Irem C Yildiz

Memories from the Future: Hudson 2117

Design Research, Speculative Design

“Memories from the Future: Hudson 2117” is a thought provoking multimedia project of the realist speculative fiction centered around Hudson Yards, The High Line and Jersey City in the year 2117.

The project is developed for Urban Intelligence Lab, taught by Shannon Mattern at Parsons The New School for Design in Spring 2017.

Team: Francisco Miranda, Fernando Bercovich, Irem C Yildiz and Joshua McWhirter.

Role: Researcher, strategist and designer.

The narrative currently dominating the trajectory of the Hudson Yards development is one of technological progress, ‘smartness’ and prestige. This story charts a smooth, even path toward a bright future for Manhattan’s Far West Side; a “regeneration” of a formerly blighted area, a tabula rasa upon which to intensify New York City’s seemingly perennial quest to become ever-more inclusive of elite interests, and exclusive of almost everything else. Though this ‘smart city’ narrative seems likely to come to fruition — at least for a time — we propose a counter-narrative, situated within a speculative period of economic and material “decline” in early 22nd-century New York City. We wish to re-script this state-of-the-art landscape into something a bit rougher, aged, lived-in, challenging; a landscape that would also allow us to explore precarious and cooperative modes of urban intelligence, as to stop and reflect on our current urban intelligence problematics.



                           IN THE YEAR 2117?  


In order to bring this scenario to life, we developed a narrative focusing on the daily life of one Hudson Yards resident from the year 2117.

Skylar, an intern at a prominent biotechnology firm at New Jersey City, has just turned 35. In order to speculate on the texture of  our character’s everyday life in this future scenario, we created a “kit” of everyday objects and media belonging to Skylar. Much has changed in the intervening century between 2017 and 2117, but some things have remained remarkably consistent.

Skylar's Kit.jpg

     Individual Kit

An assemblage of Skylar’s everyday objects -- a collection of basic necessities, personal mementos, and interactive technology common to a 22nd-century New Yorker. Contained on Skylar’s climate-proof case; clockwise: Dumb City Manifesto (a mysterious pamphlet from a group of anti-tech radical); paper map of Hudson River Transit Authority Ferry Service (a guide to navigating a flooding region); 3D printed Intersense case and audio-visual interface (a mixed-reality contact lens and earbud interface, with personalized A.I. assistant); 3D printed lunchbox (an assortment of bio-engineered HudVal Roaches, Colombian chocolate and Osaka Seaweed); cassette with encoded Intersense audio-visual feed (a durable form of analog data storage for a precarious digital future).

Audio Component: Intersense feed