The SW Community Gardensits in the southwest quadrant of Washington, DC, in a neighbourhood known as Southwest Waterfront. Southwest Waterfront is a primarily residential area, bounded to the north by federal government offices and to the south by the Anacostia River, once considered the most polluted river in the whole country. While the city has experienced…
It has been estimated that over 70% of the world’s population shall be living in cities by 2050. This means that over the next 40 years we shall be witnessing a mass exodus of over 2 billion people to the cities hoping to make their homes there. This would not have such an impact on the the developed world that already has a mostly urbanized population and highly…
‘This is a city haunted by the past, nostalgic for the future and unable to live in the present.’ This opening message demonstrates the polemic of Rotterdam. It forms part of “The Make-able City (Rotterdam: De Maakbare Stad)”, a theme sub-curated by Crimson Architectural Historians at the 4th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2009. It offers an insight into…
Media Alert: Future Cape Town visits the Netherlands
From the 15th to the 20th of September, Future Cape Town will be visiting a number of urban development organisations in the Netherlands as a guest of the Het Nieuwe Instituut. As Managing Director of the nonprofit Our Future Cities, Rashiq Fataar will meet and share ideas relevant to design, sustainability, and creating more livable cities…
Lead architect Graham Stirk, of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, takes us inside of one of the latest and largest additions to…
Video by Phil Harper
The amount of people living in the countryside has steadily and rapidly decreased. In 2008, for the first time ever, the amount of people living in urban areas in the world was greater than the number of people living in rural areas. With the mass migration of people into urban areas, cities are faced with the…
By Joe Peach at This Big City
Google “cities as an organism” and you’ll find everything from TED talks to blog posts to academic papers on the topic. There’s certainly no shortage of suggestions that collective actions in cities are like an urban metabolism.
As infrastructure and citizens become more technologically enabled than ever before, this concept of urban flow becomes easier to measure.…
Future Cape Town will be participating in City as a Vision, showcasing our website and a timeline of our approach to promoting dialogue and action around city visions for Cape Town.
What will cities look like in the future? The upcoming exhibition City as a Vision by theFRAC Centre pays tribute to historian and critic Michel Ragon who gave an introduction to the issues of experimental architecture – a field that lies at the heart of the Frac Centre’s collection. The exhibition is divided into two sections – one historical, the other prospective and through six thematic sections, along with a hundred or so scale models, drawings, and photomontages, the exhibition focuses on giving an overview of this search for new territories and urban configurations capable of welcoming future city-dwellers.
After World War II, architects refused to follow the diktats of functionalist architecture and engaged in a radical redefinition of the city. By carrying out a precise analysis of the sociological mutations of their times, they created “urban systems” capable of globally organising and anticipating new Western lifestyles.
Yona Friedman was one of the first to theorise the principles of spatial urban planning on a global scale. His studies on mobility, which he presented at the International Congress of Modern Architecture in 1956, considerably influenced the development of the “futurologist” movement, which spanned the 1960s and of which Michel Ragon became an advocate. Through publications in magazines and as a member of the GIAP (International Group for Prospective Architecture), he shared the many researches carried out on this form of “prospective” urban planning: the towns imagined were plastic or organic, aerial or underground, helicoidal or oblique, shaped as arches, hills, or bridges – cities of the future that stretched out into gigantic above-ground infrastructures, thus encouraging a free and continuous circulation of people and information.
It illustrates how, for this generation of “visionaries”, experimentation and patenting innovative technical solutions always came hand in hand with the assertion of imagery as a field for creation and anticipation.
Between pragmatism and utopia, the featured projects, mostly taken from the Frac Centre’s collection, embody the optimism of the “Pop years”, the myth of a culture craving for leisure and consumption, and fascinated by the cybernetic dream and space exploration.
Yet by the late 60s, these infinitely expandable “megastructure” cities started becoming a symbol of oppression, the ultimate avatar for a depressed modernity. Radical architects then ironically laid the foundations for a new environmental conscience, delivering “negative” visions of a humanity enslaved by the ideology of progress.
At the end of the historical overview, the exhibition presents the contemporary projects of twenty or so internationally acknowledged agencies and examines the way these issues are re-appropriated on a wider scale today. “The futurology of cities has spread throughout the entire world”, Michel Ragon wrote in the 1970s. Globalised urban environment has now become reality, emerging at the crossroads between what is built and connected, what is wild and controlled.
The projects presented all answer the necessity to rethink new uses for cities, to generate resources and connect the micro-scale of the individual with the macro-scale of the expanding urban territory. What logics can architects develop to generate or regenerate the contemporary city between local and global scales?
Architecture Principe (Claude Parent – Paul Virilio)
Domenig + HuthGünther Feuerstein
Klaus Gartler & Helmut Rieder
Aldo Loris Rossi
Alina Slesinska et Eustachy Kossakowski
Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Asymptote Architecture (Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture)
BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
DOMAIN Office + KAAN Architecten
Dominique Perrault Architecture
Foster + Partners
Sou Fujimoto Architects
Future Cape Town
Oppenheim Architecture + Design
The Petropolis of Tomorrow
SL Rasch GmbH Special & Lightweight Structures
Urban Think Tank
For more information visit the website: : http://www.frac-centre.fr/_en/
Venue: Frac Centre
Address: 88 Rue du Colombier, 37700 Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, France
Africa’s cities are facing some exciting, frightening and rapid change. UN-Habitat’s latest “State of African Cities” report attempts to map this change and create a tool for future-oriented urban planning. What are some of the insights of the report, and what can Cape Town as an African city learn from this?
How dense are Africa’s cities? How developed is their…