THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: The Venus Project

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

We haven't done one of these in a loooooong while, but when I stumbled across this presentation film from "The Venus Project," a band of utopian technocrats based out of Florida. Their beliefs - as with all utopian beliefs, really - are pretty goofy: high tech will make it possible for the world to be entirely run by about 7000 people, leaving the rest of us to do whatever we want: fish, get graduate degrees in modern dance, work on developing that sequel to "Alf" that you've been trying to kickstart, whatever. It's all Maoist/Roddenberryesque crap.

But I don't care! This whole thing looks like it came out of a Gerry Anderson show, and any future that looks like an episode of Captain Scarlet is a future I want to be in! Screw all this "No money, free to be you and me" hippie commie crap, it won't work anyway; but the future is *SUPPOSED* to look like a 1960s world's fair, my friends, and this (Wholly unrealistic) vision definitely does:

Not that some of the urban design is quite derivative of the original E.P.C.O.T. (Not "Epcot") radial city design.

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Comments

Cool but never going to happen

neorandomizer's picture

These guys have no idea how urban and civil planning is done here in the U.S.A do they. Where is the pork barrel politics, the kick backs etc. They really don't believe that this stuff is done to increase efficiency do they?

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die

Republibot 3.0's picture

Well, like all utopian monkeyspankery, it's basically an attempt to build heaven on earth. That's obviously not going to work.

I think these kinds of things are *useful* on several levels - they cause us to aspire, they give us cautionary tales of social engineers with more arrogance than brains, and they make neat demo reels.

I think their best payoff, though, is Hegelian: We have ugly, stupid reality (Thesis), we have The Venus Project, or whatever manner of dipstick equivalent you like (Anti-thesis) and eventually they merge into a synthesis, which isn't at all utopian, but is generally nicer than now. So the vision is handy, even if it's complete bat guano. Every world's fair is bat guano, but they're still cool.

The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0

Inspiration

kelloggs2066's picture

I love the achitecture!

I've used it for inspiration in my comic strip.
A cargo ship that figured large in one storyline about salvaging nuclear weapons was taken from the lines of the ships they put in here. I cleaned it up a bit, made it a bit more practical, but I got the ship's lines from these.

I just wish they weren't pushing Star Trek Obamanomics.

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Competing views

Republibot 3.0's picture

I haven't delved deep into it, but The Venus Project *appears* to be more about mass-produced buildings than actual economic theory or social infrastructure. (Not that there's anything wrong with that: the one informs the other, and vice versa), but, yeah I love the lines!

A lot of people get really upset about the obvious stamped-out-an-assemblyine quality of houses in these kinds of projects, but it doesn't bother me. As Fuller said back in the day "Well, yeah, all the houses would be exactly the same, but all pianos are exactly the same. What counts is what you do with them."

It'd be interesting to do a competing-views-of-utopia through the years thing. Contrast this, for instance, with say the 90s Eisner "Montana Future" thing, the Tomorrowland Googie thing, etc.

The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0