year Photography) Untitled series Digital prints Various sizes
Forming Futures Cool, metallic blades begin. Sharp, precise blades, Lined with glinting potential, Polished by dreaming hands, Strengthened by calculated angles And welded conviction, Prepared to mold a beautiful future. The sharp, cool blade warms up, Begins to cut and form, Dancing in a shower of sparks, Whistling hard at work, Shaping a boisterous bright city From quiet, sleeping materials. It emerges from the glistening chaos, A new galaxy burning through the sky, Illuminating once sheer landscapes With orange star dust and swirls. Buildings growing like crystal weeds: Glass glaciers crashing through frozen Dormant ground, rising infinitely, Rousing the mirrored sky above, Reflecting the weaving rivers below. The city grows with every cut, Blades poetically sculpting its body, Defining its sleek streets and tunnels, Splashing sidewalks with golden tinsel, Like a chorus of fireflies buzzing, Tracing a path in the hot night sky. As children doze off to blinking stars, A quilted purple sky tucking them in, Sleep surfs the wind, eventually shutting Every eye and waking every mind: Pulsing gears hard at work, Forging cool thoughts into bright ideas. From far away the city is an ember, Glowing with the warmth of dreams. Erika Metivier (Literature) Forming Futures, 2012 Poem
“The poem on the preceding page serves as a metaphor for our imagination and dreams shaping our ideas into something real and concrete, like the beautiful city we strive for. It is inspired by photos of profile cutters (blades used to cut specific shapes). The poem uses this tool to shape a future city, making the profile cutter a metaphor for our imagination forming thoughts and bringing them to life. The poem starts with the blades cutting into materials, hard at work shaping something. The product of this work is a growing city filled with life and dominated by dreams. Ideas and creativity form a new place splashed with colour and energy. Technology builds a sturdy new city and suggests progress and growth. The imagery is natural even if the mechanical aspect of imagination, like gears hard at work, is what is creating the beautiful city. There is a balance between nature and technology; between concrete tools used, such as the profile cutter, and the imagination. The city derives from dreams and grows into something beautiful, something that can only be the product of our wildest thoughts and imagination.”
Editor’s note: Literature student Erika Metivier expresses her vision of cities of the future in response to images by photography student Audrey Lauriston of mechanical parts (profile cutters, gears and a turbine) provided by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Student team: Nicholas Desjardins, Ahuva Kohn, Russel Beardsley Cameron Samios-Dickson, Etienne Choiniere-Shield, Kathleen Hanley Wind-Powered Vehicle, 2011 (photo documentation by Michel SĂŠguin of prototype test)
What is it that motivates individuals, small cottage-type industries or corporations to search for new ways of making, producing or shaping “things” when good and sound products are already available? Do we really need another toaster design or do we want good toast? Do we need a new style for a car or do we need to go somewhere safely and quickly? Does the market demand a new kitchen blender or is it because ours is broken? While “Necessity is the mother of invention”, obsolescence (whether planned or resulting from normal wear) is built into each object that we make, creating the necessity to invent. Since technology requires energy in order for products to be created, in the context of scarce energy resources, how are we going to fuel our vehicles in the cities of the future? Without any answers, the Industrial Design Faculty at Dawson asked teams composed of first, second and third year students were given five days to design and construct a wind-powered vehicle. Specifications included the integration of a sail in the vehicle design that makes use of wind to propel the vehicle to any destination in the city. Found objects were to be recycled into the construction. Each vehicle had to be built on a reduced scale with a platform not exceeding three by two feet and to weigh no more than six pounds. Students had no access to the vehicle directly to steer it. To account for lack of wind on the day of the demonstration and since the vehicle could not be powered otherwise but by the wind, human powered fans (large or small, single or multiple fans) were required to not only propel but also to steer each vehicle in a controllable manner. Each student team had to participate in the propulsion and steering of their vehicle, without ever touching the vehicle. The photo images pictured here show the result of their work. The creativity applied to the construction of these vehicles is obvious but what some of the photos reveal are the human efforts put towards succeeding, winning, and being the best. These images express the human desire to achieve, to improve our collective well being, to surpass solutions of the present and to reach for the future. Michel Séguin Industrial Design Faculty
Tze-Chiu Chan (Technician, Mechanical Engineering) On the Fly, 2011 steel, rubber, enamel 27 cm x 29 cm x 56 cm
This machine is a flywheel-powered vehicle. There are two flywheels that spin in opposite directions to enable the vehicle to run forwards and backwards. To set the flywheels in motion, two ends of a cord are first wrapped around the respective axles each flywheel. Then, one rapid tug of a cord starts the flywheels spinning. Because the flywheels are heavy and can spin with high efficiency due to precisely machined ball bearings, they can power the vehicle for a certain period of time until friction slows them down. There are some companies today that are experimenting withÂ flywheels to store energy produced by breaking which would otherwise just be dissipated and wasted as heat energy (visit http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20068342-48.html). Flywheels make a lot of sense from the point of view of 'recycling' energy that is otherwise just lost as heat energy. In cities of the future, the more vehicles that can make use of recycled energy, the cleaner our environment will be. However, there are many technical hurdles to overcome. In most cars today, the big issue with flywheels is that due to their weight and gyroscopic imbalance, things can get messy with a 250 pound flywheel spinning at 50,000 rpm during an accident. Since flywheels must be heavy in order to have a usable inertia for powering machines, here is the golden question: "is the energy stored by the flywheel cancelled out by the energy required to carry that heavy flywheel around?â&#x20AC;? The question continues to be explored, and the Dawson Flywheel is part of that quest. Shoukry Socrates Aboulefaf Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Dawson College
