We’re guessing that among Hackaday’s readership are plenty of futurists, and while the past might be the wrong direction in which to look when considering futurism, we wouldn’t blame any of them for hankering for the days when futurism was mainstream.
Perhaps one of the most globally iconic buildings of that era could have been found in Tokyo, in the form of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, Kisho Kurokawa’s 1972 Metabolist apartment block. This pioneering structure, in which individual apartments were conceived as plug-in units that could be moved or changed at will, never achieved its potential and was dismantled, looking more post-apocalyptic than futuristic in early 2022, but it could live on in both digital form and reconstructed elsewhere as the rights to its design are being auctioned.
Unfortunately there appears to be some NFT mumbo-jumbo associated with the sale, but what’s up for auction is a complete CAD model along with the rights to build either real or virtual copies of the building. It’s unlikely that any Hackaday readers will pony up for their own Metabolist skyscraper, but the interest lies not only in the love of a future that never quite happened, but in the engineering behind the structure. Where this is being written as in many other places there is simultaneously a chronic housing shortage and a housing system wedded to the outdated building techniques of a previous century, so the thought of updated equivalents of the Nakagin Tower offering the chance of modular interchangeable housing in an era perhaps more suited to it than the 1970s is an intriguing one. Now that we’re living in the future, perhaps it’s time to give futurism another chance.
Regular readers will have spotted this isn’t the first time we’ve brought you a taste of futuristic living.
Header: Svetlov Artem, CC0.