Instant City (Archigram) & Dubai
Rapid development of Dubai in the era of post oil revenue dependent happened in only a short period of roughly 10 years (1995-2005). This form of development can be seen as an envision of future cities as imagined by architects in the 60s, noticeably a British architecture group known as Archigram. This form of vast development within short periods of time can be described as the idea of ‘Instant City’ as proposed by the group mentioned as it is heavily influenced by technology and mobility.
Image Reference: Archigram. ‘Instant City’. 1960. Accessed on 18th December 2015. http://www.archigram.net/projects_pics/instantcity/instant_city_2.jpg
Instant City of Dubai
The ideas of instant city is to create over stimulation of culture and technology towards an underdeveloped area, creating a temporary city in hopes that the underdeveloped land becomes influenced by it and hence able to develop itself through the sharing of technological ideas. These ideas are spread by mobile machines that carry suitable technologies, they move around seeking for underdeveloped land and transform it into something developed. These mobile machines are mostly hot air balloons as it is widely used back in the days.
Mention the word Dubai, one would only recognize the word at the time period of early 2000s. Dubai has emerged in a sudden manner, conquering the world through its massive development which we can see today. Similar as to the idea of ‘Instant City’, Dubai underwent heavy outside influence of technology and culture that form what it is today. 97% of Dubai’s population was born in a foreign country which surpasses the amount of foreign population of 37% in New York City. These are mainly made up of foreign workers who migrated to Dubai during its real estate boom period and foreign expats and investors who moved there due to its low taxation and loose business laws. Not to mention that the existing technologies that we see in modern Dubai were also imported from other countries. Hence, we can say that Dubai’s import of both social and technology is similar to the idea of a hot air balloon that carries all these futuristic ideas as based on ‘Instant City’. Differences is that in Dubai’s case, Emirates airline becomes a substitute of the hot air balloon, creating much more connections to different parts of the world.
Image Reference: Unknown Author. ‘An aerial photo comparison of the Burj construction site in 2005 January and 2006 February’. Unknown Date. Accessed on 18th December 2015. http://www.burjdubaiskyscraper.com/2006/diagram/burj-complex-construction-site.jpg.
Brook, Daniel. A History of Future Cities. W.W Norton, 2013.