New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

Excerpt

Stated in terms of city planning, this symposium attempts a traffic regulation of ideas and visions, guided by experience. The effort, if successful, should indicate a common comprehensive direction of our aims. If the idea fails, both editor and contributors hope that the number of traffic accidents will at least reveal the size and character of a major task confronting society today.

Architects and philosophers, engineers and sociologists, city planners and industrialists will certainly approach the problem of three-dimensional organization, the planning of our, houses, cities and of whole regions, in very different ways. Thus the balance of opinions will develop from a combination of scholarly examinations, factual reports and emotional credos.

Such a balance is most essential today. The pre-war world has broken down in every respect. "There must be an end to this: a sharp end and a clean silence: a steep and most serious withdrawal: a new more succinct beginning." ( James Agee, and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.) The world after this war will be a very new one indeed, the result not so much of political power shifts as of the revolutionary experiences of the past thirty years. No one can doubt any longer that the Second World War represents merely one phase of a smouldering revolution. Let us hope it is the last in which brute force will play the decisive role.

To write on architecture and on city planning involves more than a mere discussion of specific artistic problems. The plan of a house, the form of an office building, and the layout of a town represent nothing else than the crystallization of a living cultural situation. Far more even than music or painting, architecture reveals a whole civilization in the same way that the whorls of a sea-shell reveal the biological habits of a marine animal. In contrast to music and painting, architecture not only reflects the civilization of a period by specific aesthetic means, but by its very physical existence and practical function it is itself part of the epoch which it mirrors artistically.

Today even the very subject-matter of architecture is changing. We have to find out not only about the how but even about the what.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.