Back to The Future

Thoughts from our expert on design, gadgets and joie de vivre

When I think about the not-so-distant future, sure, I see food printers, hologram interfaces and magnetic levitation trains. But not all innovations stand the test of time. The best developments to come are probably things we can’t even begin to imagine. For now, a Smart City is the theme for this September issue, we took the idea of utopia and future scenarios from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

In the development phase, the concept of a smart city is theoretical. We’re currently guessing at the ways we can automate an urban landscape and interact with municipal data. It’s really the stuff that all great utopian and dystopian stories are made of.

In Metropole‘s new style section and the challenge was as follows: This city has had visions of how to be “smart” for a long time. From the World Exhibition in 1873, to Otto Wagner’s art deco tram system, to the -designs of the Hans-Rucker-Co.  in the 1960s and 1970s, Vienna is a city in which artists envision the future. What does this vision look like today? 

So to do this theme justice, I’ve combined the city’s futurist legacy with the stark silhouette of the DC Tower, and elegantly sleek interior of the Melia Hotel.

The Viennese know better than most that it takes knowledge and influences from the past to invent the future. We have to be bold and brave in a world of reboots, rereleases and rehashes, although it can feel like a frightening step away from the cozy warmth of nostalgia into a brighter future.

In the Equipment and Embellishment pages, our team has collected some ingenious concepts and designs that make life simpler, easier, or just plain cooler. And, for the first time, we’ll take you behind the scenes with a local creative mind – this time, an expat Berliner who has seen the underbelly of social media and shares his insights about bloggers: the good, the bad, and the others.

So here goes nothing.

I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your thoughts. These were mine. 


Ali Rabbani
Creative director and stylist for film and print. He studied fashion in Vienna and has worked all over the world in styling, set and food design, as well as art direction for advertising and fashion shoots, videos and shows. See his work @iamrabbani

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