One designer's solution to class conflict caused by blocked views.

Shin Kuo

The biggest class conflict for coming generations will not be access to good education or medical care. It will be who has the best view. Or that's what industrial designer Shin Kuo is kind of implying, writing:

According to my research, urbanization has become a big trend in the world. Because of that, buildings will become higher and higher, and more and more people who live in the lower floors of buildings will get their view blocked. Based on the results from both the Asian and the American market research, there is a [difference] in sales or rental prices between the lower floor units and higher floor units in the same building. In the future, all the top floors of buildings will be owned by people with very high incomes and the middle to lower income people will only have a limited view from their living spaces.

But Kuo has devised a solution so tower communities don't devolve into an Eloi/Morlock bloodbath: a building whose units rotate at predetermined times, giving everybody a 360-degree view of the city.

"Turn to the Future," as Kuo dubbed the concept he developed at San Francisco's Academy of Art University, would feature apartments sliding on a spiral rail around a central pillar. To prevent huge fireballs, each home's gas and electric lines would automatically detach before moving and reattach in new ports at its destination. And of course everyone's front doors would lock before a repositioning, to avoid a horrible rain of bodies.

The far-out idea should please fans of sustainability—it includes solar panels and a regenerative braking system—as well as amusement rides. Apart from the whee! descent down the spiral, when each apartment reaches the lowest slot, a crane whips it up to the very top of the building. Now, writes Kuo, "all people who live in the city will have a chance to enjoy the high quality of living spaces and share the equal view of their city and landscape."

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Transportation

    In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

    Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. Groups of people look at their phones while sitting in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
    Life

    How Socially Integrated Is Your City? Ask Twitter.

    Using geotagged tweets, researchers found four types of social connectedness in big U.S. cities, exemplified by New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and Miami.

  5. A photo of L.A.'s vacant Hawthorne Federal Building.
    Equity

    The Trump Administration Wants to Relocate Skid Row to This Federal Building

    Los Angeles homeless providers were rebuffed when they asked to use Cesár Pelli’s Hawthorne Building, which the White House is eyeing to relocate Skid Row residents.

×