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Design Futures

Biomimetics, concrete cloth and other high-tech visions of awesome interactive design to come

by Victor Reznik in Culture on 07 March 2011

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Textile and design expert Bradley Quinn secures his place among authors on the pulse of technology and design with his new book, "Design Futures." The 240-page road map about design's immediate future, edifies communities from architects to budding app developers by detailing innovations in material, surface and imagination. Quinn focuses on a number of cutting-edge trailblazers attempting to manipulate form and function by reshaping current dystopias as a way to better the urban experience.

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Treading the boundary between academic and journalist, the author's relaxed approach belies his curiosity. Balanced with his opinion of the trends he's observed and thoughtful conjecture, Quinn often leaves the reader with a gaping jaw. He posits that future cities will be markedly greener than the concrete metropolises of the twentieth century, writing, "In fact, every aspect of urban architecture will be responsive in the future, not only because the facades will illuminate and change shape, but also because the exteriors will be conceived as sensitive skins that harness energy while shielding the structure against the wind, rain and solar heat."

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Impressive not just for the breadth of knowledge Quinn displays, his work also makes clear distinctions between micro and macro elements, and details how to seamlessly integrate elements from a myriad of sources into new cities. Interviews with individuals at the forefront of their respective industries add depth to the book, taking it out of pure fantasy into the realm of the real. "Design Futures" comes out 1 April 2011 from Amazon.

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