Dimitrios Johannides Urban Transport Shelter, 2009/10
The cities of the future are already here. They are large, densely populated and full of organizational problems. Solving these problems requires extraordinary efforts. As huge as some of our cities have become in terms of number of human beings present on a relatively small area of the Earth, essential and incredibly efficient transport systems have been created. These systems bring food supplies to millions of people daily so they can eat three meals per day and enjoy this necessity of life while socializing. Future cities will be much more densely populated and urban transport systems will need to be more efficient and very reliable. Individual vehicles will be less common. More people will have to rely on mass-transit systems. In the future, the concept of “mass” transit will need to evolve away from the current perception of “lower income transport” or, at worst, “cattle” transport. The Urban Transport Shelter pictured here is designed for a more “humane” experience for the future, with a “citizen-transit” vehicle system in mind as opposed to a “mass-transit” vehicle system. It is there to shelter the citizen from rain, snow and wind. Added to this, it integrates a low energy consumption electronic shading roof membrane for hot sunny days. With the use of energy efficient transparent video screens, it communicates in real time to the citizen the next departure. It features an interactive heat activated non-touch screen to avoid dirt and contamination. This allows the citizen to interact with the display and access time tables and routes for their journey. In the city of the future, products such as this Urban Transport Shelter will be created by industrial designers and other creators and decision makers. The growing demand for non-renewable resources will require products to be designed with intelligence with an emphasis on short term economic return, product efficient manufacturing, optimal use of materials using the minimum quantity of energy in the process. For Industrial designers, cities of the future, despite their gigantic sizes, will need to have citizen-centered products dedicated to a more humane life. Michel Séguin Industrial Design Faculty
Joseph Sciascia, Olivia Cheong and Hyun-Joo Kang eTaxi, 2010/11
Taxi Or Drive The two vehicles pictured here and on the adjacent page are designed for cities of the future. In both cases, they are compact, very lightweight, use solar energy as primary fuel and are designed at a human scale. The eTaxi takes into consideration social interactions between passengers using a favorable seating layout. Furthermore, the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat pivots 90 degrees so that the driver may more easily greet the passengers and receive the fare. The single right hand side sliding door provides a safer entry and exit point for passengers. The raised rear platform is intended to increase the passengersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; viewing angle. The manually operated, retractable canopy provides for open-air transportation as well as increasing the viewing area. It can be closed for sun or inclement weather protection. These features, combined with a maximum speed of 50 km/h, lessen the strain on the battery, thereby increasing the range of this vehicle between charges. Quick replacement of the battery can be done at recharging stations that are found in many locations within a city.
The EZ-Quad is a low-cost, ultra-compact electric city vehicle that rides on four 20-inch bicycle wheels. Inside, there is space for two occupants: the driver and one adult passenger or child/baby. Traction comes from two electric hub motors situated in each of the rear wheels and is provided by rechargeable batteries, which are divided into three packs for easy transportation. The fun, lightweight chairs give the user the opportunity to change the fabric's colors and to wash them by simply unzipping and unhooking them. This vehicle is made using recyclable plastics, metals and fabrics. To minimize energy consumption, the maximum speed is limited to 50 km/h. Both vehicles are designed to carry an honest “machine” character at the service of city dwellers rather than to reflect the social status of the owner or service user. In the city of the future, the human experience is valued over the ownership of objects. Michel Séguin Industrial Design Faculty
Andrew Cormack, Liam Ferreira and Jessie Kollmorgen EZ-Quad, 2010/11
Erika Métivier As this jungle goes to sleep it awakes in a new light with dancing stars and sky scrapers echoing the night song. Twirling breezes create a melody, streets make beats to the rhythmic steps of excited feet. Sound pulses through tall walls as music embodies the city tonight. Music is the city, a vibrant sound humming to sleepy children, arousing young fluttering hearts and inflated desires, irritating steadfast insomniacs, using charm to seduce innocent ears, and stomping noise to disturb conflicted minds in thought. Nightbirds fiddle a folksy tune while trees sway their soft limbs to lullabies of the gentle wind’s cry. This city is luscious musical waves, a divine location with a voice. It is magical. Erika Metivier (Literature) Urban Melody, 2011 poem Shape (Design based on the “Music Volume” icon on a MacBook) “This shape-poem, in the shape of the volume icon on a computer, describes a future city where sound reigns over all and where the nightlife is like one beautiful melody. Rather than the sound of irritated drivers and rowdy gangs, music is what consumes the city and every thing becomes part of one harmonious song. The streets seem to be making beats as people explore them, the wind and trees lull people to sleep, humming to children and waking young lovers, and even the tall sky scrapers seem to be singing to the city below. The city becomes one smooth wave of sound that energizes the night and has a magical effect. The poem sug gests that music literally becomes the city, unifying everyone in one melody and suggesting a
peaceful, dream-like place where all come together. Like pulsing music, the city is alive with sound. The computer volume icon shapes the poem because it represents control over sound, something that can be adjusted by people. A future city based on harmony, peace, and dreams is in our hands. We decide how to make the future a better place just as we decide whether or not to raise the volume on a computer. The icon is at maximum volume, generating as much sound as it possibly can, representing a city that is at its full potential, a city fulfilled by dreams and by hard work.”
Suzana Alexandrescu (1st year, Graphic Design) Colors of Progression, 2011 Acrylics on Mayfair 66 cm x 51 cm
“The city of the future will be all about incorporating art in all its forms into our lives. The city itself will be a creative environment with colors to illustrate people’s moods and to induce a pleasant and delightful feeling in their everyday life. Art will become the essential aspect of society and everyone will learn to appreciate it. Individualism will be encouraged and freedom of expression will allow people to express their view along with their artwork. Philosophy should be a part of all of our lives, as the future will most likely force us to reconsider some of the acts that are now part of the history. People will act for valid reasons and vulgarity or immorality will be discouraged. The chain of corruption and pessimism will be broken, allowing new forces to enliven and upgrade our minds and satisfy our artistic and visual cravings.”
Kevin Thomas (3rd year, Graphic Design) Elements and Forces Working Dynamically Together, 2011 digital art Logo design for a future Ville De Montréal
“The challenge I gave myself for the Ville du Montréal logo was to include illusion in the design. Montréal is a city with a magical aura, with some of the greatest music, festivals, food, and culture in the world. Also, since the purpose of a municipal government is to function properly, this illusion needed to do that as well. The logo is a 4x4 grid of squares that creates an optical illusion of eight dots at the corners of each square. Six of these squares amended into rectangles and two split at 45 degree angles resulting in an M being formed in the center. These are Elements and Forces Working Dynamically Together. Since the Ville du Montréal partners with many other programs and organizations, and has a large variety of departments, it is important to have a certain amount of flexibility in the design. This logo needs to works in many contexts and one that can integrate into a partnership with other elements. “
Alexandra Poulin (1st year, Illustration & Design) Transforming Future, 2011 Ink on illustration board 50.8 cm x 38.1 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;For this project, I have conceived of a place where all of the technological fantasies that we have had and currently have about the future would come to life for the well being of humanity and the environment. Robots, flying cars and gigantic buildings are the dominant elements that I used for this composition. I chose a low point of view to create a dynamic quality to the scene and also an imposing but not oppressive feeling. The background was worked to look light but still imposing, using blurry textures to create a dreamy feeling. The pose of the characters expresses an optimistic feeling towards the future. These characters are ready to overcome the challenges of the future with optimism.â&#x20AC;?
Marc-André Cright, (1st year, Illustration & Design) THINK IN and OUTSIDE of the Sphere, 2011 Ink on illustration board 50,8 cm x 38,1 cm
Vision of the PRESENT “The human race uses matter and energy sources in ways that create problems for future generations. Populations need to revise their consumption patterns while eliminating harmful and limited materials and energy sources. The situation has become senseless.” Vision of the FUTURE “We will recover balance by using the most renewable phenomenon on the planet, Life, and the cleanest and almost unlimited energy source that is, the Sun. These elements will enable us to create cities, transportation and communications systems, technology, textiles, food and so on. In brief, Life and the Sun together will meet all the needs of humans and their surrounding ecosystems. The wide diversity and adaptability of the flora will enable it to evolve towards new forms that will meet our future needs, helping us to eliminate the majority of residues that end up in landfills. We could integrate an internal and renewable energy source into the bodies of plants. This energy would come from the rays of the sun and other matter and it would serve those organisms that would then feed upon it. These organisms, in their turn, would develop their own capturing system that would enable them to become self-sufficient. This knowledge would be as easy to master as changing a light bulb or watering the plants. It is through the synergy of both elements that man could create a clean and prosperous future.”
Leila Araar (1st year, Illustration & Design) A Moonlit Future, 2011 Ink on illustration board 50,8 cm x 38,1 cm
“Some may envisage a future where technology has evolved to the point that humans are no longer limited to the earth as their habitat, but can live elsewhere in the cosmos. It may be that our beloved planet will run out of space, leading to colonizing of the moon. Working with the notion of a deteriorating Earth, I created a drawing that shows the resulting habitation of the moon. Many may see that as negative, but I don’t. The way I see it is that no matter what may happen, whether it’s global warming finally catching up, or an accident, we humans are survivors. No matter was comes our way we’ll be able to move past it and build a new life, a new home, a new future for ourselves. In my opinion, the ability to move on and thrive no matter the circumstances is one of the most positive of human traits and that was the image I wanted to create.”
Vincent Nantel (3rd year, Illustration & Design) The New Agora, 2011 digital art
â&#x20AC;&#x153;My idea of a future reinvented is a rational approach to urbanism and community. One day, when resources will grow thin and actions for the common good will take precedence over personal profit, we will have to prioritize what we share when we build cities of the future. I took the shape of the ancient Greek agora as a reference for how a suburban quarter could be modeled. The center and lowest part of the city is where parks and the market are placed, while all around it, individual homes are constructed following the terrace/agora structure. The ensemble maximizes solar energy, water and electricity, as services are harmonized within the community.â&#x20AC;?
