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KATARXIS N°2

Polemics

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New York
 
(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

Deconstructive Thoughts on the City

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New York
 
(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

"But Koolhaas's fame as an iconoclastic visionary has been growing since the publication, in 1978, of  'Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan' (2 pounds, Oxford University Press), which looks at urban life in this century as a fluid, largely chaotic 'culture of congestion' over which architects can assert virtually no lasting control. And who would want to? Not Koolhaas.
 
His love of the urban condition is surpassed only by his mania for the unknown, the untenable, the unmanageable, and the untried."
 
Katrina Heron
 
(Interview in Wired Magazine)

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"Historic Centre" Potsdam with Schinkel's Nikolaikirche
 
(Photo by Willi Engel, Berlin)

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Contemporary "Cityscape", Somewhere
 
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery) 

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Residential Suburban Sprawl, Everywhere
 
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"Modernism's alchemistic promise - to transform quantity into quality through abstraction and repetition - has been a failure, a hoax: magic that didn't work. Its ideas, aesthetics, strategies are finished. Together, all attempts to make a new beginning have only discredited the idea of a new beginning. A collective shame in the wake of this fiasco has left a massive crater in our understanding of modernity and modernization."
 
Rem Koolhaas
 
"What ever happened to Urbanism?"

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Favela, Cingapura, with Luxury Flats in Background, Brazil

"People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course that's both liberating and alarming."
 
Rem Koolhaas

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City Centre Potsdam (1996)
 
(Photo by Willi Engel, Berlin)

"But the generic city, the general urban condition, is happening everywhere, and just the fact that it occurs in such enormous quantities must mean that it's habitable."
 
Rem Koolhaas
 
(Interview in Wired Magazine)

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Slum Urbanization in Sao Pćolo, Brazil

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Aerial View of Toronto, Canada
 
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"Since we are not responsible, we have to become irresponsible. In a landscape of increasing expediency and inpermanence, urbanism no longer is or has to be the most solemn of our decisions; urbanism can lighten up, become a 'Gay Science' - 'Lite Urbanism'.
 
What if we simply declare that there is no crisis - redefine our relationship with the city not as its makers but as its mere subjects, as its supporters?"
 
Rem Koolhaas
 
"What Ever Happened To Urbanism?"