The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space

Overview

The Unknown City takes its place in the emerging architectural literature that looks beyond design process and buildings to discover new ways of looking at the urban experience. Amultistranded contemplation of the notion of "knowing a place," it is about both the existence and the possibilities of architecture and the city.An important inspiration for the book is the work ofHenri Lefebvre, in particular his ideas on space as a historical production. Many of the essays also draw on the social critique and tactics ...

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Overview

The Unknown City takes its place in the emerging architectural literature that looks beyond design process and buildings to discover new ways of looking at the urban experience. Amultistranded contemplation of the notion of "knowing a place," it is about both the existence and the possibilities of architecture and the city.An important inspiration for the book is the work ofHenri Lefebvre, in particular his ideas on space as a historical production. Many of the essays also draw on the social critique and tactics of the Situationist movement. The international gathering of contributors includes art, architectural, and urban historians and theorists; urban geographers;architects, artists, and filmmakers; and literary and cultural theorists. The essays range from abstract considerations of spatial production and representation to such concrete examples of urban domination as video surveillance and Regency London as the site of male pleasure.Although many of the essays are driven by social, cultural, and urban theory, they also tell real stories about real places. Each piece is in some way a critique of capitalism and a thought experiment about how designers and city dwellers working together can shape the cities of tomorrow.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Readable and stimulating." Library Journal
Library Journal
In a rather opaque and highly theoretical introduction, the editors explore how the inhabitant of the city perceives urban images and symbols and constructs the urban experience, relating this discussion to their interest in the triad of "space, time, and the human subject." But the best of these 29 readable and stimulating essays (by almost as many contributors) explore with clarity and ease what Dolores Hayden refers to as "cultural geography," or the effect of a particular urban experience on the perception of its physical landscape. Most of the essays focus on cities in Great Britain, while three discuss New York and one looks at Los Angeles. The best document the social and political forces that modify and control urban form: M. Christine Boyer's "Twice-Told Stories: The Double Erasure of Times Square," William Menking's "From Tribeca to Triburbia: A New Concept of the City," Dolores Hayden's "Claiming Women's History on the Urban Landscape: Projects from Los Angeles," and a highly personal and virtually antiurban essay by bell hooks, "City Living: Love's Meeting Place." Recommended for all academic architecture collections.--Paul Glassman, New York Sch. of Interior Design Lib. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262523356
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 561
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Iain Borden is Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Joe Kerr is Head of the Department of Critical and Historical Studies, Royal College of Art,London.

Jane Rendell is Lecturer in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Alicia Pivaro is former Director of the RIBA Architecture Gallery in London.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Contributors
1 Things, Flows, Filters, Tactics 2
2 Twice-Told Stories: The Double Erasure of Times Square 30
3 That Place Where: Some Thoughts on Memory and the City 54
4 The Uncompleted Monument: London, War, and the Architecture of Remembrance 68
5 From Tribeca to Triburbia: A New Concept of the City 90
6 "Bazaar Beauties" or "Pleasure Is Our Pursuit": A Spatial Story of Exchange 104
7 I Am a Videocam 122
8 Stories of Plain Territory: The Maidan, Calcutta 138
9 Colonialism, Power, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank 160
10 Another Pavement, Another Beach: Skateboarding and the Performative Critique of Architecture 178
11 The Royal Festival Hall - a "Democratic" Space? 200
12 The Cityscape and the "People" in the Prints of Jose Guadalupe Posada 212
13 The Claremont Road Situation 228
14 The Lesbian Flaneur 246
15 The Un(known) City ... or, an Urban Geography of What Lies Buried below the Surface 262
16 On Spuistraat: The Contested Streetscape in Amsterdam 280
17 Home and Away: The Feminist Remapping of Public and Private Space in Victorian London 296
18 Brief Encounters 314
19 Live Adventures 328
20 It's Not Unusual Projects and Tactics 340
21 Claiming Women's History in the Urban Landscape: Projects from Los Angeles 356
22 Architecture and the City 370
23 "The Accident of Where I Live" - Journeys on the Caledonian Road 386
24 Architecture, Amnesia, and the Emergent Archaic 408
25 Reflections from a Moscow Diary, 1984-1994 422
26 City Living: Love's Meeting Place 436
27 Port Statistics 442
28 Living in Wythenshawe 458
29 The Last Days of London 476
30 Around the World in Three Hundred Yards 492
Sources of Illustrations 504
Index 506
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