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Imagining Architecture: Using Science Fiction for Futuristic Design

Part 2 Dissertation 2011
Dulmini Perera
University of Moratuwa Moratuwa Sri Lanka
Architectural modernists believed that” Form follows function”. This idea indeed leaves one with an interesting question. How do you design for something that is yet to come? Something in the future, in other words an imaginary function?

The profound changes that are happening based on new discoveries and new interpretations, of the world not only changes Architecture “as we know it”, but also demands a reconfiguration of the way one looks at and approaches the discipline. Thus designing for the future becomes more challenging as it belongs to the realms of “unknown” and “uncertain” that requires Architects to transcend from present realities and perceptions and engage in creative “imagination of Futures “.Such an approach requires inputs from many disciplines particularly through cross fertilization and understanding to use other disciplines as channels of creativity , and mostly exploring unexplored territories that exist in realms that are unfamiliar to most Architects.

This study identifies “science Fiction” quite an unexplored territory among Architects, as a possible source that could be used in designing for the future. It attempts to bring to light the possibilities contained in the idea “form follows fiction” or more precisely “form follows science fiction” in futuristic designs and highlights ways of using it.
The Dissertation contains a number of case studies, of science fictions and the architectural works that the Author interpreted as having had visions similar the fictions. Among these case studies are the sleeper wakes and the Dubai Ziggurat, Dune and Sietch Nevada Proposal, Thousand Dreams of a Stella vista and ADA, and Neuromancer and the virtual trading floor, New York. It is investigated, if the science fiction has been able to provide an insight to any future form of Architecture, and if so what type of a futuristic architecture it promotes. Moreover, it attempts to map out the likely connections between the science fiction and known architectural works.
The study in its own way succeeds in making connections between fiction and futuristic architecture, in order to incite others to see the possibilities.

Dulmini Perera

Varuna Desilva
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