Hypothetical Development Organization's real estate fictions

Theater Of Escape 2 Theaterweb

(photo by Charles Franklin, rendering by Michael Doyle)

Rob Walker, he of the NYT's Consumed column and also last year's profile of BB in Fast Company, is co-founder of a fascinating and provocative group in New Orleans called the Hypothetical Development Organization. According to Rob, the group "dreams up absurd uses for abandoned buildings" to create new urban fictions about the future built environment. They then create large real estate-style large signs advertising the re-imagined properties. I love their slogan: "You won't 'believe' our plans." The Organization has a gallery show of their artifacts, titled "Implausible Futures for Unpopular Places," opening April 7 at NOLA's Gallery Du Mois.

Hypothetical Development Organization

"Implausible Futures For Unpopular Places" at Gallery Du Mois" (Facebook)


  1. This is fucking brilliant; the best art is provocative, inspiring, and WTF-inducing! This project hits the trifecta.

  2. Well, isn’t every development concept sketch “hypothetical?”

    Only difference is they’re doing it for free! ;)

  3. This is great! We’ve had non-stop hypthetical developments around here for the past five years, at the cost of some perfectly fine, intact neighborhoods whose infrastructure has been grabbed, Kelo-style, and handed over to “developers” who have taken their tax write-offs and beat it.

    I particularly appreciate that this group has been respectful of the buildings and neighborhoods in creating these posters, rather than actually appropriating the buildings themselves via graffiti or other means. The corporate developers have been matched by parasites on the other end of the spectrum, “artists” and their “patrons” who have done drive-by installations out of our disaster to entertain themselves and their celebrity friends.

    This kind of keen satire is admirable for not falling into the ironic trap of being the thing that it proposes to critique.

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