Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, I'm sure people will always have a need to collect stuff. Maybe it won't be the same kinds of things we collect today (movies, action figures, old vinyl albums, etc), but it'll be something.
     
  2. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding fashion, the other thing that always bugs me is how everyone in these stories appear to dress in the same exact style. Whether it's the generic jumpsuits of Trek or the really crazy and colorful outfits of 5th Element.

    When the truth is it'll probably be much like today-- there will be a handful of people (most of them the younger generation) walking around in outrageous outfits and crazy looking hair, and the rest will be wearing the same boring shirts and pants we've been wearing forever.
     
  3. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Commodore

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    Lucas' THX 1138 (1971) had a white minimalist production design and wardrobe. It looked futuristic in an institutional way with a totalitarian government making everything monochrome white and the same.

    I feel the Space: 1999 series had production design that echoed the mostly white production design of the 2001: A Space Odyssey film. The overall feel of the uniforms felt like the future. The platforms and bell bottoms should have been eliminated from the design. The light grey color of the uniforms though looked futuristic.

    Kubrick's film was designed in 1965 as Principal photography began December 1965. Space:1999 shot in November 1973. Both of these examples and Star Trek XI (2009) use a similar look of white for the production design of the sets.

    Star Wars and Alien art director Roger Christian
    Star Wars (1977) had lots of white in the corridors of stardestroyers including the stormtroopers uniforms.
    Roger Christian's design of the Nostromo ship's living quarters in Alien (1979) looked very futuristic with all white everywhere. It started shooting in July 1978.

    Look at Star Trek series. While the tunics in TOS were not seen as uniforms in ENT and instead replaced with jumpsuits that look like 1980s Space Shuttle jumpsuits I think the uniforms of TNG & VOY look futuristic.

    When The Island (2005) came out the white uniforms they wore looked futuristic. Ewan McGregor even comments why are they white? and that they were constantly getting dirty.

    The choice of Enterprise bridge production design incorporating a lot of white in the bridge & corridors gives the feel of Space: 1999 & 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Star Wars.


    Phase II of Star Trek which became ST:TMP
    see the illustration here of the bridge with lots of monochrome white in the design.
    ST:TMP the refitted Constitution-class starship USS Enterprise-A's bridge (see photos at the link)
    as well as
    in 2286 (STIV:TVH)
    USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A), STV: TFF

    Part of this style of production design using white creates a minimalistic feeling or mood. I feel this is partly how the makeup store Sephora is designed. Mostly white and some black lines & the product. Goto google search and click on images and type in " "minimalist white" " and see more design like this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  4. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think all sci-fi shows should hire Apple to do set designs henceforth. ;)
     
  5. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The advance of technology has been exponential through time, even depressions and human caused downturns haven't stopped it. People adopted phones in 50 years, computers in 20, cell phones in 10. We are living in a world where that advance will only accelerate...it will go beyond noticing a few info-technologies to a point where we will learn more in each succeeding 5 years than the decades before it. Eventually we should hit a singularity..a point at which we can no longer predict what will come after....here's where my POV has changed in SF...I can watch SF of any type still, but I'll always take it with a grain of salt unless it accounts in some way for these changes. Even in the great novel "Hyperion" societies went unchanged for 100s of years. In Star Trek, the advance of tech is hopelessly linear and understated. I'd say by 2050, we won't recognize much of the world around us..much less the 23rd and 24th centuries. I used to feel ST's universe was so advanced and only 2 decades after discovering it, I feel it is already obsolete.

    I just finished "Marooned in Realtime" by Vernor Vinge. It was written in the mid-80s. In it, the last remaining survivors traveled in stasis through time. The last remaining humans from 2195 to 2210 are called "high techs"...they were the most advanced people, but the weapons and equipment from just 5 years before were obsolete compared to the later equipment, even finally down to the last two survivors: one from 2202, one from 2210, the difference made the last one by far the more powerful. This is what we should be seeing in our SF.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds interesting. Maybe I should look this up.
     
  7. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I also have to say that the way we see the future is also very dependent on how we look at things presently, based on what we know and what's available. Someone mentioned that anything that tries to be futuristic would look dated in time, and that's very true. Again, that's due to the social concepts we have, as we often can't think much beyond what we already have and the future will never look the way we expect it to look.

    I found this great clip from the 1960's view of what the internet would be like:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0pPfyYtiBc[/yt]
     
  8. MANT!

    MANT! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The purest vision that Irwin Allen had of the future was his TV pilot "City Beneath the Sea"..and his budget was practially unlimited at the time..

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNH_q0qXSHw[/yt]

    too bad it didn't sell...
    but to me..it's still possible for that look to become reality..

    just not the underwater city or the flying subs..too many technical issues there..

    but the look... nice
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What would the future look like before the singularity? Flexible and integrated...no tech has to be so specialized for one purpose. Nanotech might extend what we think of objects and machines into malleable constructs..into "smart" clouds...something called foglets. We can create things we need right from the ground up, in any form, even to the point of downloading our brain patterns into a simulacrum of a human body. In such a climate of technology, aesthetics might really not be a consideration, unless it was actively pursued.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_fog

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmable_matter

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/40291
     
  10. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't say pop culture is stagnant-but I will say this. John Birmingham, in his Axis of Time books, has a character from 2021 reflecting that NOTHING in pop media gets thrown away since the advent of electronic recording because everything is important to somebody. So she has the Simpson's theme as her email alert and knows the words to Sympathy For the Devil. Such is the future-a mash-up of the past and present.
     