Jillayne Huston (2nd year, Illustration & Design) The New Jacques Cartier Bridge, 2011 30.48 x 12.7 cm Marker rendering and digital art
Clairine Shum, (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Museum of Historical Architecture, 2011 30.48 x 12.7 cm Marker rendering and digital art
Lucas Zafiris (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Music in the Streets, 2011 30.48 cm x 12.7 cm Marker rendering and digital art
Nicholas Ladd (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Montrealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orbital Space City, 2011 30.48 cm x 12.7 cm Marker rendering and digital art
Dang Khoa Vo, (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Montreal Dining: Extra-Terrestrial Cuisine, 2011 Marker rendering and digital art 12.7 cm x 22.9 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the year 4005, humans discovered strange creatures on the planet Mazura. Some of these were brought back to Earth. They reproduced plentifully, and it was discovered that the meat of these creatures was suitable for human consumption. This food provided high quantities of protein and energy. New and exciting dishes were created from this discovery, and food became exciting for humans once again. The Jupiter Bar was founded in 4014, and is one of the top alien food restaurants around the world. With its unusual architectural design, it is a Montreal landmark and a popular tourist destination. Alien eggs and Lasignas are house specialties. Come discover new and exotic flavors at the Jupiter Bar.â&#x20AC;?
Erin Cox (3rd year, Illustration & Design) Green City, 2011 digital art
“It is very clear that sustainability and good ecological choices are a necessity for our future, and so these are the ideas that I had in mind when imagining an ideal city. A city where more respect is given to our natural surroundings and green space is a key feature, where greenhouses are close by to supply food, and where wind power and solar panels are the norm not the exception. People will always want the convenience, sense of community and culture that city life offers, but it doesn’t have to be far removed from the natural world. In fact, this integration can add another dimension to cultural identity. I tried to depict a city where man-made structures compliment rather than dominate the landscape and where rural and urban co-exist in a beneficial way.”
Eunsol Park and Bruno Lauzon (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Unity, 2011 Copic markers, watercolor and ink on hot pressed Arches paper 157.5 cm x 55.9 cm
“The world is constantly evolving. This artwork represents the timeline of that evolution and the unity between people and their environment as they grow in harmony. In the bottom portion of the piece, the ‘tower’ shaped figure reflects the past history of humans and the very core of the Earth. The hands act as pillars that support an idealistic future as they move upward, and the hands that symbolize humans becomes one with the tree. The past becomes the present and the present becomes the past. We acknowledge our past and we are transcending into the future.”
Thu Khuu (2nd year, Illustration & Design) Steam Punk Wonderland, 2011 Ink and newspaper on newsprint and cardboard 60.96 cm x 91.44cm
“My idea for this piece was to look at a world that has picked itself up from a post apocalyptic society. Odd ends and pieces have been picked up to create this makeshift city that is also very decorative and beautiful. At a first glance it appears somewhat like a dystopia because it is viewed as a city of leftovers, but actually it is a symbol of strength and imagination. In this city there are many gadgets that could defy the laws of physics, giving it a magical feeling. I was very inspired by steam punk décor. I feel like using newspaper and cardboard expresses the notion of creating something new and beautiful out of old scraps. We are currently living in a time where people are very aware of environmental issues. This awareness could catalyze people to create something beautiful instead of throwing material away.“
Alessandro Mastandrea (3rd year, Illustration & Design) Transforming Futures, 2011 Ink and digital art 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm
“When I picture a distant future, I don’t imagine it would change too much from what we live in today. I personally like today’s modern cities, so in my ideal utopia I would probably fine-tune some things and of course add some new technology. The first gas-powered cars were invented in 1885 and are still around in growing numbers. We’ve made huge strides in improving car technology. In the future, possible new means of transportation such as small passenger flying vehicles or flying equipment for the public it could very easily get out of control. It’s the kind of technology I would imagine the government or state would use for a long-term period of time before it finally goes public or something more advanced comes along. The two technologies would still exist side by side. It would never completely remove the need for vehicles on land. The one thing I do hope would become obsolete would be fuel powered cars. Hopefully, someday in the future, all cars will be powered by a standard electric engine. Most metropolises would also become much denser and since buildings would be very close together; I think bridging walkways between and across to other buildings would be an effective solution to motivate more people to walk. It would free up the clutter on the city street level and would also provide another way to get around the dense city areas. Taking advantage of the vertical space would be a newer form of expansion as opposed to cities spreading outwards on land. It would be a much more efficient use of space while also creating a tighter network of easily accessible places with multiple means of transportation.”
Lyly Taing (2nd year, Creative Arts, Literature and Languages) The New Sun, 2011 Birch plywood and basswood 19 cm x 19 cm x 17 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;This piece symbolizes a city that has revived after being dead for many years. The black geometric form is a sun that died, became a black hole and is now transforming into a new sun. The structure with the black and white stripes represents a planet that was in motion but then died, later to revive. I used triangular shapes throughout this sculpture as a symbol of perfection. The triangular base connotes strength. The use of red is meant to express strength and blood. Under the geometric form lies a city that is reviving under the energy of a new sun, with energetic liquid dripping out of it.â&#x20AC;?
Michelle Osele (2nd year, Creative Arts, Literature and Languages) No City Limits, 2011 Birch plywood and basswood 25 cm x 34 cm x 24 cm
â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the present, we live in a city that is small, but has so much more potential. We have modern buildings that interlock with one another, with beautiful landscapes and interesting forms. In the future it will be very similar but bigger and more impressive, like a mirror image at a different scale. It will be a thriving city that we build ourselves. We can explore new lands and search for space where we can express our full potential. I visualize a comfortable city with no limits and an interesting and familiar design. It is also simple in a way that is sleek and modern. This city is a reflection in the advancements of our society, and a reflection of the people living in it.â&#x20AC;?
Stéphanie Cunningham (2nd year, Creative Arts, Literature and Languages) City of Dreams, 2011 Basswood, string, sequins, jewels and beads, hot glue and acrylic paint 52 cm x 33 cm x 2 cm
“This piece represents dreams about an ideal city. It is conceived as a dream-catcher constructed in the shape of a house. The dream catcher’s strings do not follow a pattern because I think that dreams are often disorganized and uncategorized. That’s why I used varied objects, big and small, to represent the dreams caught in the dream catcher. The beads are different and scattered because each person’s dreams are unique to their individuality and I wanted to express this notion in the piece that I created. There is much negativity and dissatisfaction in the world and I think this is because so many people’s dreams are neglected. Dreams should be cherished, remembered and realized. A city can flourish and fully live when it is made up of the big and beautiful elements of our dreams.”
Julie Chu Yew Yee Reflection of the Future, 2011 Drypoint 27.5 cm x 37.5 cm
“What will be your future? What will be the world’s future? Such questions are dealt with on a daily basis, sometimes conscsiously. As human beings, we are constantly on a quest to find new technological discoveries that will facilitate our life, and so alter our future. Therefore, this artwork conveys the idea of the evolution of the world toward an E-era, particularly in terms of architecture and transportation. On one side, you notice an old railway station while on the other, this station is now surrounded with tall and modern buildings and the train is now in midair. We can see that this kind of transformation is progressively happening around the world. Moreover, even though we might have a hint about the future of the world, we certainly do not have a definite answer to important questions. Yet, without a doubt, we all know that our present is only the beginning of a new digital world.”
Michael Oberman (2nd year, Liberal Arts) What Makes A City “Great”?, 2012 Essay
When we think about the great cities of history, which cities come to mind? Florence? London? New York? What makes them “great” to us? Is it size? Florence, London and New York all are, or were, big relative to their time, but a city could be big without being great. Is it influence that makes a city great? Florence, London and New York rank among some of the most influential cities, in terms of their impact on culture, politics, economics. Yet that impact has not been uniformly positive. So again, what makes a city great—in the past, now, and in the future? Let us start by wondering why we cluster together as a population in such a high density, exchanging goods, developing ideas, and building institutions, in the first place. The first cities are speculated to have arisen around 7,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia. These cities arose out of a need for an irrigation system which would make agriculture possible in an area plagued by low rainfall. The only major sources of water were the two large rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Even these rivers were not reliable, however, as they were prone to flooding. Mesopotamia’s large cities thus arose in an effort to control the naturally volatile nature of the elements in the region, and out of an understanding that only through cooperation would the inhabitants have a greater chance of survival. The idea of survival alone, however, is not adequate to understand what makes a “great” city. New York, for instance, was not founded on the basis of survival––it was a settlement in the New World. However, because the cities of Mesopotamia offered a degree of safety and security previously not available, its people (those with means, in any case) were free to devote their time to concerns beyond survival, in particular to intellectual and artistic concerns. The cities of Mesopotamia, therefore, like Florence, London and New York, facilitated not only survival but also the advancement of culture and civilization, which, at least intuitively, seems to be an important component of any city we consider “great.” Florence, for instance, was famous during the Renaissance not because of its military might but because it cultivated an environment in which some of the greatest art was produced. Other cities throughout history have been recognized as hubs for achievements in a range of intellectual fields across both the arts and the sciences, and these achievements have, similarly, helped us advance civilization as we know it. However, if the advancement of civilization is part of what makes a city “great,” what might a great cities of the future look like? It seems, to begin, that a great city of the future should be safe and secure. The kinds of achievements for which many cities have become famous are only possible when one does not have to worry about a flood every spring. Many of cities we think of as “great” also displayed longevity, as if takes a city a while before it can achieve the heights that grant it access to the city hall of fame.
Many cities and indeed civilizations have also fallen from those heights because of their failure to be economically, politically, and environmentally sustainable. The demands of greatness––overspending, disregard for the environment, population growth––can become an unsupportable burden on a city as well. Therefore, sustainability will also be an important quality of a great city of the future. Beyond security and sustainability, a great city of the future will have to make available to its people the tools with which they can not only survive but thrive, with which they can advance culture and civilization for the benefit of humankind. Partly, this will mean education––education that teaches people not only how to fit into society as it is currently structured but also how to find and build new structures, in our imaginations and in reality, that will help us fulfill our human potential. There has historically been a competitiveness among cities and civilizations for the mantle of greatness––think of the clamour around who won the most gold medals at the Olympics every four years––but what has made cities great has been not only that they met the criteria outlined above (and others) but also that they met those criteria better than anyone else. Therefore, planners of the cities of the future cannot hope to simply repeat past successes. Instead, innovation is key, which means that the question of what makes a great city is one we will need to be forever asking.
