Architecture on Film: The Machine Stops + Fortress of Solitude + Q&A

A pair of films, spanning almost 50 years, exploring the mechanised Smart Home, the internet of things and living in the Information Age.


06:30pm, Tuesday, 23 June 2015


08:30pm, Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Cinema 1, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS



AF Members:
£7.50 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


Young Barbican:


Tel (9am-8pm):
+44 (0)20 7638 8891

This is a past event


A pair of films, spanning almost 50 years, exploring the mechanised Smart Home, the internet of things and living in the Information Age, through a special event that takes place as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

We are delighted that Space Caviar’s Joseph Grima and Simone Niquille will be in conversation with science-fiction author Bruce Sterling at the screening. The three will use the films to speculate upon the future of domestic life and the quantified home, including reflection upon Sterling's IRL trial of the open source home, Casa Jasmina.

Fortress of Solitude (UK Premiere)

Design research collaborative Space Caviar critique the ‘Smart Home’ present, and speculate on futures to come, through an essay film in three chapters tracing the military-domestic complex. Are our homes becoming data machines rather than architectures for living? Are our most private spaces broadcasting our lives involuntarily instead of providing shelter? Reflecting upon domestic wi-fi compounds, Roombas and mechanical housewives, Fortress of Solitude explores the role of the home in the age of the digital nomad.

Italy, 2014, Space Caviar/Simone Niquille, 18 mins

The Machine Stops

A rare screening of an episode from the celebrated 1960s BBC sci-fi series Out of the Unknown, The Machine Stops offers a dystopian yet highly prescient projection of a civilization living in underground isolation, at the whims of a computer-network.

A frightening prediction about the future of man in a machine age, which is even more topical today than it was over forty years ago, when E. M. Forster wrote the short story on which this is based.
Michael Imison, Radio Times, April 13, 1967

A dramatisation of EM Forster’s 1909 story, the author’s futurist musings can be seen as predicting the internet, the information economy, and digital surveillance, in a moral fable that relegates humanity to the role of serf to the machine. But what might happen, if that machine were to stop?

UK, 1966, Philip Saville, 50 mins