Interview with Liam Young for

Pleased to have had the opportunity recently to interview Liam Young, of Tomorrow's Thoughts Today and the AA's Unknown Fields Division, for

This is the latest in a series of interviews which delve into the work and philosophy of a handful of contemporary architects who are actively re(de)fining not only architecture proper, but what it means to be an architect today and, perhaps, in the future.

These speculative projects are not at all about the future, really, they’re about the present. (...) It’s just a distancing lens that allows us to look back in on the present in new and unexpected ways. Perhaps a better way to describe these speculative projects is not ‘the future’ at all, but as a kind of ‘visionary present’, a re-framing of the present that allows us to see it in new ways.

Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction, and futures. He is a founder of the think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, and also co-runs the ‘Unknown Fields Division’ at the Architectural Association, all while holding numerous teaching positions worldwide. The Unknown Fields Division is a nomadic studio that sets off on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth exploring the alternative worlds, alien landscapes, industrial ecologies and precarious wilderness set in motion by the powerful push and pull of the city’s desires. Tomorrows Thoughts Today is a London-based futures think tank exploring the consequences of fantastic, speculative and imaginary urbanisms. Liam’s projects develop fictional speculations as critical instruments to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological futures.

The interviewer, Zack Saunders (founder of ARCH[or]studio in the US and Arch2O contributing editor) takes this opportunity to speak with Liam on the recalibration of the Unknown Fields Division, its’ recent book-launch, his plans to coordinate a curious new program at Sci-ARC, his two recent short-films, and how new technologies might generate new forms of culture, among other things …

The full interview can be found here: