Literary critic Darko Suvin contends that science fiction is a ‘literature of cognitive estrangement’ expressing an ‘exclusive interest in a strange newness, a novum’; any survey of the most advanced architectural production of the last one hundred years reveals the existence of whole series of fictional ‘novum’ even if they are not explicitly labelled as such. As part of this definition Suvin also equates the idea of utopia as a ‘socio-political sub-genre of Science Fiction’. Given that architectural theory has had such a close affinity with Utopian ideas it seems remarkable that the conception of architecture ‘as’ science fiction has not been made more clearly, until now.
Nic Clear is the Head of the Department of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich School of Architecture, Design and Construction. For over fifteen years Nic has been at the forefront of the use of the moving image in architectural education, developing an innovative design research and teaching practice using digital film and animation in the generation, development and representation of architectural spaces and practices. Nic edited the issue of Architectural Design Architectures of the Near Future based around the work of J.G. Ballard and has written the Architecture section for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook Of Science Fiction.