Reflections from Desert Edens

Philipp Lehmann

Herman Sörgel
Source: Deutsches Museum in Munich.

“It is not technology that has to adapt to the economic system, but vice versa: we have to find a new societal order for the factual results of machine industry.”
- Herman Sörgel

Like so many other projects of the time—from new political ideologies to attempts at re-envisioning modern ways of living—Atlantropa’s creator endeavored to find an escape from a seemingly all-encompassing crisis that had taken hold of the continent. Sörgel’s ideas represented an idiosyncratic mix of colonialist conceptions, racist ideology, cultural pessimism, anxieties about imminent fossil fuel shortages and global environmental decline, and a cornucopian belief in technology and postnational cooperation.


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