Liam Young says “I’m filled with dread” over climate change

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Architect and filmmaker Liam Young believes that humans are doomed to fail in averting climate catastrophe, according to an interview with Dezeen. Young discussed his Planetary Redesign exhibition, which is currently being showcased at the National Gallery of Victoria, featuring his latest film, The Great Endeavour. The film proposes a radical solution to the climate crisis by depicting a future where humanity builds massive-scale wind farms in the ocean and solar farms in the desert to reduce carbon emissions. Young argues that current approaches to sustainability are insufficient and fall short of the systemic and planetary change needed to tackle climate change. He believes that the barriers to this necessary shift are more cultural and political rather than technological. Young criticizes democratic nations for their failure to act on climate change, while emphasizing the progress made by non-democratic countries like China and Saudi Arabia, albeit for the wrong reasons. Despite his pessimism about politics, Young sees a crucial role for architects and designers in communicating viable and hopeful visions of systemic change to the public. He believes that a combination of storytelling, emotion, and framing can inspire and rally people around the idea of addressing the climate crisis on a planetary scale. The Planetary Redesign exhibition showcases Young’s works, including his short film Planet City, which envisions a new city housing the entire human population. Through his work, Young aims to amplify existing technologies and present them in a way that engages people with the scale of the climate crisis.

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