Marc Augé, one of the great philosophers and anthropologists of the 20th century (famous for "non-places"), in his book Future wondered whether, at the dawn of the 21st century , in a society projected on instant consumption of news, projects, relationships, the future was still a concept bearer of values.
An obsession, that of the future, which, it is worth remembering, pervaded the entire twentieth century. The future has always had a positive meaning and we have always been convinced that it contained contents of innovation and improvement.
There is no certain answer to the question posed by Augé.
Perhaps there is a different concept of tomorrow, not unique but multifaceted.
For example, what will the world of the office be like? Certainly work spaces - leaving aside the topic of the home office for a moment - are a prelude to more community-based and less top-down models of the past.
We work in sharing: of computers, of desks, of meeting rooms; and at the same time technologies allow us relationships and connections that until recently were unthinkable.
The same can be said of the new residential proposals: smaller houses but with shared condominium spaces (Spa, nursery, laundry, meeting areas and lounges) similar to the services offered up to today more from hotels than from homes. Hotels will certainly be greener and multitasking.
And cities? It may be the time for a profound rethink, especially from a social perspective, in which the real needs of the inhabitants are given priority.
But the future is also awareness that the world is still full of imbalances, that there are entire communities that live in conditions of promiscuity and discomfort: thinking about residential solutions for this important slice of the world means realizing that the good of our planet does not just come from the reduction of CO2.
On the cover: A.I. Timber is a prototype of the Maestro start up created by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, which represents the future of sustainable construction. It is an innovative building material that reduces waste while preserving the original shapes of the trees. Instead of sawing unique logs into standardized boards, Maestro uses artificial intelligence to fit them together like puzzle pieces, with a new method for the sustainable production of cross-laminated wood. The first prototype of the project, developed together with students and researchers from MIT and Tongji University, was exhibited last summer at the "Digital Futures" exhibition in Shanghai.