Design Fiction Revisited

Human Agency Drives Human Evolution

The Colorful Prince re-imagines and uses an old hunter-gatherer social and architectural paradigm of communal living. Its reliance on social reciprocity reenacts the drive of evolutionary change through human agency as a methodology to bridge the transition from barbarism to the next stage of civilization.

The Age of Barbarism, 1800 BCE to the present, and its selfish gene is at its end. How long it will take to conclude is still being determined. Still, during the transition to a new state of well-being, constructive action must be taken to ensure that altruism, the foundation of democracy, is a centerpiece in the new age. The Colorful Prince's design fiction aims to suggest a practical means to achieve this goal.

In the Design Fiction section, skinship and bonding with others as a group champions the intentional creation of a “people”––children who identify, represent, and enact altruistic ideals and values over a prolonged period.

Design Fiction in this section  adds the habitat component to this social experiment through “niche constructions,” spaces, and forms based on structural reciprocity, a form of altruism.

They are spaces meant to express how an environment can elevate and enhance a community's ideals, such as altruism, and democracy through spatial representation. In other words, niche space and form modeled on structural reciprocity is a physical gestalt of the ‘people’ that says: you are me, and through me, you are more than the sum of your activity.

For altruistic ideals and values to become hegemonic and fulfill democracy’s promise of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," a social narrative must reconfigure critical concepts such as freedom, play, sexual equality, and above all family.

Still, there must also be niche constructions and habitats that articulate and demonstrate the presence of the altruistic narrative in the urban landscape. In the past, the Nubian arch served this purpose, though limited by a need for more strength of materials and construction techniques. But those hindrances are no longer at issue.

Aided by parametric design, altruistic democratic spaces, and forms will be indistinguishable from other future habitats using the same design methodology. However, the kinship network through touch carried on within their confines will generate the cultural changes that enhance altruism at the genetic level.