The glowing orb’s design takes inspiration from Qatar’s pearl-fishing roots, according to Erick Velasco Farerra, and will incorporate cutting-edge technology to achieve zero-carbon emissions.
A museum and shopping center that gently revolves around a central vertical axis during the day, this reflective crystal ball is designed to become a landmark destination that will peer over Oasis City – a partially-buried new urban development that will boast narrow roads and green city squares reminiscent of past Arabic cities.
So far, the Crystal Ball – Light of the Future sounds impressive, but like fairytale crystal balls, the glittering structure has predictive powers that unveil the spirit of Qatar’s world cup ambitions.
On the world stage for the first time, the small gulf nation is desperate to show off its technological prowess, which they will buy with fossil-fuel profits. But true sustainability can’t be bought.
Even if the orb is able to self-power its daily revolutions, it remains to be seen whether Qatar will use locally-sourced and manufactured materials or treat their laborers fairly – all of which are essential to genuinely sustainable development.
Football fans and design enthusiasts would be remiss to ignore the fate of foreign workers, as reports are already streaming in of human rights abuses inflicted upon those who toil under the hot sun to transform fancy concepts like these into working buildings.
To get a better sense of what foreign workers face in the Gulf, read our report about thousands of laborers who live in the shadows of Dubai’s shining skyline.