Urban Futures: Critical Commentaries on Shaping the City

By Malcolm Miles; Tim Hall | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Part III, Practising, moves from critical reflection on images in Part I, and the generic concern with movement, access and liberating tactics of Part II, to specific fields in which urban forms are produced and received.

Iain Borden asks what can be considered as radical architecture. Bearing in mind Tafuri's pessimistic assessment (1976:181, cited in this volume, page 6), it may seem a lost cause to look to architecture itself for new ideas. Yet Borden demonstrates that architectural theory makes eclectic use of the constructs of other disciplines with which it has a synergy. The work of architecture, then, is not confined to designing façades, but takes on more socio-economic aspects.

Borden begins by citing the fusion of architecture with other currents of visual culture and political awareness in the early twentieth century. He gives Futurism as an example, with its images of crowds in restless, energetic movement, its multi-sensory world, and its fantasy cities in the work of Sant'Elia. He notes also the social welfare stance of one aspect of inter-war modernism, and its extension in post-1945 housing policies. But he remarks that modernism has always included a critical strand, leading in the case, for instance, of Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck to a study of intimate urban spaces - the streets of personal use (in which now personal stereos provide a new shell). But his question, having brought the historical sketch up to postmodern contingency and globalisation, is not what new aesthetic forms this gives, but what are its political positions. He sees the old welfare state model of architecture as no longer viable, citing Richard Rogers as foremost among those seeking to adapt its principles for the new, private-public partnership model currently popular with governments in the affluent world. Rogers incorporates a nod to ecology and espouses an imagined social life of the piazza, and Borden emphasises Rogers' commitment to urban density and mixed-use zoning - ideas which can be traced to Jane Jacobs in the 1960s - and the inception in the UK of Architecture Centres aiming to popularise what has hitherto seemed to many an over-privileged and almost mystical profession.

But Borden is uneasy at some of Rogers' omissions. He sees Rogers' notion of the city as both generalising and derived from given constructs of civilisation as the art of city living, rather than the occupation of its spaces. Borden writes that the model of polite society wins through in the city of big Sunday papers, and the leisure to read them. Particularly problematic for Borden is Rogers' conceptualisation of the piazza, mapped onto sites such as Trafalgar Square, London, and its ignorance of difference, though the concept is part of the common parlance of postmodern discourse - and an actuality in urban lives. It is against this elitism that Borden looks to other kinds of radicalism, in a world where everything is on the move and where buildings cannot now be thought of as permanent structures designed for unchanging use. He concludes that there are, in such a situation, many radicalisms inside and outside architecture. Elsewhere (Borden, 2001) he has written at length of skateboarding as embodied architecture in its intricate utilisation of

-108-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Urban Futures: Critical Commentaries on Shaping the City
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.