IMD _Institute of Media and Design

copyright _IMD

MEDAI DESIGN | Tomorrow land

On July 17th, 1955 Disneyland USA opened its Tomorrowland exhibition, a place where technology and science pointed the way to a shiny, happy future of glorious inventions, space travel and nuclear-powered everything.

Obviously Tomorrowland was always meant to be a dream, set within an artificial environment, materializing the utopian concept of a better future based on expectations and hope. Nevertheless the idea it originated from and the vision it transmitted had tremendous value not only on a technological level but especially in what it meant for culture and society, a common, unifying belief in progress and prosperity.

Today we are once again witnessing technological change at a rapidly increasing pace, we have acquired economical wealth that would have been difficult a few decades ago, we’re healthier, we live longer and we can travel wherever our heart desires. Yet, when we think about the future it seems hard to imagine it as the bright and happy place showcased in the 1950s. Global warming, urbanization, dwindling energy resources, growing food demands, population growth, trash, migration, extinction of species, rising sea-levels, just to name a few, are challenges we are exposed to on a daily basis. Everything we do has an impact on a larger level, not because of our individual acts but because of their accumulation as a species. Obviously these issues aren’t new, they have been known since at least fifty years, yet back then we didn’t have the self-reflecting capacity to understand their truth.

But how can one now approach such challenges when the image we have of the future is unsettling and disturbing? How can one worry about putting the trash into the correct trash can while in the third world, there is so much trash that it has even created an artificial island? How can one speak about ecology if the trust in political leaders is overshadowed by their denial of scientific facts? Shouldn’t we instead reconsider our understanding of ecology as an ideology of constraint towards a quest for alternative (sustainable) solutions while increasing the quality and comfort of our environment?

The task was to create a high-resolution image, printed on A2, of a (architectural, urban, spatial) vision of the year 2050. A prototypical utopia, an optimistic ideal, a glimpse into one’s personal dream of tomorrow. The following is a selection of some submitted proposals:

Directed by: Manuel Kretzer