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Future Base


(Michael Hrenka) #1

I’ve recently presented my idea for a “Future Base” in the following thead:

It would basically be a place where people would work together to develop futuristic technologies, that should ideally be open source. You could describe is as future themed mixture of a quite experimental hackerspace, a university, a start-up cluster, and perhaps other things. Perhaps equally importantly it would be 100% compatible with the ideas and ideals of transhumanism and emphasizes mental and physical health and improvement. The question is: How should such a Future Base really look like?

Let’s consider my initial proposal, that is based on an initial budget of 24000€ per month, but let’s not focus on the financial aspects too much.

  • It should have a place where I can live, whether alone or with people I like, because what’s cooler than living in a Future Base? :slight_smile:
  • There should be office space and basic infrastructure for futuristic start-ups that work on awesome projects
  • Beautiful nature in close proximity, which must include forests, because forests are especially uplifting for my mood :evergreen_tree:
  • A laboratory for mad scientists, muahahahaha! :smiling_imp: Ideally multiple labs for different purposes!
  • A place for makers that has seriously advanced 3d printers (those are pretty expensive, so that’s quite a large investment)
  • At least one dedicated conference/meeting/seminar/presentation/discussion/filming/party room where we can discuss plans for world awesomification and other stuff
  • A general purpose community room to which people can bring and do their own random or futuristic stuff
  • A community kitchen
  • A community garden for hydroponically grown open source GMO plants or something like that
  • Toilets and showers until someone comes up with more futuristic alternatives for those. :smirk:
  • A playground for kids of any age (from 0 to infinity)
  • A torture chamber, also known as gym :laughing:
  • A room for (power) naps and meditation :sleeping:
  • An open stable and a sufficiently large pasture for herbivores (which won’t be eaten – they are there for therapeutic purposes, and potentially for uplifting experiments later on)
  • A dedicated outdoor area for doing crazy recreational stuff (of course I mean sports with that, but calling it “dedicated crazy recreational stuff area” might make people more creative, so that they use it in unexpected ways) :sunglasses:
  • Lots of storage space for all the stuff that is needed and will accumulate
  • Perhaps a small hospital room for biohacking and treating people, if something goes wrong (which is not too unlikely in such a place)
  • Optionally a small hotel for guests, members, and tourists
  • Optionally apartments for those who want to live within or in close proximity to the Future Base
  • Optionally a sauna (perhaps of the near infrared type), because what’s better than seeing all kinds of nerds naked while doing something really healthy? :blush: (just to clear this up from the start: That was meant slightly ironic, but I think a sauna would still be a good idea)
  • Optionally a place for swimming, whether that’s a swimming pool, or a lake.
  • Perhaps later on a small nuclear reactor, because paying electricity bills shouldn’t be a necessity – instead the Future Base could even sell energy
  • And of course a launch platform for rockets and/or space planes … well, just kidding, even though that would certainly appear futuristic :wink:

I have probably forgotten lots of cool or necessary stuff. The Future Base should be children-, animal-, and female-friendly. Especially the last point needs to be emphasized, because there are way too few females in the futurist/transhumanist community, and I don’t want to make it even worse in the Future Base. Synergy effect of being children-friendly: The Future Base will train the next generation of innovative futurists, simply by letting them watch what the adults do there.

The space and nature requirements of the Future Base suggests that it needs to be located in a relatively rural area. That’s not ideal from a travel and commuting perspective, but that’s a price that people should be ready to pay. Self-driving cars will make travel and commuting less annoying.

How would that space be run? Mostly self organised, like a Teal organisation, see

But why?

Bringing a small group of highly innovative people together and letting them do what they want – as long as it’s in alignment with the mission and spirit of the Future Base – and giving them the means to do so, can lead to extraordinary results. And it’s really the mission and spirit that would make the difference. The goal is nothing less than changing the world to the better by developing new ideas and technologies that solve important problems in order to share them with the world as freely as practically possible. Having people who can deeply identify with such a purpose together in one place should create a large amount of cross-pollination and may encourage trans-disciplinary thinking.

Couldn’t a university/research centre like the MIT, or a company like Google do the same? Well, yes, and indeed they have such effects, at least partially. It’s just that they don’t address the most important problems that we need to solve to reach a transhuman future, or don’t that in the best way. Of course, doing it better than those organisations would be an incredible challenge, but the attempt would be worth it.

What do you think about this idea?


(Eric Hunting) #2

I’m very much in favor of this concept. I’ve been pursuing this idea in various forms for many years; marine settlements, Proto-arcologies/microcities, Eco-Tech Villages, New Star Cities (communities formed for pursuing space development), Hackbases/Maker Ashrams, and so on. I’ve always favored community architecture that is urban and functionally-generic, allowing for full freedom of adaptation over the evolution of the community. The notion of architecture as permanent is delusional and pathological. The predominant cultural memes of the near future are stigmergy, Metcalf’s Law, mobility, and flux. The built habitat should therefore be a perpetual, open, conversation between environment, structure, and inhabitants. Thus I favor building technology that is modular, parametric, freely adaptive at the human scale, suited to mobilist lifestyles, and potentially compatible with systems of automated construction and associative design. Things like the Paracity structural system of Marco Casagrande or even the knock-down container building frames developed in Asia.

Just recently I have been working on descriptions of ‘space lifestyles’ and explored the notion of a Star City that would develop as part of a supranational open civilian space program. I imagined a sprawling community structure inspired by the flowing contour terraced forms of mountain farms that was 3D printed from a perpetually recyclable masonry material and which had evolved, through its self-learning associative design software, from an initially simple uniform dome form enclosing a large atrium space. The first Living Megastructure.

Employing systems designed for eventual use in space, this functionally generic structure was designed for outfit by retrofit, relying on a grid of plug-in attachment sockets akin to those used for climbing formwork systems to make its entire surface into a plug-in backplane like the passive backplane of an industrial computer. The associative design software managed this minimalistic superstructure, its maintenance, and its evolution in form in response to the natural environment and landscape along with trends in inhabitant uses, using both a network of various sensors and a menagerie of robots but also various interfaces to community social networking platforms. But the inhabitants themselves built most of the human scale structures from various plug-in and mobile elements fabricated in their own community workshops, like an ecology of life-forms inhabiting a living reef, and resembling exactly that in many ways.

The space of the community structure was intended to be freely, and constantly repurposed with the changing residence and work needs of the inhabitants, who not only lived in the structure but used it as an urban farm, commercial center, SOLE (self-organized learning environment) and a research and development facility for space development purposes. Clever modular systems of moveable demising walls, opaque, translucent, and transparent wall panels, mobile pod furnitecture, living wall systems and hanging farming towers, decorative floor, ceiling, and wall tiles and panels, all designed to be quickly plugged into the structural grid offered endless possibilities for spontaneous adaptation and personalization of the vast space. More specialized spaces and forms in the larger superstructure emerged largely from social activity, the superstructure and its software learning its inhabitants patterns when not being directly instructed to produce expansions and changes.

Activity in the community revolved around adhocracies formed to pursue specific projects and which petitioned the larger community for space and resources as needed. Some were long-persistent, like those managing the proliferating ‘telebases’ in orbit and on the Moon, others very transient. Some focused on venture development in the external market, others on the self-sufficiency of the community, its lifestyle and many projects economically supported by a hybrid of the two; the one exploiting the old market system to increase revenue, the other eroding the dependencies on it to reduce cost-of-living while increasing the personal freedom of inhabitants. Thus the community not only functioned as a testbed for the architecture and construction technology for the space settlements it anticipated creating, but also the socio-economic models they would function by.