  11. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mostly the concepts are "off screen" so to speak...we are told their "autons" and equipment are more advanced, but not specified. In one case a simple liferaft of the final survivor includes a construction technique that is unfathomable to the super advanced leader of the group who left Earth only 10 years before. The overall concept of where man disappeared to in the novel has a lot to do with this advance in technology though how it did so is not explored.

    Incidentally, the writer, Vernor Vinge popularized the concept and came up with the term for "singularity":

    http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singularity.html
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe, but 60 years ago people also thought we'd have moon colonies, flying cars, and robot servants by now. While obviously there HAVE been incredible advances in technology since then, stylisically the world hasn't changed nearly as much as people expected.

    And I suspect it'll be the same way 50 or 100 years from now. We might have lots of cooler gadgets by then, but the world as a whole will still look much the way it does now.
     
  13. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    I think, as several have pointed out, that there are too many questions to be asked before that particular question can be answered.
     
  14. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Again though this is linear thinking and not really surprising, "it'll be different but the same"...the whole point is, it really won't be that familiar because the change is hard to imagine in so short a time. In some cases because of the tech I point out in the links earlier. I've tried to impress upon people in the tech forum and elsewhere that the future isn't about flying cars, and the industrail age stuff you see from 50s film shorts, it'll be about the stuff that's really important, info-tech that isn't just a level or two above from a wheeled vehicle to a flying car but processing speed and resulting technologies that are million of times more advanced. Think of how much "smarter" a 2012 model is than a car in 1990 or 1980.
     
  15. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Form follows function. So things that do the a job 50 years from now will look at least somewhat like things that do that job today. The more basic the function, the less that technological advance will change the form.

    Take bluejeans, for example. Simple, rugged, basic pants that have gone basically unchanged for well over a century. Hand tools still look like hand tools. Cars have updated their appearance and capabilities somewhat, but they still consist of a body shell, wheels, seats, a dashboard, etc.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    RAMA, I like your avatar. The cover from Greg Bear's Anvil Of Stars right? I have that book and read it several years ago. A fine read.
     
  17. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Some technologies that I'm expecting to become important in the next few decades are:
    • Augmented reality (see Vinge's Rainbows End) and communications devices to become much more discrete and eventually be surgically implantable.
    • Smart materials throughout the home, transport, and even in clothing, that have embedded processing power and which tap energy from their environment. General purpose smart dust (see Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky) and eventually utility fog are advanced examples, but they're further up the curve.
    These technologies might be that noticeable to a casual observer, but they would both have substantial effects on the way we live our lives.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. :rommie:

    Exactly. Or even the laws of physics. Clearly, Star Trek, for example, exists in the a completely different universe. They have warp drive, time travel, artificial gravity-- all things that are unlikely in the extreme here-- and also phenomena like moons and asteroids that have Earth-normal gravity and nebulae as thick as pea-soup fog. It's like Steampunk or High Fantasy; you just take the parameters and work within them.

    "Marooned In Realtime" is a great story. It's a sequel to "The Peace War," which is pretty decent too, and they're both included in a book called Across Realtime.

    That's true to a degree, but still, most of what we see today-- the grungy sets, the leather costumes, the washed-out color palettes, et cetera-- are just the tropes of the 80s taken to the level of self parody.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  19. Caliburn24

    Caliburn24 Commodore Commodore

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    I want the future to look lived in. This does not mean it has to be gritty and dirty, but it has to look lived in. Age the props, scuff the shoes, add some graffiti, make it feel like a real place and not a movie set.

    Also, any advanced technology needs to be integrated into the setting. If you have transporters like Star Trek think about how such things are going to effect building architecture for example. Or city planning.

    And please, please, please include safety features. Don't have bridges and balconies without guard rails. Don't have high speed cars/ships/whatever without some sort of physical restraints.
     
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For a good feel on what we will look like in, say, 20 years I suggest ol' Vernor Vinge again. His book, Rainbow's End is, IMO, the clearest look at the near future you are liable to find. That, or Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

    As for smart cars-Asimov wrote about that 50+ years ago in the short story "Sally" (1953). The long and short of it is, though, that unless a major breakthru is made in physical designs any personal vehicle from 2050 is going to strongly resemble a car as we know it. Clothes are going to go through fashion changes-but we'll still wear shirts and pants and shoes. Barring an unfortunate chemical/genetic accident causing world-wide baldness we'll still style our hair and probably use a comb to do so. My point is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. People like the comfort of familiarity and even though there may be more circuitry involved everyday objects would still be recognizable to our hypothetical time traveler well into the middle of this century, at least.

    If you are interested in examining the ramifications of the other side of the coin, the whirlwind rush of change that is modern society, try reading Spider Robinson's short story "The Time Traveler". Now there's some food for thought.
     

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