Andria Caputo (2nd year, Liberal Arts) Urban Futures: Beyond the Concrete Towers, 2012 Essay
When you think of the future, what comes to mind? Hovercrafts? The latest technology in zombie protection? As farfetched, apocalyptic or utopic as some of our ideas about the future may seem, they serve a purpose: they remind us that what seems normal to us today can give way to a new normal tomorrow, whether in two weeks or two centuries. They also invite us to wonder how new technologies and changes in the way we live may also alter the ways we relate to one another in society. Imagine, then, let’s say, a city of the future. Today, you leave your house or apartment and cross streets through the concrete jungle on your way to your job or an appointment. But what if tomorrow you lived in a huge inner-city mall-like community where your dentist’s office was right next to your grocer, one floor above your apartment––a new city design offering protection from the smog and pollution that plagues modern urban life? Would mall-like cities, if plausible, be desirable? How might they re-define our interactions and relationships with each other? Mall-like cities would bring people to into even closer and more constant contact with each other; would this new arrangement bond society even more strongly together or drive its members further apart? On the other hand, what if tomorrow’s cities were less centralized, even to the point of not being “cities” anymore? Think of cities such as New York, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai. Today, they contain the cultural, political and economic engines that drive our civilization––many of the best arts scenes, universities, museums, shopping areas, and most important economic and political institutions in the world. But what if the notion of a kind of “anti-city” or de-centralized city took hold, as a preferable alternative to having all our important institutions in one place? What if the engines of our civilization were spread around to less populated areas? What if suburbia, smaller towns, even farm land became the new homes for these institutions? How might such a shift affect our civilization? Would we define culture, economics and education the same way as we do now, or would the change of scenery and atmosphere force us to re-conceptualize the notions of society and civilization we’ve lived with and believed in for so long?
Today, green spaces like New York’s Central Park and Montreal’s Mount Royal Park (both designed by the American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead) are essential to the successful meshing of concrete and nature in city spaces. And every year Montreal and other cities hold a “car-free” day by cordoning off a section of their downtown, making it inaccessible to traffic. What if cities went further and banned cars altogether? What if public transportation became the only way to get around a city? Would there be a ripple effect beyond the cities, with everyone turning to high-speed rail and other modes of public transportation, eventually making cars obsolete? Could such a scenario even become necessary if we run out of fossil fuels, or if we suddenly find ourselves with no other alternative but to reduce or eliminate our gas emissions altogether? Green spaces are a vital characteristic of cities: artists and musicians alike make their crafts accessible in public parks; lovers walk their paths and gardens; children race their miniature boats on their man made ponds; and joggers train for marathons on the city’s running tracks. How would a far more dramatic expansion of green spaces affect city life? What about underground cities? If there’s no room above the earth, perhaps developers might building below the earth. Montreal is a great example; we have the largest underground network in the world! Now, granted, it is mostly commercial, but what if these subterranean cities became residential? Cities like Berlin and Chicago have extensive secret passages under their city streets; how might society change if we moved underground in the future (besides the fact that we would need to take a lot more Vitamin D)? Such a move might seem like a radical notion, but if developers are looking for more ways to fit our ever-growing population into cities, drastic changes to the way we live may need to be made, with potentially drastic affects on our society. A city is not just a backdrop for society’s activities; it is integral to and indeed shaping of them. It seems likely that society in the coming years will continue to adhere to our current notion of the “city,” where most of the mechanisms of our civilization are gathered in one place, but we can’t predict today all the challenges we may face in the future––environmentally, economically, politically––or what changes we may need to consider to meet those challenges, or what effects such changes may impose on us as a society. Therefore, when we consider the future, we should let our minds run wild. Every alternative to our current way of organizing society, and the social consequences of those alternatives, should be thought of, discussed, and even perhaps put to test. Thinking outside the city-box isn’t only essential; it may be the key to our survival as we confront the problems that have arisen from the massive urbanization that has defined our society these past two centuries. We may need to grow, first in our imaginations and then in reality, beyond the concrete towers of the city.
Jérémy Pilote-Byrne (3rd year, Illustration & Design) Facets of Hope, 2011 didital art 50 cm x 40 cm
“This would be a city in which both past and futuristic types of construction are used in a harmonious way. There would be structures made out of stone, steel and glass structures blending into each other as if it were the most natural of occurrences. The buildings would be built with stones, copper, mortar and marble as well as steel, glass and carbon fiber. These different materials would create a push and pull between different parts of the same building. The essence of this city would be communication and community. Houses and places of work as well as markets and government facilities would be directly or indirectly connected with each other. Buildings would have passageways, overpasses or terraces that would lead to other buildings. By having different “city-levels” there would be more room to have more population and this would leave more green space for environmental, agricultural or simply aesthetic applications. This innovative city would surround its inhabitants with an infinite source of inspiration. Parks and public spaces would be available to everyone. It would be impossible to not say to oneself, ‘‘I think I’ll go for a walk tonight and maybe visit that old friend of mine I saw in the express train last week. I heard he only lives three city-levels above me.” Why live in a concrete jungle when you can live in a marvel made of hopes and ambition?”
Joel Trudeau (Professor, Department of Physics) Notes Found on Terminus, 2009-2012 Notes, text and reproductions Variable dimensions
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The future is elusive by definition. As that which is yet to be, it encompasses times and places never reached, states of being never realized. Still, humans plan for the future, projecting themselves into possible lives, carrying with them their hopes for and fears of outcomes which have variable probability to occur. Individually, it is understandable that most formulated notions of the future do not often extend much beyond present concerns. Collectively, such a position is less forgivable. With human civilization in a perpetual state of transformation, continually being confronted with a myriad of problems, the strong urge to resist looking too far ahead may seem justifiable. Yet, while the way forward is being chosen for the here and now, humanityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s survival and prosperity generations hence is not at all certain and should not be taken for granted. This work posits that thinking on galactic scales and across large swaths of time can be instructive, positively informing the collective choices made today. At such scales, one may wonder whether it is possible to capture perspectives of the theme -- the city of the future. However, if one imagines the city to be a coarse-grained unit of civilization on Earth, it is relatively simple to extend the notion to planet-cities of a future galactic civilization. In fact, such ideas are not new, having appeared most notably in the realm of science fiction. Terminus takes its inspiration from the fictional planet imagined by Isaac Asimov in his novel Foundation (1951). In this work a loose narrative (comprising text, notes, sketches, figures and reproductions) is strung through the individual pieces mapping hypothetical transitions between the present and a future interstellar civilization where cities scale up to planets and human beings settle the galaxy. It is fiction and science. In particular, it is a cartoon meant to evoke the process of doing science as an individual and in a community, a process not always coherent or entirely rigorous and which constitutes a body of knowledge that is incomplete. The work invites the audience to fill in the gaps, to take imaginative leaps and return from the far future with a broader perspective on the possibilities for the transformation of civilization.â&#x20AC;?
