To celebrate the occasion of its 160th birthday, Building has done something young and foolish: it has tried to predict what's going to happen over the next 30 years or so. Big subject, the future.
To help us tackle it with a suggestion of coherence, we've divided all the events and trends and processes and battles to come into five simple categories, and thrown in 14 little capsules on odd subjects, such as pubs and planetary catastrophe, to spice it up a little.

The basic categories are: technology, space, environment, business and society. You can read them in whichever order you like – they're mostly describing the same things from different viewpoints – but I should warn you that they're disturbingly different in terms of personality. Technology, for example, is cheerful, confident, smartly dressed, well organised and can pick up an atom of hydrogen and use it make a better world. Society is in a bit of a whirl; a dizzy thrillseeker with smudged lipstick who wants to do something unusual with everything. I suspect it's been drinking. Business is the opposite. It's a tense and edgy character, impatient, urgent and tending to stride. Possibly ex-army. Listen carefully, because it may set a test. Space talks about houses and families in an easy, fluent way that fails to conceal a growing sense of claustrophobia, and a pessimism about our ability to accommodate the the pressures we'll be facing. Then there is environment. A morose teenager in green jeans and an alpaca jumper who spends far too much time in its room, and is deeply, deeply unhappy with our present arrangements. Finally, by way of afterword, we have a mordant essay by culture critic Jonathan Meades on the coming struggle with the great beast. Enjoy.