Telegenic Ur­banisms: Click the Image to En­large and Zoom in


Session Title:

  • Through the Roadblocks: Technology and Orality

Presentation Title:

  • Telegenic Ur­banisms: Click the Image to En­large and Zoom in




  • Panel: Through the Roadblocks: Technology and Orality

    The Ara­bian Penin­sula and the Gulf is home to some of the world’s most con­tro­ver­sial set­tle­ments that have grown into major eco­nomic and global hubs fol­low­ing rapid trans­for­ma­tion. A can­vas for global and no­madic cross­roads; north-south im­mi­gra­tion pat­terns and east- west trad­ing axes bi­sect a tab­ula rasa of hues, ex­treme cli­mates and strange topogra­phies, pro­vides a com­plex ma­trix of in­ter­con­nec­tiv­i­ties. These post-colo­nial cities of the 21st cen­tury have grown out of new tech­nolo­gies, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and mega in­fra­struc­tures that have brought about dra­matic mor­pho­log­i­cal and eco­log­i­cal changes.

    This is the fu­ture state of world ur­ban­ism – pre­scrip­tive and full of vi­sual drama­ti­za­tion. This form of ur­ban­iza­tion also shows a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with the fab­ri­ca­tion of an image. The ex­plo­ration of places through im­agery is a con­tem­po­rary phe­nom­e­non. As the tech­nol­ogy in the pro­duc­tion of im­agery of un-built or newly built ar­chi­tec­ture has be­come more so­phis­ti­cated, its image be­comes an end in it­self and can now be trans­mit­ted across the globe in­stan­ta­neously. Coastal neck­lace set­tle­ments, sand and sil­i­cone, pix­e­lated pat­terns, land­scape and ren­der farms, frac­tal and para­met­ric for­ma­tions, sim­u­lated Sim­C­i­ties, dy­namic for­ma­tions, mas­ter plans and spec­u­la­tive de­vel­op­ments are now pro­ject­ing new satel­lite ur­banisms. This spa­tial and urban ap­proach em­pha­sizes en­claves but also ex­clu­sive­ness. We are now plan­ning and de­sign­ing cities by gaz­ing down on the ac­tion from heav­ens. Re­con­nais­sance tech­nolo­gies turn into spec­ta­cle and ‘telegenic’ fan­tasies ad­dress­ing mass tourism. Sim­u­lated panora­mas and im­agery of un­fin­ished pro­jects give rise to an ex­cit­ing promise and fan­tasy. In ef­fect dig­i­tal im­agery and tech­nol­ogy is shap­ing the fu­ture of cities. After all we are all no­mads in­hab­it­ing an image.