The Autonomous Street: A Day in the Life of Future Shenzhen
The Autonomous Street: A Day in the Life of Future Shenzhen – 自治街道：深圳未来生活的一天
KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates) Conventional streets are static and rigid, but people’s needs change throughout the day. Fortunately, automation technology and the sharing economy allow for a street that is radically different. The Autonomous Street changes its function and configuration on-demand. With the press of a button, mobile stores and health clinics pop-up. Food and beverage carts arrive just when people need a cappuccino or a sandwich. An extra traffic lane avoids congestion during rush hour. Benches arrive when there are not enough places to sit. And when people want to be entertained, a basketball court or performance venue rolls in.
Throughout history, technological breakthroughs have triggered new visions of the future city. Back in the 1920s, Le Corbusier envisioned Ville Radieuse (1924) as a “factory for living” with mass-produced towers and vast green areas inside a Cartesian grid. Fritz Lang depicted Metropolis as a fast-moving industrial society with airplanes and bridges in between skyscrapers, but one that exists above a bleak underworld of exploited workers. During the 1960s, Archigram envisioned a Plug-In City (1964) of cranes reshuffling residents’ living pods, inspired by NASA’s space capsules. Today, the combined trends of automation and the sharing economy open our world to new possibilities and could change everything on streets that had been fixed, so they now are flexible, on-demand, and in constant flux. Shenzhen, a city known for its rapid pace of change and deep technological expertise, is the most appropriate location for this future vision.
The Autonomous Street: A Day in the Life of Future Shenzhen will give the audience a glimpse of this city. The passerby will see a vast, 1:70-scale model of a multilayered city, evoking Shenzhen’s vertical urbanism. Suddenly, the streetscape bursts into life, with colorful moving imagery and sounds. Video projections take people through the motions of an entire day, from a tranquil morning with chirping birds and moving parks, to an exciting evening with performers on a mobile concert stage. Models and panels further explain the project, giving the audience a deeper understanding of the concept. People can use their cellphones to view an augmented reality with additional information, such as new social networks and various street functions. Before they leave, they can even project their own “selfie” portrait on one of the buildings, and literally immerse themselves inside the autonomous future.
纵观历史，技术突破引发了对未来城市的畅想。早在20世纪20年代， 勒•柯布西耶就把“光明城市”（Ville Radieuse）（1924年）想象成一个在笛卡尔网格中批量生产的塔楼和广阔绿地的“生活工厂”。弗里茨•朗将大都市（Metropolis）描述为一个快速发展的工业社会，摩天大楼之间穿梭着飞机并架设了桥梁，但这个工业社会却存在于一个由被剥削工人组成的黯淡下层社会之上。在20世纪60年代，建筑电讯派受到NASA太空舱的启发，展望了一个用起重机改组居民生活舱的“插件城市”（1964年）。今天，自动化和共享经济的合流为我们的世界打开了新的可能，可以改变以往固定在街道上的所有事物。因此，现在它们变得灵活、按需和且不断变化。深圳是一个以快速变化和高超技术能力而闻名的城市，是实现这一未来愿景的最佳地点。
Credits: James von Klemperer, Stefan Al, Rutger Huiberts, Michael Koutsoubis, Nicholas Desbiens, Bernard Chang, Andrew Haas, Clifford Pearson, Claire Dub, Asli Oney, Yee Tak Lau, Alexandra Fong, Darwin Diaz.
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