I’m wondering if a Buddhist, tetraplegic woman educated in Madras, is as “represented” by the twenty four steps that lead to St Paul’s Cathedral as Prince Charles —a member of the Anglican Church, lover of the classical orders and polo player in his free time— is enough to create an idea of the political dimension of architectural decisions.
One of the main tendencies in public space has been to minimise risk providing minicities in which risk has been all but removed. These are places of safety and certainty.
However, much of the joy of public spaces comes from their surprising qualities, from not always knowing them or the people they contain. Here, the tendency is to encourage risk, to create places of uncertainty. This, then, is an essential tension in public space: whether to remove risk, and so erase danger, or to tolerate or even encourage risk, and so enjoy the unexpectedness of our cities and fellow citizens.
Does the land belong to all of us or is it nobodys? How is a spontaneous settlement organised? Are there any rules for living together? Are there any rules at all…short of “city formation” rules?…do they relate to each other? Is there any control? Ultimately,what is a spontaneous city?
Could we apply some of the values of the spontaneous city to newly-created, planned cities, that is, to those cities that emerge uniformly from nothingness, sometimes with no specific relationship to any adjacent metropolis, but already laid out or ruled by some type of urban planning? Could we learn something?
Could these values slow down the problem of the loss of identity and alienation that is characteristic of contemporary urban planning?
As it seems we cannot find the answers we can at least make the questions…
A lot of noise is made about the fact that half of the world’s population now lives in cities. There may well be, however, a lot left to examine about patterns of inhabitation and activity in the countryside, and it probably has a lot to do with the future and the survival of civilization. If we are to avoid the suburbanisation of rural areas then we must implement a mobile infrastructure.
One of the more significant technological advances of this century is being developed at a tiny scale, invisible to the human eye. Nanotechnology, though, can fundamentally change the ways we design, envision and build architecture.
Theorist and researcher Ralph Merkle wrote in the middle nineties: “Indeed, just as we named the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the Silicon Age after the most advanced materials that humans could make, we might call this new technological epoch we are entering the Diamond Age”
We all agree that digital technologies have been completely accepted in architecture. In spite of this, most people consider these as simple representative tools not related to the design process. Some people have discovered its enormous potential as a creation tool of new forms and relationships.
The work of Sonia Cillari proposes a step forward, the development of architecture as a real-time medium, more fluid, that allows interaction with its contents. We are not talking about architecture anymore. We talk about augmented reality, hybrid spaces and interactive spaces.
Our constructed environment, with its direct impact on people every day and its constant transformation through use and reuse, is a collectively designed project. It incorporates vastly different and sometimes conflicting logics. The issues arising from people’s differing perspectives and approaches will have significant consequences on the way architecture in general evolves in the twentyfirst century. Computer terminology has borrowed much from the discipline of architecture; here, we borrow back some analogies from the computer world to suggest ways that architectural evolution could occur
Archfarm Magazine 2010. v.2.0