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Dystopia arrives, finally…

By May 5, 20104 Comments

Who needs futurists these days, when we can get our fix of sci-fi dystopian future apocalypse right now in the present… (click on the image for it all big and beautiful).

I have tweaked it a little, but the original image and more like it can be found here.

It is of course the Deepwater Horizon, the BP-managed oil rig responsible for the huge oil slick that now threatens the Gulf Coast (and we mustn’t forget that this is also a tragedy involving the loss of 11 lives). Apparently these are exclusive images from an unamed source, which show the catastrophe unfolding over a four-minute sequence, ending with the complete sinking of the entire rig…

Not much to do with architecture though, unless you want to dig deep for some industry-wide Tower of Babel type analogy. But, architects do tend to have a cyclical fascination with utopia and dystopia, and this particular image seems to represent certain movie-generated dystopias quite well, I think.

Hat tip to the DimPost for the above.

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  • Dale says:

    I like the photo.. I’ve always thought that perhaps one of the reasons why architects are so fascinated with dystopian visions is that it’s intrinsically liked to the death/degradation (and thus mortality) of our environment, which is in turn linked as an extension to the mortality of the architect.. perhaps a slightly sado-masochistic fascination even.

  • frank says:

    I see that they are getting all lathered up about dystopian sci-fi over at the Fish as well…

  • Byron says:

    There was a related post by Lebbeus Woods on architecture and demolition/ruin which I really enjoyed, [ http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/probable-form/ ], where in particular he talks of Balthasar Holz whose effect on him was significant. Here are some great lines from Holz:

    “Architecture is a form of conflict from which change emerges, first of all to architecture itself.

    Architecture that does not bear the traces of conflicts that created it is dead architecture.

    The conflict of differences in architecture dooms and redeems it.

    The task of the architect is to set in motion, in a particular direction, a chain of events he cannot control.

    Architects strive for a moment of perfection—when their building is finished. But as soon as that moment passes, their building begins to decay. A finished building is really unfinished, the first frame of a descent to destruction.

    Architects must embrace the decay of their buildings, at least mentally. They should forget about perfection, the complete realization of their design, and understand that the only truly finished building is a heap of rubble.”

  • Guy says:

    Barring the fact that most of the population can’t say post-apocalyptic dystopia, and even less could tell you what one is, it strikes me that this is a disaster that has been waiting to happen. And of course, it is only ONE rig – there are thousands of these rigs, all over the world, in particular littering our most fragile eco systems – they’re proposing to drill in the antarctic and the arctic now as well.

    Fragile eco system? No worry, we’ll drill carefully.

    Well blow out? – never happens these days

    Exon Valdez? Never heard of it…

    Addiction to oil? Give me another fix, I have to drive my 4WD to Porirua every day….