Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fall 2018

Option Studio, Instructor: Annabelle Selldorf

Site: Framingham, MA, USA

Utopia/Dystopia in the Post-Work U.S.
– A Highly Regimented Juvenile Sensory Rehab Campus

In the year of 2050, the United States has entered a port-work era. With AI and robotics replacing most of the work, people can live on a Universal Basic Income. This has posted a larger challenge for the younger generation born after the 2030s: there’s a surge in mental illness due to the dissection of discipline and the lost purpose of life. Additionally, the more privileged class still dominates the higher-level strategic jobs which are dependent on human brain power. This exacerbation of hopelessness for social mobility has resulted in gun-related violent crimes committed by juveniles. The U.S. government’s antidote to this is highly regimented sensory rehab campuses where attendance is compulsory for U.S. young adults, and where discipline becomes paramount.


Within this highly utopic/dystopic narrative, this proposal investigates how high regimented schedules and discipline influences power dynamics and people’s behavior through architecture/planning. It also discusses how architecture can be designed to instill certain methods of surveillance. The project tries to revisit the taboo of totalitarianism architecture, and discusses how architecture itself can be an unbiased means, while different regimes can be injected, making it either utopic or dystopic.

 © 2019 by Meng Jiang.

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