What could the Railway teach us about Progress?

Keywords | Nøgleord

progress, railway, design fiction, critical imagination, terrestrial


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Abstract | Abstract

Propelled by steel, charcoal and steam the railway once carried the story of progress and the rise of the developed modern society. While the orient express nurtured a vivid, mythical aura during more than a hundred years, it seems like future stories about the railway mainly gravitate around hyperloops and increased speed. How come the narratives around railways have become so futile? How come imaginaries about progress have got stuck? With the help of critical imagination and the method of design fiction, this article will set out on an imaginary journey to re-storying the future railway and discuss how this could help us rethink progress. Alternative paths will be explored that allow room for stories depicting train rides in slower paces and complex rhythms and materials, a rich melting pot for diverse and vivid sub-cultures, bottom up grassroot services, experimental sharing cultures, touring theater companies, maker movements, and new citizen-driven cooperatives.



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