Apple and Star Wars together explain why much of the world around you looks the way it does
By Nicholas De Monchaux
12 December 2015
photo: Apple Campus
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Nicholas de Monchaux wrote an article for Quartz chronicling the impact that Apple Computer and the Star Wars franchise has had on the field of design. The new Apples headquarters, which has been compared to the Death Star with their closed perfection, reveals a great deal about why today’s world looks and works the way it does, writes De Monchaux. The founder of Apple Computer, and the creator of the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas, were at the forefront of merging technology and the arts. John Dykstra, a special effects artist and pioneer in the the use of computers in filmmaking, developed research in the urban simulation laboratory of the Institute for Urban and Regional Development which he would later use for filming the space dog fights in Star Wars.
Apple Computer and its products praised for keeping disagreement and discord behind a tightly controlled façade. Cities, however, work differently. Where technology is often unexpectedly brittle, cities are often unexpectedly resilient. As we attempt to design 21st-century cities for an increasing landscape of uncertainty, this is an important lesson to remember. Instead of single, grand projects, the staying-power of a city depends on a million connections between its inhabitants, and the natural and technological systems that sustain them.