Welcome to Nowhere

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för arkitektur och byggd miljö

Abstract: We live in a world built on consumerist values and a spatial rationale of capital accumulation. This modern society has led to architecture thriving through super consumption and super production ultimately leading to the generic. Cities and spaces that were usually rich in variation and texture have now become an architectural melting pot. Architecture has become smooth, simplified and reduced to one, and the touchable city has dissipated. Instead, we are surrounded by an army of high glass robots invading our spaces, obstructing our cities and killing off public space. As spectacular as they are, these structures now function as the dynamic urban milieu favoring the market demands over human needs. The landscapes continuously change at an incredible pace based on new trends, with no time to understand how it really affects the city and its people, and instead it has become a spectacle. A city that peaks through its capitalist attraction is Dubai. The city has been able to bloom from the arid desert and place the whole region on the map, alluring people from all over the world. With its time scale on steroids, the city is designing for international communities that have yet to be assembled, and doing so through hyper bombastic urban ornaments. Relatively new cities like Dubai are met with forces of urbanization which transform them into showcases for architectural pageants, in hopes to be accepted on a global scale. However through this process architecture becomes a prop and the city acts as a stage. We may ask ourselves, what is left when the show is over? These fast paced forces of globalization and urbanization are forming cities and societies that are becoming increasingly fragmented and alienated. This thesis is an exploration into the future of these cities’ physical spaces through a discussion on various themes to understand how we have landed in a homogenous cultural and architectural landscape powered through commerce and a global identity.

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