In White Fungus, an "architecture fiction" published in the first issue of Beyond
magazine, Bruce Sterlng marries the sardonic and the hopeful in a gripping, hilarious story about how every aspect of civic life from schools to tomato-farming will be reformed after ecotastrophe and econopocalypse destroy our present way of life.
Logically, industrial farmers should move into places like White Fungus and industrially farm the lawns. Derelict buildings should be gutted and trans formed into
hydroponic racks. White Fungus was, in fact, an old agricultural region: it was
ancient farmland with tarmac on top of it. So: rip up the parking lots. Plant them.
Naturally, no one in White Fungus wanted this logical solution. Farming was
harsh, dull, boring, patient work, and no one was going to pay the locals to
farm. So, by the standards of the past, our survival was impossible.
The solution was making the defeat of our hunger look like fun. People gardened in five-minute intervals, by meshing webcams with handsets. A tomato vine ready to pick sent someone an SMS. Game-playing gardeners cashed
in their points at local market stalls and restaurants. This scheme was an
'architecture of participation'. Since the local restaurants were devoid of
health and employee regulations, they were easy to start and maintain.Every
thing was visible on the Net. We used ingenious rating systems.
White Fungus (PDF)
Peter Biddle writes, “I get I myself into trouble. I don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat.”
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