Toward A Hybrid Metropolis

Wiel Arets, 2015

Twentieth century societies witnessed the rise of major technological inventions and innovations—such as the car, the plane, the computer, the phone, and the internet. Whereas those societies experienced the advent of such technological advances as spectacle, since they were then still new, today they are essential components of our modern lives. And they have begun to evolve. 

Tellingly, yesterday’s car has already become the driverless car; today’s smartphone seems to do nearly anything; the internet will only continue to further cast its reach. The human body and the ‘human’ robot will soon coexist; this double will be the new collective.

The metropolis of the twenty first century is hybrid—it’s connected, automated, and noiseless. Such qualities enable today’s societies, within these hybrid metropolises, to live dualistically: they’re more interconnected, productive, and longer leisured than their predecessors, though capable of the securities that a village once provided. 

How will architecture, as part of the metropolis, develop within our extremely exciting and complex world? Architects have to be inventors and storytellers, capable of making, crafting, and foreseeing the unthinkable in thought, as constructive pragmatism. The hybrid metropolis should be based on an awareness of both risk and tension, and the creation of a new urban dream.