The Future of the Skyscraper


Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) the firm most closely associated with the contemporary high rise, invites writers from a variety of disciplines, including science fiction, politics, new media and public health, to share ideas on the future of the skyscraper.


ISBN: 9781938922787 Category:

Philip Nobel


Engines of industry, expressions of ego or will, tall towers are nonetheless, when they pierce the shared skies, intensely public. We may ask of them artistic questions: what do we make of these things we make? What do these forms mean? But also, because architecture is forever tied to real life, we may ask of them questions of a political, economic and technological nature – as well as those, touching on the body and the mind and the soul, that we may simply call human. In this volume, Bruce Sterling describes four possible futures that might shape future towers, presenting a chooseyour- own-adventure of potential futures for architecture, some of them terrifying in their nearness. We peer up at skyscrapers old and new, visit their highest floors, turn them this way and that to see them clearly through the psychology (Tom Vanderbilt) and physiology (Emily Badger) of living and working on high, and through the lens of policy in the low-rise counterexample of Washington, DC (Matthew Yglesias). Diana Lind tests the idea of tall against the more sprawling needs of those spatially mundane but transformative new economy industries that may well be the supertall clients of the future. Will Self looks back in literature, film and recent urban history to write forward toward a new understanding of the tower in the popular imagination. Dickson Despommier shares a comprehensive vision of an ecological future, in which towers, perhaps supertalls, would necessarily play a crucial role.

Additional information

Weight 150 g
Dimensions 16.4 x 13.8 cm
Publisher name Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
Publication date 1 October 2015
Number of pages 128
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Edited by Philip Nobel
Dimensions 16.4 x 13.8 cm
Weight 150 g