Rosalyn Dunkley (1st year Pure and Applied Sciences) The Form of the City of the Future, 2011 Draped fabric with wire corset 150 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm (including mannequin)
“For the final project in the Reflections Humanities course on Ancient Greece students had the option of doing a creative project in which they linked the city of the future with cities of the past, specifically Athens in the Age of Pericles. Instructor: Christine Stonehewer-Southmayd An Interpretation with Reference to / Resonance with / Reverence for the Past Ancient Greeks valued nature and the beauty found in nature, which they portrayed over and over again in their art and lifestyle. This dress is my interpretation of a City of the Future based on the best of Ancient Greece. The body is the base for any garment and a draped dress will flow around a human body, moulding to its shape. I think that this idea can be transferred to a city, particularly Montreal, because the network of the city will mould to the geography of the land, for example, Mount Royal. The form of the human body that supports this dress is covered by the fabric in a way that its shape controls the movement of the material, just like the mountain controls the movement of the city over its surface. The streets, however, are less natural. They are man-made, and imposed on nature. They form a structured, and somewhat restrictive layer over the city that at the same time provides a means of connection; they are channels that direct people around the city in a practical, yet manipulative way. The wire corset around the dress which mirrors the network of Montreal streets is representative of what slaves were to ancient Greek society; they enabled it to grow incredibly fast as a civilization, but they represented its ethical downfall, in that a society cannot be entirely great having forced people into servitude. The hourglass shape of a woman’s figure connotes the passage of time towards the future. The folds in the fabric of the dress are arranged as though the fabric is flowing through an hourglass. An hourglass measures time only if it is flipped periodically. I think this theme of renewal applies directly to the building of a city, in that it is important to use ideas from the past, but flipping them around to suit modern society. The same sand is used, but in a different context. For example, we use a similar democratic political system to that by which the Ancient Greeks were governed, but women now have the right to vote, whereas those in ancient Athens did not. Also, we use streets to facilitate our growth where they used slaves to facilitate theirs. A future city should adapt to its context or geography, all the while remembering the ideas of past cultures and shaping its own society to allow for the highest level of activity and individuality.”
(Editor’s note: see the larger reproduction of this artwork adjacent to the introductory text) David Hall (Professor, Fine Arts Department) Expo 67, 2012 oil on canvas 46 cm x 61 cm
“Canada's 100th anniversary was also the year of Expo 67, which took place in Montreal. For young and old alike these two events symbolized a certain optimism in our country and the idea that technological progress would lead the way towards a better life in the future. History bears out that it hasn't all gone to plan, assuming there even was a plan. Nasty things like wars, famines and economic depressions always seem to get in the way. Still we need symbols to hang onto, things that we can aspire to either individually or collectively. Expo 67 was such an event. It made people feel good about what was coming and by and large many positive things transpired directly and indirectly from it. As a painter I choose to speculate about the future by culling together bits and pieces from the past. Memories and recollections play an important part in how I imagine the future to be. I am presently engaged in a painting series that reconstructs the past by using souvenir teacups as my subject matter. Individually, the cups and saucers mark a particular time and place above all they present a very idealized version of that place. As a type of memento these cups and saucers celebrate a particular moment or event intended to rekindle pleasant memories in the owner. By studying them I try to re-imagine that past, as it may exist today or tomorrow. In respect to the question of why are these paintings of old teacups, the answer lays in a desire to recalibrate my interest in the landscape genre by painting both the objects (cups and saucers) and the idealized landscape image which they depict. This is primarily an opportunity to explore the distortion of the object whilst retaining the image's narrative quality. Aspects of both representation and abstraction coexist in these works. This has long been my manner of working. That coupled with my long-standing fascination with cities and speculative scenarios has led me to re-imagine the 1967 International and Universal Exposition.“
Nawfal Zamani and Rodrigo Mendoza (Cinema & Communications) Cities of the Future, 2012 Video (5 minute duration)
“To see this video, visit space.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/exhibits/summary/transforming_futures The video documentary asks the following questions to a range of individuals: • How do you see the future? • What do you expect from it? • If you wake up tomorrow and it was the future, what kind of changes would you see in the world? • What changes do you expect in your routine? The human element is the focus of this project. The interviewees are regular everyday people. Their responses to the above questions are spread throughout the short film as a form of voiceover narration as well as people talking on camera. The video includes a voice-over of Mr. Fuller's speech when he visited Dawson College back in the 70s and also some footage of modern architecture and inventions.”
