ruminations about architecture and design

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

the blank slate

Feeling a little blank today.

Michael Sorkin had a rambling, contradictory essay on China in this week's Nation magazine. That is more appropriate than any argument that attempts to simplify and summarize any aspect of China or its relationship to the rest of the world. He had a memorable quote:

"The hubris of architects and planners is that they dictate the boundaries and experiences of the public. The opposite is true."

The urbanization of China seems to be taking on a similar form to what continues to happen in America and Europe--i.e. city ring growth--which we often label as suburbanization. High density cities are an artifact of pre-mechanized transportation. Pick your poison: Being stuck in traffic every day for half an hour during a five mile commute or driving 20 miles in the same period of time. The former option concentrates pollution and restricts overall mobility.

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