Unit15 Research at LONCON 3

The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention
Thursday 14th to Monday 18th August
ExCel, London Dockland

Original blogpost: http://unitfifteen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/unit-15-research-at-loncon-3.html

The Gold Mine: A Ludic Architecture

Briefly, nothing and nobody in the Gold Mine is exploited. It is essentially an automated civilization in its manufacturing processes with human labour restricted to something indistinguishable from play, or a hobby.

— After Iain M Banks, A Few Notes on The Culture, 1994

They wander through the sectors of the Gold Mine seeking new experiences, as yet unknown ambiances. Without the passivity of tourists, but fully aware of the power they have to act upon the world, to transform it, recreate it.

— After Constant Nieuwenhuys, New Babylon: Outline of a Culture, 1974

The Gold Mine is a project for a post-scarcity city set in a post-singularity future and located in the Thames Estuary on Canvey Island. The Gold Mine is intended to test speculative concepts taken from literary science fiction within the context of a formal architectural project and is seen as an alternative model for urban design at a time when neo-liberal ideologies dominate our thinking on the city. The Gold Mine is a thought experiment intended to re-ignite debate around the issue of Utopia and possibility of a radically different conception of human society. The Gold Mine explicitly draws upon speculative architectural projects such as Constant Nieuwenhuis’s New Babylon and science-fiction utopias such as Iain M Banks The Culture.

The Gold Mine is an attempt to imagine a future that is not dominated by the narrow concerns of late capitalism but to create an architecture that sees as its goal the creation of a society that is developed for the betterment of all its members and not simply one that is trying to be slightly-less worse for a few.

Unit-Fifteen Research is:

Mike Aling

Nic Clear

Hyun Jun Park

Simon Withers

Thanks to: AVATAR, Dick Stringer, University of Greenwich, Robbie Munn, Phil Hudson, Nik Maksimenko, Alex Tarr, Gosia Starzyinska, Tomi Owolabi, Seung Park.

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