Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-architecture of Desire

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010 Publishers, 1998 - Architects - 252 pages
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User Review  - petervanbeveren - LibraryThing

The New Babylon Project was a project that consisted of a vast, layered, sheltered structure, supported by pillars and covering the entire earth. Human labor is rendered superfluous. Dwelling, work ... Read full review

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Page 168 - ... pedestrian,' and has curtailed his freedom of movement to such an extent that it now amounts to less than that of a vehicle. So much public space is forbidden ground to the pedestrian that he is forced to seek his social contacts either in private areas (houses) or in commercially exploited ones (cafes or rented halls), where he is more or less imprisoned. In this way the city is losing its most important function : that of a meeting-place. It is highly significant that the police try to justify...
Page 169 - Utilitarian norms such as those that apply in the functional city must yield to the norm of creativity. In future, man's way of life will be determined not by profit but by play. 11. The above points explain why the teen-age revolt against the fossilized standards and conditions of the past is aimed chiefly at the recovery of social space - the street so that the contacts essential for play may be established. Idealists who think that these contacts can be arranged by organizing youth clubs, publications,...
Page 165 - The ambience of an environment possessing certain specific plastic and acoustic characteristics depends on the individuals who find themselves there. A single individual can passively submit to this ambience or change it according to his mood at the time. But with the entrance of a second person a new presence is felt and the interaction of the two presences excludes any passivity. The quality of the environment and its ambience no longer depends on material factors alone, but on the manner in which...
Page 17 - Architecture must advance by taking emotionally moving situations, rather than emotionally moving forms, as the material it works with.
Page 14 - At present it envisages a terrain of experience for the social space of the cities of the future. lt is not a reaction to functionalism, but rather a move past it; it is a matter of reaching — beyond the immediately utilitary — an enthralling functional environment. Functionalism — which still has avant-garde pretensions because it continues to encounter outdated resistance — has already triumphed to a large extent.
Page 160 - With productive work disappearing, collective timekeeping has no more raison d'etre; the masses will on the other hand have a considerable amount of free time. The network It is obvious that a person free to use his time for the whole of his life, free to go where he wants, when he wants, cannot make the greatest use of his freedom in a world ruled by the clock and the imperative of a fixed abode. As a way of life Homo Ludens will demand, firstly, that he responds to his...
Page 169 - ... amount of leisure time Increases. When productive labour was Introduced In the New Stone Age, man was transformed Into a sedentary creature, but now that the need for manual work Is disappearing, there Is little reason to be tied down to one place for long periods. At the same time, however, there Is growing demand for temporary accommodation — hotels, and even caravans and tents. The proportion of dwelling space to the total social space requires Immediate reassessment In favour of the latter,...
Page 168 - ... curtailed his freedom of movement to such an extent that it now amounts to less than that of a vehicle. So much public space is forbidden ground to the pedestrian that he is forced to seek his social contacts either in private areas (houses) or in commercially exploited ones (cafes or rented halls), where he is more or less imprisoned. In this way the city is losing its most important function : that of a meeting-place. It is highly significant that the police try to justify their measures against...
Page 39 - ... will be wondering for quite a while about the following amusing problem: could one not have appeased the Situationists around 1960 by means of a few lucidly conceived recuperative reforms, that is, by giving them two or three cities to construct instead of pushing them to the edge and forcing them to unleash into the world the most dangerous subversion there ever was?
Page 28 - These are linked together in a multi-level continuous complex, connected where necessary to work places and to those ground elements that are necessary at each level of association. Our hierarchy of associations is woven into a modulated continuum representing the true complexity of human associations. This conception is in direct opposition to the arbitrary isolation of the socalled communities of the 'Unite

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