SNAPPING A SLOW-MOTION COLLISION


My work in engineering has brought me to places where old patterns of living and the globalised economy are on a collision course: ports, highways and LNG terminals replace fishing wharves and Chinese corner shops.

The world of tomorrow will be defined by the friction between the old and the recent past, more than by the new (and already almost obsolete) built environment we try to impose on often the weakest groups of society.

Industrial estates mushrooming around the continent, their half-empty future clearly visible from the tired ground-breaking ceremony (champagne from plastic cups); the marketisation of culture and creativity; experience tourism; but also the slow death of fun-shopping on Orchard or Canton Road, and the offshore windmills and solar PV that are making visible inroads.

This is at least an interesting time to be alive: we see the old in a mirror that becomes duller by the day, the mainstream replacement is worn out, and what synthesis the new will be is still very much the question.

I use a Nikon FM2.