The New Forest

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Architects design a new society

Architects design a new society

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The architects of ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) are intensively involved in the design of The New Forest settlement. Below you can keep a close track of the development of the scale model.

First brainstorming session, 22 December 2012

Glocal future

Wunderbaum sticks too much to a ‘segregated architectural idea’. At least, that is what ZUS thinks. In this new society, it cannot be true that each building has its own segregated function, can it? Working over here, and having healthcare over there, or shopping over here and relaxing over there? This is old style. And there is hardly any place for old style in The New Forest. (Unless, of course, these are good old ideas.)

ZUS paints a picture of the possibility that there will be no need to leave your house for healthcare or other public services in the future. The specialist will always come to your house online, using advanced hologram technology. And our food will become local: the food of the future will be grown between the population, on the roofs and balconies, in the city, so that a more sustainable food chain will be created.

Where will the power be vested?

During the first brainstorming session, the establishment of power will also be discussed elaborately. As it is not yet obvious how authority will be divided in The New Forest; the discussion will remain rather abstract for quite some time. However, some lines seem to become apparent.

During conversations with sociologist Willem Schinkel, the question was raised as to what extent the new society should be governed democratically. And what will be the profile shape of this democracy? Should the gap between citizen and politics become smaller, or, on the contrary, larger?

Ivory tower or democracy app?
In case the gap should become larger, it would be obvious, according to ZUS, to build a government building on a great height. During the site specific performance The New Forest in Rotterdam (May 2013), the government quarters could for instance be placed on top of the building of the Nationale Nederlanden.

If, on the contrary, the citizen should be brought closer to the power, it could be possible to develop a ‘democracy app’. That way, direct participation and optional information will always be available online, even in the bedroom. Government cannot come any closer than that.

Moodware or cosmic powers?
Another idea: ask software developers to create programs that can measure the mood of the population. This software is also called ‘moodware’. When this is used, people do not have to vote anymore; the government just measures the mood of the population and subsequently determines its policy.

Or is the power in The New Forest rather some sort of stellar system, revolving around the citizen? Sometimes it is revolving closer and sometimes farther away. Citizen and government relate to each other like a cosmic perpetual mobile, the basis of which is formed by an evident attraction and rejection.

The first brainstorming session will be rounded off with the words: ‘It does have to remain concrete’. And that is absolutely the truth. The New Forest will be built and the Polish contractor cannot build castles in the air. That is exactly why ZUS seems to be the perfect partner for The New Forest. At ZUS, dream and deed go hand in hand. Visit