An opportunity to co-design for a future with recommendations on evolving architecture, transportation and society. ArtCenter's Graduate Transportation and Systems Design program along with the UCLA IDEAS graduate program looked at the iconic Sunset Strip in West Hollywood to envision what will the future of smarter transportation (e.g. Autonomous cars) and smarter systems change what the Sunset Strip represents today.
The Challenge: 
Look beyond the buzzwords and critically examine the site(What does it represent? What is the context?) and the way interactions amongst people and objects occurs today(mobility, technology, social life).

Why?
To understand how new technologies can impact our lives, it is important to understand implications of past technologies and how we have been naturalized to their effects(good or bad) but also to look at how society is adapting to new technologies.
How? 
Identify trends in societal behavior and technology to create a provocation of how a new system can be envisioned which accounts for all realms of life: edifices for living, working, socializing, entertaining and the mobility between those edifices. 
Using speculative design as a guide, we wanted to identify the contextual characteristics about the site (Sunset Strip, West Hollywood) and then come up with design principles to explore futures of our society. 
We referred to Next Nature's work "Society of Simulations" which described how even micro-experiences on apps and online media are essentially simulations that we are consuming daily. We are living in an age where we find these simulations and digital representations more meaningful than real experiences. Extrapolating this into the future, my team considered a counter-trend where there would be 'moments of respite, rebellion and protest' to these simulations. 
The development of X-Reality technologies like VR, AR and MR are still in their nascent stage (Operational, as per Next Nature's Pyramid of Technology). But in a few years, when these technologies infiltrate our daily lives (Invisible as per Next Nature), we will be experiencing simulations at a much higher rate than today.
Our minds, no matter how well designed the simulations are, will always find simulations to be just that, simulations. Our minds will notice the glitches in the design and will cause a yearning for reality. For those quests and yearning for 'the real', my team envisioned how the urban and mobility landscape can create opportunities.

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