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Future Systems shows car designer's freshness

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Esi Cakmakcioglu accuses Future Systems' Birmingham Selfridges proposal of being an arrogant, gimmicky building, which sits there like a sophisticated car park, dropped in by aliens to be used by robots. Esi, how do you plan to 'introduce 'fun' to our environment' if architectural boundaries are not pushed into new frontiers?

Most multi-million pound buildings being produced are clones of previous architecture - they are simply called 'mixed-use cultural centres' to bring them up to date. One scorned example is the Post-Modern movement, in which architects could not decide on a new style, so they looked back in time and 'copied' details off old classics.

Which is the point. Future Systems is one of the few architectural practices in the world that is dedicated to rigorously pushing these technological, structural, constructional and environmental boundaries, with proposals that give architecture an element of excitement by adding a future fantasy into the equation.

In the car world new models are successfully released every year. Car designers are influenced by everything aesthetic around them (buildings, clothes design, cultural change etc - all influencing each other). The manipulation of these influences has enabled them to make their designs touch each and every one of us, and enable us to portray an individual expression of ourselves to the outside world through pure imagery.

It is this power that Future Systems is grasping with both hands - and consequently making a piece of architecture as 'desirable' or 'sexy' as a car to the un-architecturally interested average person on the street through the notion of fantasy and technological precision.

Future Systems does this by allowing itself to learn and to be influenced by alternative design disciplines and, hence, to create proposals like the Selfridges store in Birmingham, a structure that humans would be proud of if aliens really did drop down from outer space to visit our planet.

Will Barralet, a student at the University of Liverpool

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