Selected Texts by AOC
Selected Texts about AOC
Tom Coward
Geoff Shearcroft
Petrol Free London:
A glimpse into a petrol free London 2027
Since Mayor Ken’s bold move to make London the world’s first non-petroleum metropolis, forward-thinking minds are considering the design implications for a city stripped of crude oil based fuels, solvents, plastics, petrochemicals and other previously fundamental products – right down to the bitumen that lines the streets. For the past 100 years product designers have reveled in the freedom of an oil economy. Not any more. But don’t despair for your Tupperware, for in this future two fashions have taken hold. To the ubiquitous mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ a restyle of vintage plastic has captured imaginations. Whilst more importantly, innovations old and new have revolutionized fuel supply and product production. For most of us this means life can be just as fast and convenient as we want – and the view outside our window is even greener.

Back to the Future? Learning From August Otto

“There is perversity in the learning process: We look backward at history and tradition to go forward; we can also look downward to go upward.”

– Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown, Steven Izenour, Learning From Las Vegas, 1972

Nikolaus August Otto invented the combustion engine in 1876. His invention ran on ethanol bio-fuel. 150 years on, in the 2020s, ethanol is now a common choice at the bio-pump. Twentieth century genius Rudolf Diesel’s diesel engine of 1892 was conceived to run on peanut oil – another biofuel. Even Henry Ford designed his classic 1903 Model T was to run on ethanol– after failing in his initial desire to mass produce electric cars. Cheap oil took the pace off innovation – but the twenty-first century’s innovators are making the past masters’ dreams a reality.

Image Credits

Page 2: The New Plastics vs. The Old Synthetics

Gaz wears Flax Trousers,
¥125, Zoompo

Vintage Terylene Shirt, ¥250,
From Rocketfuel Heritage

Plantic Tie, ¥5, by Eat My Tie
(made from corn-starch of five corn cobs)

All leather shoes ¥350, Bod’s

Computer Key Signet Ring,
¥50, by Thermoset Fetish

Gaz owns Edible Food Wrap
by Ecoflex, ¥2

Plantic Curtains, ¥350,
from Pull-Yourself-Together

Ceiling Painted with Eco-Paint range using Cohpol Binders

Kitchen Ccontainers, ¥25, in Sugar Plastic PHA, by Metabo

Ergonomic Furniture in Limonene, made to order (harvest permitting), TK Designs

Recycled Plastic Lumber Tongue & Groove ¥25 per m2, from B&Cubed

Classic Car Reva G-Wiz ¥7000,

Electric Kettle formed from extruded Zein

HD Complex Discs (CD’s) made from Bioplast


2027, and growing has become the basis of fuel production. Vast feedstocks of biofuel cover our green and pleasant land. In the cities market gardens jostle for space with factory roofs of flax and domestic growth of oilseed rape. Proximity of production and use has made every consumer a producer. With the invention of home-sized DIY thermoplastic reformers and biogas digesters, life has evolved from conspicuous consumption to creative production and re-production.

Beyond Petroleum, the fuels of the future come from the biowaste that we make. Old petrol stations become local biofuel distribution centres. Top up your tank whilst dropping off your eco-waste for thermal depolymerization and biodigestion. 20th Century landfill is mined for raw fuel. Bio-fuels complement solar power and geothermal heat pumps providing local energy supply for transport and heating needs. The carbon neutral homes of the previous decade started the race, and farming picks up the pace, so that we don’t need to feel so guilty about the creature comforts we demand.

Image Credits
Page 6: London 2027

Hydro-Planes form rain clouds in their flight paths

Carbon Sequestration (Long-term carbon capture is achieved through investment in long-lasting bio-plastic building components)

Bio Gas Digesters (Bio waste is broken down to produce Fuel Gas for the CHP power plant)

Bio Fuel Stations (Concentrating communal surpluses and powering private vehicles)

Home Grown Fuel (Rooftop agri-factories make homes self sufficient)

Low Input Transport (Water powered cable cars connect high density suburban staging posts with the high energy urban infrastructure)

Recycled bitumen and glassphalt roadways (Cleaning of the public realm is vital to reduce the risk of a flavobacteria outbreak consuming the scheduled urban plastic)

Published by AOC
GQ Style
Spring / Summer, 2007

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