UMK was commissioned by the Design Museum in London. The project presents perspectives on a fictional future for the United Kingdom. It sees England devolved into four self-contained counties, each free to experiment with governance, economy and lifestyle. These 'live laboratories' interrogate the cultural and ethical impact of existing and new technologies and how they alter the way we live.

Digitarians depend on digital technology and all its implicit totalitarianism: tagging, metrics, total surveillance, tracking, data logging and 100% transparency. Their society is organised entirely by market forces; citizen and consumer are the same.

The Communo-nuclearist society is a no-growth, limited population experiment. Using nuclear power to deliver near limitless energy,

the state provides everything needed for their continued survival. Although they are energy rich it comes at a price — no one wants to live near them. Under constant threat of attack or accident, they live on a continually moving, 3 kilometre, nuclear-powered mobile landscape.

The Anarcho-evolutionists abandon most technologies, or at least stop developing them, and concentrate on using science to maximise their own physical capabilities through training, DIY biohacking and self-experimentation. They believe that humans should modify themselves to exist within the limits of the planet rather than modifying the planet to meet their ever growing needs.

Bioliberals fully embrace biotechnology and the new values that this entails. Biology is at the centre of their world-view, leading to a radically

different technological landscape to our own. Each person produces their own energy according to their needs. Bioliberals are essentially farmers, cooks and gardeners. Not just of plants and food, but of products too. Gardens, kitchens and farms replace factories and workshop.

Project concept and design: Dunne & Raby
Graphic design: Kellenberger-White
Animation: Nicolas Myers
Exhibition design/production: Faudet-Harrison
Tariff development: Tobias Revell
CGI: Tomasso Lanza
Computer modelling: Graeme Findlay
Biocar covers: Stefan Schwabe
Photography: Jason Evans
Technical design: Nick Williamson
Design Museum project management: Alex Newson
 

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The United Micro Kingdoms

2013

Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby

Partner — Design Museum
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