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  • Writer's picturePete Ward

Apropolis (Village Design)

The Apropolis objective is the creation of a sustainable model for human conduct with respect for ecological laws and future generations. What would a community look like if we were to suspend all cultural influence and monetary policy for the purpose of creating a model for habitation based purely on current anthropological and ecological understanding? What if we were to use the most advanced technology and biomimetic inspired design and materials for the creation of a sustainable infrastructure which honors our connection and dependence on nature. What if we honored and applied the subsistent and sustainable wisdom of cultures suppressed by colonialism? It is time we ask ourselves — had we been presented with alternatives at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, along with pros, cons, and future outcomes, what would our world be like today? What choices would we have made had we been given agency to do so? 





The theme of the the 1939 New York World’s Fair was “The World of Tomorrow” which emphasized the redesign of the American Landscape. The biggest attraction was an exhibit called Futurama which was a 1 acre model portraying the vision of America 20 years into the future. The installation was designed by Norman Bel Geddes,  and sponsored by General Motors Corporation. The highly realistic model was primarily characterized by automated highways and vast suburbs. America, still reeling from the Great Depression, viewed this as an optimistic glimpse into the future, creating the inspiration and motivation for moving the vision toward reality.


But what if an alternative had been presented in addition to the one created by the industrial capitalists of that ethos? What if the public had been given choices in that critical moment which has so defined our lives today? Would a model less focused on visionary travel and industry have been less appealing than one designed through an understanding of true anthropological needs and ecological sustainability? Would a model of organic form with green spaces and walking paths which gave a sense of calm have been less desirable than the linear, dynamic vision of Norman Bel Geddes. Would a model which prioritized moderation and connection have been less enticing than one which promoted unnecessary travel to drive us apart? Should the attendees not have been presented with an alternative to the one which promoted the automotive and oil industries? Given the outcome, should we not be granted an alternative now?

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