Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, city, modernism, neoliberalism, united kingdom, urbanism
The urban state of the nation—from Olympic dreams to broken Britain.
This is what austerity looks like: a nation surviving on the results of what conservatives privately call “the progressive nonsense” of the Big Society agenda.
In a journey that begins and ends in the capital, but takes in Belfast, Aberdeen, Plymouth and Brighton, Hatherley explores modern Britain’s urban landscape and finds a short-sighted disarray of empty buildings, malls and glass towers. Yet while A New Kind of Bleak anatomizes “broken Britain,” Hatherley also looks to a hopeful future and discovers fragments of what it might look like.
Illustrated by Laura Oldfield Ford, author and artist of Savage Messiah.
Publisher Verso Books, 2012
ISBN 1844679098, 9781844679096
Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy journal, No. 2: Materialism, No. 3: Realism (2011-2012)
Filed under journal | Tags: · architecture, capitalism, city, design, landscape, materialism, philosophy, political economy, politics, urbanism
“This issue arose out of a series of reflections on the contemporary meaning of realism in the representational strategies of the design disciplines. Realism, in this context, departs from the nineteenth century preoccupation with presenting environments and subjects typically excluded from pictorial representation. Today, while the ‘realistic’ is favoured and celebrated in student and professional renderings, it seems closer to a contemporary naturalism, at times verging on mannerism: for instance, impossibly lit buildings at dusk, exaggerated perspectives which amplify the speed toward a vanishing point, or, at its most intense, landscapes populated by ghostly figures simultaneously performing every possible cliché of ‘leisure’. While the ‘realistic’ is a recurring theme within both design education and professions, there seems to be a lack of realism. This issue attempts to set up a conversation between both terms by bringing together a series of reflections and practices hinged on both contemporary and historical usages of realism, situating conflictng accounts of its meaning side by side.” (from the Editorial Note)
Issue 3: Realism
Issue Editors: Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette
“Materialism continues the commitment of our first two issues on Property and Service to examine foundational yet overlooked concepts in architecture and landscape architecture. In our estimation, these disciplines are haunted by materialism. We see its specular presence invoked in design research’s emphasis on large-scale flows and sites of material production, in the renewed focus on ‘performance’ and the rehabilitation of functionalism, in the centrality of ‘material’ as an expressive layer of tectonics, and through the import of non-human actors into discussions about spatial design. Each of the above invokes matter as its base.” (from the Editorial Note)
Issue 2: Materialism
Issue Editors: Adam Bobbette, Jane Hutton
Publisher Scapegoat Publications, Toronto
Filed under book | Tags: · city, gentrification, new york, public space, urbanism
As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as “authentic” urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place’s authenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs.
But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity–evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes–has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, the working class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas–Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city’s community gardens–and travels to both the city’s first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She shows that for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs’ legendary 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood “characters” that Jacobs so evocatively idealized.
Publisher Oxford University Press, 2009
ISBN 0195382854, 9780195382853
Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, art, capitalism, cinema, cognition, ideology, literary theory, literature, marxism, modernism, philosophy, politics, postmodern, postmodernism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, urbanism, utopia
Fredric Jameson is one of the most influential literary and cultural critics writing today. He is a theoretical innovator whose ideas about the intersections of politics and culture have reshaped the critical landscape across the humanities and social sciences. Bringing together ten interviews conducted between 1982 and 2005, Jameson on Jameson is a compellingly candid introduction to his thought for those new to it, and a rich source of illumination and clarification for those seeking deeper understanding. Jameson discusses his intellectual and political preoccupations, most prominently his commitment to Marxism as a way of critiquing capitalism and the culture it has engendered. He explains many of his key concepts, including postmodernism, the dialectic, metacommentary, the political unconscious, the utopian, cognitive mapping, and spatialization.
Jameson on Jameson displays Jameson’s extraordinary grasp of contemporary culture—architecture, art, cinema, literature, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis, and urban geography—as well as the challenge that the geographic reach of his thinking poses to the Eurocentricity of the West. Conducted by accomplished scholars from United States, Egypt, Korea, China, Sweden, and England, the interviews elicit Jameson’s reflections on the broad international significance of his ideas and their applicability and implications in different cultural and political contexts, including the present phase of globalization.
The volume includes an introduction by Jameson and a comprehensive bibliography of his publications in all languages.
Interviewers: Mona Abousenna, Abbas Al-Tonsi, Srinivas Aravamudan, Jonathan Culler, Sara Danius, Leonard Green, Sabry Hafez, Stuart Hall, Stefan Jonsson, Ranjana Khanna, Richard Klein, Horacio Machin, Paik Nak-chung, Michael Speaks, Anders Stephanson, Xudong Zhang
Publisher Duke University Press, 2007
Post-Contemporary Interventions series
ISBN 0822340879, 9780822340874
Filed under book | Tags: · city, iraq, israel, military, neoliberalism, security, surveillance, technology, terrorism, urbanism, war
A powerful exposé of how political violence operates through the spaces of urban life.
Cities are the new battleground of our increasingly urban world. From the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centers of the West, Cities Under Siege traces the spread of political violence through the sites, spaces, infrastructure and symbols of the world’s rapidly expanding metropolitan areas.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, Stephen Graham shows how Western militaries and security forces now perceive all urban terrain as a conflict zone inhabited by lurking shadow enemies. Urban inhabitants have become targets that need to be continually tracked, scanned and controlled. Graham examines the transformation of Western armies into high-tech urban counter-insurgency forces. He looks at the militarization and surveillance of international borders, the use of ‘security’ concerns to suppress democratic dissent, and the enacting of legislation to suspend civilian law. In doing so, he reveals how the New Military Urbanism permeates the entire fabric of urban life, from subway and transport networks hardwired with high-tech ‘command and control’ systems to the insidious militarization of a popular culture corrupted by the all-pervasive discourse of ‘terrorism.’
Publisher Verso Books, London, 2010
ISBN 1844678369, 9781844678365
Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, art, city, history of architecture, painting, sculpture, urbanism
Collection of essays from 1937-1956 by an influential Prague-born and Switzerland-based historian and critic of architecture.
First published in German as vol. 18 of the Deutsche Enzyklopaedie under the title Architektur und Gemeinschaft by Rowohlt, Hamburg, 1956
Translated by Jaqueline Tyrwhitt
Publisher Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1958
review (Harold Ehrensperger, The Saturday Review)Comment (0)
Filed under book | Tags: · architecture, city, new york, urbanism
Since its original publication in 1978, Delirious New York has attained mythic status. Back in print in a newly designed edition, this influential cultural, architectural, and social history of New York is even more popular, selling out its first printing on publication. Rem Koolhaas’s celebration and analysis of New York depicts the city as a metaphor for the incredible variety of human behavior. At the end of the nineteenth century, population, information, and technology explosions made Manhattan a laboratory for the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle — “the culture of congestion” — and its architecture.
“Manhattan,” he writes, “is the 20th century’s Rosetta Stone … occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockefeller Center, the U.N. Building), and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall).” Koolhaas interprets and reinterprets the dynamic relationship between architecture and culture in a number of telling episodes of New York’s history, including the imposition of the Manhattan grid, the creation of Coney Island, and the development of the skyscraper. Delirious New York is also packed with intriguing and fun facts and illustrated with witty watercolors and quirky archival drawings, photographs, postcards, and maps. The spirit of this visionary investigation of Manhattan equals the energy of the city itself.
Originally published by Thames & Hudson, 1978
Publisher Monacelli Press, 1994
ISBN 1885254008, 9781885254009