How about I get a load of Lyddle End properties and we try and build a version of what we think Lyddle End might be like in 2050? Everyone who wants one gets a little building and they have to alter it, mod it, change it, play with it, to reflect how they think the world will be in 42 years time. Then, we’ll put them all together, either physically or through the magic of photography, and see what it might tell us about our visions of the future. I can’t help thinking we might be able to build ourselves a rather intriguing speculative diorama.
After meeting Russell at Design Engaged and feeling a certain kinship around our shared interest in the old Canon A-1 and design provocation generally, I signed up to participate. My first draw was a wholly different, participatory kind of design process. One that allows speculation to involve not only thinking but making, crafting and without the usual constraints that might go into thinking about a future that’s only one product cycle out. Mid century fictional futures. Perfect. Very Design Fiction-y.
At first, I wasn’t entirely sure what the heck a Jubilee Clock Tower might be, so I asked Rhys, with whom it is my good fortune to sit adjacent to in the studio and who got a Hornbee Flower Shoppe, and he explained that these things are clocks constructed to celebrate the Golden or Diamond Jubilees of the British crown. It sat on my desk, got twirled about, mulled over, discussed, peppered up in various ways until basically I knew I’d have to do something least I fail in my mission.
Blinding insight befell. I saw a future for Lyddle End that revealed impending environmental challenges, that signaled the possibilities for vast, almost impossible to imagine cultural shifts and that was undergirded by a romantic notion I have with stalwart Britishness to make do despite overwhelming odds.
Isla Lyddle End lies on the far west of the British Archipelago. It is the largest of the western islands in what was once the continuous land mass known as Hornbyshire. Isla Lyddle End celebrates the Golden Jubilee of The Grand Iman of Britain HH Patel bin Windsor with a minaret clock tower, constructed of hard-pack, molded synthetic carbon nodules in full compliance with the Rock and Soil Conservation Act of 2038. Isla Lyddle End is only a 40 minute fan boat ride from Paddington Sea Station. Bring your Wellies! Isla Lyddle End is well-swamped twice a day, and near coastal areas submerge at the day’s first tide.
Britain in 2050 has a monarch of mixed cultural ancestry, is 98% sunk under rising seas, has traces of Spanish in its idiolect and recognizes Muslim culture in its public monuments.
It was a simple matter of Dremel’ng the top off of the original Jubilee Clock Tower, modeling a simple version of what I think the top of a Minaret in 2050 might look like, plastic-printing it and plopping it on top. Some photography late last night suggested that there need to be something besides sea and shore, so I put in some photos of the Maunsell Sea Forts for context. The British Archipelago map is actually an algorithmic rendering of “my” Southern California generated by GPS tracks. There’s a hunk of the westside (Venice Beach and Santa Monica), bits toward downtown and Hollywood/Silverlake/Los Feliz, little jaunts further south, and my coastal commute up the Pacific Coast Highway to the studio in Calabasas where I decided Isla Lyddle End should reside.
Thanks for the fun project Russell!