Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yuri Gagarin

AOG, Madrid

Today it is 50 years since Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin climbed into his space ship and was launched into space, thereby kickstarting the space race between two superpowers which ended with the first man in the moon in 1969. 

It took Gagarin just 108 minutes to orbit Earth and he returned as the World's very first space man. 

I think that the world henceforth, and even during my childhood, looked to a promising future. 

Space travel, colonies on the Moon, terraforming, traveling to Mars and beyond. 

It all looked splendid. 

Problem is, it never happened. 

I rememebr as a child being told about the future I would live in.

About flying cars, hovering craft, day trips to Space, to the bottom of the ocean, supercomputers this and supercomputers that.

And yes, we even had supersonic flight courtesy of the Anglo-French Concorde. 

Until we didn't.

Heck, remember the world of the Jetson's? Now that was futuristic and foreseeable!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future we were being sold does exist, but only in cyberspace. Not in outer space. Or Earth. 

You need only pick up a video game, or watch a Sci-Fi movie to glimpse at that future, where you should be living had all the predictions come true. 

It would appear that we do know how to furnish  and dress that future; we just don't know how to make it happen. 

Yes, I know we've had many advances and technical revolutions lately. 

The Internet towers above most of these, but it was conjured up back in the 1960s. 

What else? Yes, cell phones, personal computers, microwave ovens, DVDs, Plasma, LED, LCD television, 3D everything, but little else.

Granted, we live in a more advanced state of development (though at what cost to the planet!) than we did 30 years ago, or even 20. Or 10. 

But if you take a look around you, nothing much has changed. Cars still don't fly. We won't send a manned aircraft to Mars until 20..who know when (so expensive you see). 

Supersonic flight is but a memory to us (though young people have no memory of it), and there are no colonies on the Moon. At least not Earth colonies. 

So...what does the new future hold? It would appear that we have absolutely no clue. Nor do we know what it will look like. 

Yes, thank you thank you all you futurologists with your massive projections of our current time into our distant future where things look pretty much the same except for their future-looking design cues. 

I'm talking about the great work of people like Syd Mead, but also people like Collani.

But if you really are wondering, here's a link to an article in the British press (The Independent) concerning the year 2020. That's only 8-9 years from now. 

Do you think it will really be like that?

How about these products? Are they part of the future you envision?

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I was given a copy of a book titled: The World of the Future: Future Cities

I loved it. I read it and reread it. It was my personal Bible. 

I even began to draw articles to add on to what was already there. 

I think that is where my love for design started. I wanted to design part of the future.

Today, this book has no equal. 

Nothing is being published to resemble it. I think it is because we have lost our taste for things like that. 

Yes, we like progress, but progress turned out to look like nothing we were shown as kids.

It may still surprise us though!


xochimiqui1 said...

Our progress has been in the name of capitalism only! What makes the biggest profit gets the most investment. Screw a healthier, more just and equitable future.....just keep making more iphones and ipads! Our future has been bought and sold by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and a bunch of faceless bzillionaires in China and Dubai. I was never really sold on the flying cars....but I sure was looking forward to getting "beamed up" someday! Sigh......

Ynot said...

I would have settled for a Landspeeder....