Did anyone foresee the technical, social, political, and conceptual issues that have confronted the University of Michigan since its founding 200 years ago, or the challenges it has faced in the last 100, or 50, or even five years? In the marshaling of its knowledge and expertise, the greatest achievement of the University is not in its continuity, but in its ability to address the unforeseen. Looking forward, the University of Michigan will be unrecognizable, as will the world around it.
“Better Options, The Future Needs…” addresses a future that lies not in the answers to questions we now know, but in the questions we have yet to imagine. Sited at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Liberty Research Annex, this exhibition is equal parts lecture hall and workshop, Agora and salon. The changing arrangement encourages the public to engage with a series of events, reports, and viewings involving architects and planners, as well as other thinkers who work on questions related to the future of the built environment (which, in the broadest definition of the subject, involves everyone and every subject) and participate in a speculation on unexpected futures. This is not a space of display (a history of past work), but a place of creation (of a future we do not yet recognize).
The past is easy, the future is hard; let’s make some better options.