METRÓPOLIS OR TECHNÓPOLIS

Metropolis or Technopolis?

We live in an era in which networks and technologies are determinants of development, as serial production was for the industrial revolution. The companies before leaders in manufacturing and production of tangible objects, turn towards the production of artifacts for the intangible: the great power of the social network.

Nowadays it is impossible to think about not having a Smartphone near us, not being connected with different parts of the world and not consulting anything that we need on the internet. These forms of communication are produced by companies that are leaders in the market and, therefore, are also those that move the world.

One of the central themes of urbanism since the end of the last century is the growth of cities and where this is going. Koolhaas in his book Delirium in New York talks about the great metropolises that contain those huge skyscrapers that house 6000 souls, where he says that a building can be a city that is inside another, the great metropolis. These skyscrapers belonged to corporations, and tended to devour cities, displacing the poorest to the periphery.

This reflection of Koolhaas 30 years ago: Did it change due to new technologies? Towards what model of city are we going? Is it possible that new ways of living and new corporations change the paradigm of cities and metropolises?

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These issues are intended to be a trigger to start thinking about the new metropolises that are being generated right now, such as the case of Sillicon Valey, an area where the companies that move the world have set their eyes and are building their little ones worlds These have changed the way their employees work: they work by deadlines and not by hours, they have all the services and activities within the company so that each one can choose what time to work, eat, sleep, exercise, play, etc. ..

There is an explicit resemblance to the industrial city, when the companies built their factories in the periphery, while the workers’ houses, to ensure their proximity to the manufacturing environment, saving the distances in terms of technological evolution, health, independence or quality of life. If we consider as the beginning of our era industrialization (and, therefore, capitalism), do we tend towards a city commanded entirely by companies? Is it possible for companies to begin to found independent city-states?

Just as Koolhaas talks about the great buildings of Manhattan, today we could talk about new cities commanded by corporations, which do not need a state, because they have their own management of economic and human capital.
What will be the role of the architect when designing a city for a company?

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