Julien Novak, Ellie Young, Michelle Lee, Justin DiVitto, Tabitha Hartropp, Pietro Barbaguelatta-Palma, Darya Arenzon and Virginie Lahaie (Cinema and Communications) Future’s Destination Soundscapes Duration: 20 minutes
To hear this recording, visit space.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/exhibits/summary/transforming_futures “Note from Kim Simard (faculty of Cinema and Communications): All sounds for these projects were found and appropriated through open source online sound banks. They were edited, manipulated and mixed by student artists using computer software, and can serve as an ambient soundscape while experiencing the Transforming Futures Exhibition and while looking at the catalogue. Soundscape 1 ‘Wake Up’ by: Julien Novak, Ellie Young and Michelle Lee This soundscape aims to immerse listeners in the future morning activities of daily living. The world has changed to include easier breakfast preparations and programmed appliances. A character wakes up to smooth mechanical transitions and vocal digital alarm clock. A remote control window opens to reveal chirping birds in the distance. It’s a beautiful futuristic day, and it has never been easier to get up and get ready to go. Soundscape 2 ‘A Work Plan’ by: Justin DiVitto, Tabitha Hartropp and Pietro Barbaguelatta-Palma Focusing on the office space of the future, this soundscape follows Mr.Smith in his endeavors at his work place. Following his subjective point of view, a listener will encounter many unusual sounds while moving towards a secured office space. Distant chatter and the sipping of coffee may be the few audible components that resemble the world we know today. Everything else, only the future can tell. Soundscape 3 ‘Transportation Station’ by: Darya Arenzon and Virginie Lahaie More abstract in nature, this project depicts the sounds that future public transit users might hear while waiting for their next speedy evacuation. Not unlike an out-of-body experience, this station has the ability to transport people to their destinations quickly and efficiently using vacuum technology. Abstract ambiance ‘Loop Interludes’ by: Julien Novak All abstract ambient sound was developed and created as a means of weaving the soundscapes described above together for a looped installation. Traces of the above soundscapes can be found mixed into this skillfully developed piece.”
The Transforming Futures project started as a seed of an idea planted by Anna Carlevaris in my office in the spring of 2011. Anna noted with some consternation that through the eyes of pop culture, the future does not appear to be particularly hospitable. Our collective consciousness is saturated with thoughts of environmental collapse, extreme weather conditions, toxic waste, and a wide range of apocalyptic scenarios. In fact, through the decades following the 1960s, optimism itself seems to have become equated with naiveté. The Transforming Futures exhibition offers an alternative (albeit “uncool”) vision: optimistic proposals about cities of the future. Many at Dawson College joined in this venture. At least for a moment, zombies, death, destruction and other popular building blocks for narratives about the future were shelved in order to consider a brighter future. This did not imply that challenges and negative forces were to be whisked away with a magic wand, leaving only rainbows and cotton candy. What it did require was some optimism in order to creatively face those difficulties. Shaping our future is a task for all of humanity to engage in. This depends on the combined efforts of philosophers and painters, engineers and poets, dreamers and pragmatists, social scientists and computer technicians, and the entire scope of our experience, wisdom and creativity. Within the Dawson College community, this spectrum of expertise and imagination is represented by vibrant and forward-looking students, staff and faculty. S.P.A.C.E., an entity within the college that fosters discussion and collaboration across the disciplines, is proud to present the Transforming Futures exhibition project in the context of its 2011-2012 theme: Exploring the Future. This project exists thanks to the creative energy of Dawson College students, whose contributions make up the bulk of this endeavor. I wish to thank all Dawson College faculty who engaged students with projects for this exhibition. Thanks also to faculty and staff who proposed work themselves. Heartfelt gratitude goes out to all who put energy into this project, regardless as to whether or not the resulting material was included in the exhibition or in this publication. Your optimism may be viewed by some as uncool, but if our future is shaped by our vision of it, those who labeled you as naïve today may be thanking you tomorrow for what you dared to foresee and work towards. Frank Mulvey (S.P.A.C.E. and exhibition coordinator, creative director, editor, file management)
Anna Carlevaris (exhibition concept, curator, introductory text and research) A personal thanks to Frédéric Giuliano (Centre d’archives de Montréal), Mattie Taormina and Patricia White (Stanford University, California), as well as to Mr. Franklin Thomas, for their assistance with the historical research. Thank you to the following for reproduction permission: • Centre d’archives de Montréal • Mr. Franklin Thomas, Canmore, Alberta • Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California • The Plant, Dawson College, Montreal Gratitude to all individuals and entities listed below: Shoukry Socrates Aboulefaf, Neal Armstrong, John Connolly, Nelly Dahan, Guiseppe Di Leo, Pauline Fresco, David Hall, Julianna Joos, Andrew Katz, Aaron Krishtalka, Lise-Hélène Larin, Naomi London, Maureen McIntyre, Matthew Marchant, Maimire Mennasemay, Kenneth Milkman, Gilles Morissette, Frank Mulvey, Luc Parent, Michel Séguin, John Singer, Christine Southmayd, Joel Silverstein, Joel Trudeau, Jiri Tucker, Lois Valliant (teachers who engaged students to participate in the project and others who offered guidance) Joel Trudeau, David Hall, Tze-Chiu Chan (faculty and staff contributors) Jérémy Pilote-Byrne (image source for cover design: Facets of Hope, 2011) Catherine Moleski (cover design, graphic design and catalogue layout) Barbara Freedman (Dean of Instructional Development) Tina Romeo (SSAP Coordinator) Donna Varica (Office of the Director General) Helen Wawrzetz (Secretary, Visual Arts Sector) S.P.A.C.E. committee and advisors Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery Committee Dawson College Professional Development Individual contributors (photographs, scans and digital files) Gilles Morissette, Michel Séguin and Frank Mulvey (additional photography) © 2012, Dawson College