The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has opened registration for “Visions of the Future,” the 10th Fleur Cowles Flair Symposium, scheduled for Nov. 1-3.
The symposium brings together historians, architects, industrial designers and visionaries in the fields of science fiction, film, theater and future studies to explore the ways the future has been imagined over time.
Symposium registration information, including limited discounted student registration, is available online.
Panelists will discuss the guiding principles of designers of the 20th century and today, creative works that have inspired their visions of the future, efforts to market these visions to the public and developments in transportation design.
Panel topics include: “Imagining the Future,” “Designing the Future,” “Marketing the Future,” “Motorways in the Twentieth Century and Today” and “Today’s Visions for Tomorrow.”
Bruce Sterling, futurist and author of “Shaping Things” and “Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years,” will deliver the symposium keynote on Nov. 1. The event will be open to the public and webcast. Sterling’s archive resides at the Ransom Center.
Panelists include Donald Albrecht, curator of architecture and design at the Museum of the City of New York; Alan Hess, San Jose Mercury News architectural critic and columnist; Alexandra Lange, architecture and design critic; Phil Patton, author of “Open Road”; and Tom Vanderbilt, author of “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us).“
In conjunction with the symposium, the exhibition “I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America” explores the career of Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958), an innovative stage and industrial designer, futurist and urban planner who created and promoted a dynamic vision of the future streamlined, technocratic and optimistic. The exhibition brings together never-before-exhibited drawings, models, photographs and films from the Ransom Center’s Bel Geddes collection.
The Flair Symposium, held biennially at the Ransom Center, honors the ideals set forth by Fleur Cowles and her landmark Flair magazine.