“This is my future: American individualism is over. We are not self-sufficient beings. After pandemics, wars, and ecological crises exposed our economic and social structures as unsustainable, systems without safety nets, we are returning to community and cyclic living. It is not only OK to depend on each other, but it is necessary. We live in a new era where tech and the natural world exist symbiotically and seamlessly together. Our cities are lush and green, the soulless, concrete jungles of yesterday are gone. Roads clogged with honking automobiles are just stories our grandparents tell us about. Instead, there is music, there are bird songs, there is the sound of the wind, and there is quiet. The air is clean, perfumed explosions of colored flowers. We work much less, and a lot of what we do is collaborative, dreaming jobs, where we are safe to express our wildest ideas for the future, and these ideas directly shape our world. Ideas don’t need to be profitable to be viable. Profit is as obsolete an idea as miasma. Neoliberalism is dead, we work to materialize our dreams, not to survive, not to consume. Much of what we buy exists in the metaverse, which is an important social space. We are able to purchase goods in this virtual world, goods that are not material, and are therefore sustainable. Your identity in the metaverse is limited only by your own ability to code creatively. This old idea of consumerism is something we can explore in the metaverse, but it does not translate to the physical world. The things we own in the physical world we own because they are beautiful, they invoke something deeper within us, they are a physical manifestation of our soul. Fast fashion is dead, fashion has returned to art. The clothing we own we own with intention. We own them throughout our lives, and when we die, our ancestors can know us through these clothes. This is a medium where we can truly be individuals. In my wardrobe, I see glittering viridian green, a symbol of the melding of nature and technology. Sequins of every color celebrate this new era of smart cities that exist within nature, not against it. Patterned fabrics represent the diversity of the earth, in topography, ecology, culture, neuro functioning, and technological ideology. Yes, we are individuals, we are different from each other and this is celebrated, but we are also part of a community, part of an environment, and the earth.” -Emiliana Helfeld