Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene (Architectural Design)

December 9, 2020
Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene (Architectural Design)

The most significant architectural spaces in the world are nowentirely empty of people. The data centres, telecommunicationsnetworks, distribution warehouses, unmanned ports andindustrialised agriculture that define the very nature of who weare today are at the same time places we can never visit. Insteadthey are occupied by server stacks and hard drives, logistics botsand mobile shelving units, autonomous cranes and container ships,robot vacuum cleaners and connected toasters, driverless tractorsand taxis. This issue is an atlas of sites, architectures andinfrastructures that are not built for us, but whose form,materiality and purpose is configured to anticipate the logics ofmachine vision and habitation rather than our own. We are said tobe living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in whichhumans are the dominant force shaping the planet. This collectionof spaces, however, more accurately constitutes an era of thePost-Anthropocene, a period where it is technology and artificialintelligence that now computes, conditions and constructs ourworld. Marking the end of human-centred design, the issue turns itsattention to the new typologies of the post-human, architecturewithout people and our endless expanse of Machine Landscapes.Contributors: Merve Bedir and Jason Hilgefort,Benjamin Bratton, Ingrid Burrington, Alice Gorman, JesseLeCavalier, Clare Lyster, Geoff Manaugh, Tim Maughan, Simone CNiquille, Chris Perry and Trevor Paglen.Featured interviews: Rem Koolhaas of OMA;Deborah Harrison, designer of Microsoft's Cortana; and Paul Inglis,designer of the urban landscapes of Blade Runner 2049.