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The world's growing vulnerability to planet-sized risks invites action on a global scale. The World as an Architectural Project shows how for more than a century architects have imagined the future of the planet through world-scale projects. With fifty speculative projects by Patrick Geddes, Alison and Peter Smithson, Kiyonori Kikutake, Saverio Muratori, Takis Zenetos, Sergio Bernardes, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Luc Deleu, and many others, documented in text and images, this ambitious and wide-ranging book is the first compilation of its kind.
Interestingly, architects begin to address the world as a project long before the advent of contemporary globalism and its assorted anxieties. The Spanish urban theorist and entrepreneur Arturo Soria y Mata, for example, in 1882 envisions a system that connects the entire planet in a linear urban network. In 1927, Buckminster Fuller's “World Town Plan—4D Tower” proposes to solve global housing problems with mobile structures delivered and installed by a Zeppelin. And Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis visualize the conditions of a worldwide “City of Seven Billion” in a 2015–2019 project. Rather than indulging the cliché of the megalomaniac architect, this volume presents a discipline reflecting on its own responsibilities.