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Thread: Emergence In Urban Space

  1. #91

    Default The Amsterdam Declaration

    Interesting thread.

    Perhaps it could be more so by introducing the notion of play as a fundamental aspect of culture as set forth by Johan Huizinga in HOMO LUDENS,
    a study of the play element in culture
    , one of the five characteristics of play is that:
    Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme.

    What is an urban environment, if not a highly refined and formalized manifestation of the order resulting from, and facilitating the myriad forms of daily play taking place between the inhabitants of a city?

    Of course, it follows that if one is critical of the structure and mechanisms of a society, altering the landscape, nay - the playing field that animates and facilitates social interaction and individual action, serves as a mechanism to effect change. The goals of unitary urbanism** as passionately expressed by Constant Nieuwenhuis in this critique The great game to come:
    "Urbanism, as it is understood by today's professional planners, is reduced to the practical study of housing and traffic as isolated problems. The total lack of alternatives involving play in the organization of social life prevents urbanism from attaining the level of creation, and the gloomy and sterile appearance of most modern neighborhoods is a shameful reminder of this."

    Fellow Situationist Guy Debord speaking of of unitary urbanism and psychogeography:
    "The atmosphere of a few places gave us a few intimations of the future powers of an architecture that it would be necessary to create in order to provide the setting for less mediocre games."

    In describing Debord, Asger Jorn writes:
    "There are only those who refuse to be known through false appearances and in blatant contradiction to who they really are. Those who do not wish to be manipulated in order to appear in public in a totally unrecognizable and alienated form, reduced to the status of instruments hostile to their own cause, or rendered impotent in the midst of the great human comedy."
    Though he is speaking of the lewd and perverse character of celebrity conferred by arbiter mavens -- ferrymen kidnappers robbing coins from mouths and stranding the living among the dead -- Jorn could just as easily be speaking of the stultifyingly impotent built environment and the cancerous and ritualized social and cultural castration of the inhabitants.

    ** "Wherever there is a catch-word ending in -ism we are hot on the tracks of a play-community." ~ Huizinga, Johan. HOMO LUDENS.

  2. #92

    Default TRAFFIC versus TOWNS

    Demolition for a relief road, Claverton Street, Bath, 1964 and 1966.
    The loss included not only some fine townscape and Georgian terraces
    but also one of the city's baths, the Cold Bath House built c.1704.

  3. #93


    ^ A heartbreaking pair of images.

  4. #94


    Damn the 60s and cars.

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