Resisting the City / Context of Disciplines Response

I found in Wigley’s writing a very interesting claim, that the plan is the ultimate weapon of the architect and with the dismantling of the city into a cluster of information sharing entities the plan has been rendered useless.  If this is to be the case, if the architect finds himself cast into the tumultuous ocean of information in the city with no weapon to fight against it, what are we then as a profession to do if we assume this to be true?  The answer cannot be found in trying to harness of become the master of this information I don’t think.  To try to control this will be to fight a losing battle, one that would render the architect useless as other professions more keen on dealing with infrastructures of communications and technologies take over the weakened architect.   Instead I think the new weapon must be the image, which is so prolific in its ability to communicate ideas and be easily moved across both the physical and the digital landscape.   Rendered perspectives, skillfully combining word and image will not seek to control the wild rush of bodies as the plan does in the city. Rather, the blend of multimedia could powerfully suggest to the masses in the way advertising has done.  We cannot tame the floodwaters but we may be able to add a current, a motion to the water, gently suggesting a direction for the natural torrent.  Contemporary cities are in a the midst of an extremely unique dynamic where we rely more on non-­‐place for interaction yet flock together in  numbers  and  densities  larger  than  ever  and  perpetually  expanding. Understanding our inability to plan for this in almost freeing I think.   When the future is uncertain the aims at making architecture everlasting or as monuments to a moment in time or culture become less important.  If we see a city as constantly being   destroyed   and   rebuilt   we   can   in   a   sense   “design   in   the   moment,” experimenting in attempts to hopefully one day come to grips with the only constant of city futures being their flux.

1. Were the Middle Ages as deprived of architects and planners as Wigley says they were?

2. The architecture school at the moment seems to be good at exposing students to a variety of ideas in the way Abbott requests however Architecture as a field has the highest unemployment of all recent college graduates.  How can architects become more versatile, able to preform other professional jobs out of college?

3.  What are some other examples of non-­‐conforming pedagogies at the university level?


About mhgoblue

Architecture Undergrad University of Michigan

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