Why Tomorrowland Should Never Come

Cdnassets.hwAaron Betsky at Architecture Magazine:

Why must the future always be so curvy and so Calatrava? The release of Tomorrowland [trailer], the Disney Studio’s confused fairytale about possible futures, reinforces the idea, built into the Studio’s namesake ride—and evident in just about every sci-fi film of the last few decades—that our destiny is to live, work, and play in buildings that swoop, swell, and surge into the sky with no respect for right angles. The film’s centerpiece is a city that does less to evoke Disney’s olde version of what is to be than it takes from what is already under construction or built in Dubai and Shanghai and extrapolates it to a gravity- and humanity-free extreme.

Without giving away too much of the plot, the city in question is a mirage, which appears as a vision beyond a wheat field: Oz as the ultimate Edge City, branded by Tesla and Coca-Cola, where people don’t do anything so much as they look fabulous in designer clothes (I think I saw everything from retro Jil Sander to Versace) as they whiz around in magnetically levitated transports and with jet packs. At its heart, one that the film reveals most clearly when it takes a darker turn, is a green-screened version of the City of the Arts and Sciences project by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, and the late Spanish architect Félix Candela, in Valencia, Spain.

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