Daniel Hillis

In the fifth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, American inventor, entrepreneur and scientist, Daniel Hillis, details his interest in rebuilding cities and processes for imagining the cities of the future.

Developing his interest in rebuilding cities, Hillis poses the question of what can be achieved with the city of today as it stands. He imagines the city of the future defined through an emergent infrastructure; a city built incrementally, in pieces, constantly evolving, with two levels, the first one being an underground root system.

Hillis advocates that technology is a tool which enables knowledge and education to become more widespread, and that it is intricately integrated with nature. Transportation has enabled knowledge to be disseminated, making it accessible through technology and encouraging people to be constructively creative. He explains that the relationship between people and technology is slowly mimicking the relationship between people and nature, as we ever more intricately integrate our technology with the natural world.

Admiring the solutions put forward by Buckminster Fuller, Hillis defines himself as an optimist, trusting in humanity’s ability to face problems, and in the power of creativity to provide solutions for a better future.