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Behold Dubai’s Museum of the Future, the very first monumental building to be designed entirely by algorithm!

The official hype sez:

We will be a showplace for a new era – a center of creativity and hope where you can see, touch and shape our shared future.

And a megaphone for empty platitudes, too, like the oval hole in the center of the thing. Ironically the city of Dubai is exactly what you’d come up with if you wanted to design a building with no future — an overblown re-make of the worst elements of Los Angeles in a country with too much unearned money and no idea what to do with it. I’ve been there, too. I was brought in by McKinsey & Co. for a completely absurd urban planning session about five years ago. Most of the other “experts” on hand were MIT Media Lab dudes and computer animators from Disney (and one schmuck from the Harvard architecture school, real estate division). The Dubai officials thought that urban design was about projecting movies on buildings. I never sat through such a gale of idiocy, even at Midwestern land-grant diploma mill symposia. (Took me six months to get paid for the gig.)

Don’t worry.  By 2050, tawny eagles will be roosting in the skeletal ruins of  Dubai’s massive real estate folly. A genuine museum of the future would be a pre-owned camel sales office in a tent.

Thanks to Drew Keeling for the nomination.

By the way, notice how much the Museum of the Future resembles the abandoned space ship from the original Alien movie:

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

6 Responses to “November 2019” Subscribe

  1. tucsonspur November 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm #

    Why not jump through this wormhole’s portal and see where it takes us? Maybe there’s a chance the future won’t be so bleak, riddled with the rusting relics of Dinocars, Triceratrucks and Pteroplanes. These would certainly be on display, if it were truly a ‘Museum of the Future’.

    Unfortunately, this empty eyeball, this time toroid, traps us in the present while giving us only faint hints of hope with its mystical hieroglyphics. But who knows what the future holds, maybe the technology is out there that will rescue the world’s Fossil Fools.

    Behold the Wizardry of Man, the Algorithm of this Amalgam:

  2. shabbaranks November 5, 2019 at 2:13 am #

    What wonderful use of the likely H.R. Giger designed abandoned spaceship from the original – and now forever classic – film ‘Alien’ (1979).

    Perhaps the Dubai Museum of the Future will issue all visitors their own ‘face hugger’ masks that contain audio tours of the contents of the museum? What a blast!

  3. kittric November 6, 2019 at 10:33 am #

    Ironically enough, I was thinking “the eye of Sauron”, at first glance.

  4. My Point of View November 15, 2019 at 12:59 pm #

    “…first monumental building to be designed entirely by algorithm!…”

    The algorithm laid an egg ….and we thought “design by committee” was bad.

  5. GunHillTrain November 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm #

    Notice how there is an elevated train line passing right in front of it. In sixty years Dubai, like New York before it, will be tearing down these lines and replacing them with subways (or just buses in some cases). “These ugly els were a mistake and they’ve got to go!”

  6. JCalvertNUK November 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm #

    It looks like a urinal lying on its side.

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