So one of those annoying questions you always get asked is ‘If you could have any superpower, what would it be?’ I find this quite a difficult question, because obviously I know I should reply something like ‘poverty solver’, or ‘world peace creator’ and obviously I would LOVE to be able to solve those problems. But somehow they seem more improbable than my actual answer.

I would want to be able to see landscapes at different periods of time. Okay, so this wouldn’t help anyone (#ohtheshame) but it would so cool. I think buildings, and our treatment of landscapes, often have a lot more to say than we give them credit; it would be so cool to be able to see what people knocked down or covered up. What places were destroyed, and why? What came in their places? And what can we draw about the human race from these decisions?

Don’t you think it would be amazing to be able to walk through the streets of London, or Sydney, or even Oxford and see which buildings came first, and how, with changes in society, the buildings changed to? Check out this page to see some crazy pics of changed landscapes. What distinguishes buildings of today’s society and why have we modelled them on the interests and problems of our age? Eco-houses, for example, a reaction to climate change and economic crisis. Unsanitary and unclean tenement buildings have been replaced by new, clean(er) and, shiny(er) social housing, a reaction as the welfare state. Sky scrapers – going up further than would ever have been imagined – built as we run out of space in our well-populated society.

Urban development shows an (often unnoticed) history of society, and I think it would be amazing to see the landscape on which history was made. So yeah, you might wanna have magical powers – but I just want to admire the view.

Just 20 Years Apart... 1990 and 2010

Shanghai.. Just 20 Years Apart… 1990 and 2010
Image via: imgur



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