© Nic Clear

Visionary Cities:

Utopian Urbanism and Science Fiction


Nic Clear | Endowed Professorship for Research in Visionary Cities | Lecture Series Winterterm 2015|16

When discussing Science Fiction and Architecture it is usual to look at the architecture ‘in’ Science Fiction and in particular the architecture in Science Fiction films. In this series of five lectures that relationship will be reversed and it will be the Science Fiction in Architecture that will be discussed. The lectures will map out an alternative reading of a number of architectural movements and projects where the work will be viewed explicitly ‘as’ science fiction.
The definition of Science Fiction that is being used relies on Darko Suvin’s conception of the ‘novum’. Suvin contends that Science Fiction should contain an ‘exclusive interest in a strange newness, a novum’ that distinguishes it as ‘an alternative to the author’s empirical environment’. The intention of these lectures is to make an explicit connection between the genre of Science Fiction, as a system that uses conceptions of newness and alterity and examples of visionary architectures and will attempt to re-theorise 20th century architectural production through the lens of the ‘novum’. A lineage of visionary architecture will be explored in relation to texts, films and artefacts that operate within a much more familiar territory of the science fiction genre.

https://vimeo.com/album/4542088

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Visionary Cities:

Utopian Urbanism and Science Fiction


Nic Clear | Endowed Professorship for Research in Visionary Cities | Lecture Series Winterterm 2015|16

Starting with Futurism and Constructivism and developing through the concepts of the Industrial City, post war technological utopias and ending with the neoliberal architectures of late capitalism which appear to have expunged the concept of a celebratory form of architecture production for the supposed necessities of the market.

Lecture Series Winter Term 2105|16
12.10.2015 | Lecture 01
Introduction: A Strange Newness
09.11.2015 | Lecture 02
Science Fictions of the Avant Garde
23.11.2015 | Lecture 03
The Industrial City and Its Antithesis
07.12.2015 | Lecture 04
Post War Utopias
11.01.2016 | Lecture 05
The Architecture of Late Capitalism and Beyond

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Visionary Cities:

Utopian Urbanism and Science Fiction


Nic Clear | Endowed Professorship for Research in Visionary Cities | Lecture Series Winterterm 2015|16

Nic Clear is Head of Department of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich, where he also teaches a postgraduate design unit that specialises in the use of film and animation in the generation, development and representation of architectural spaces. Nic is particularly interested in the intersection between architecture and Science Fiction. He edited an edition of AD titled Architectures of the Near Future and has written the Architecture section of the Oxford Handbook to Science Fiction.