What is public life (our lives as we understand them beyond the private, domestic domain)? What is the nature of the Social Relationships (how we organize ourselves as groups, classes, tribes, societies and how do these relationships manifest themselves spatially)?How have we adapted and transformed our understanding and use of these spaces as relationships have changed?
There has been a massive change in public life and public space from the birth of man or simply from the 20th century, we’ve seen sky scrapers, bridges that can with stand earth quakes and under water tunnels that lead you from one country to another. But the key feature was the birth of the engine; this had lead to Cars, trains and even aero planes which can take you on a journey that used to take weeks in a matter of minutes and with a car for every 1 in 4 people and a train track in ever town, we are not running low on vehicles.
With the birth of these vehicles it allows people to move from one town to another or to explore new places, to work and live in two separate cities, or even go on a day trip to simply enjoy a new scenario. It also plays a new role on today’s business with the exchange of goods, with businesses no longer just a local shop but instead a global market. This is why everyone has a Tesco’s or Asda at the end of each street. This means that everyone is competitive from the local shops trying to bring in people from out of town or known in today’s world as the tourist, to big shops trying to influence the best works from every corner of the world to in role them on their work station; which leads to the thought of public space has turned from a form of luxury to a business, on who can earn the most amount of money for the least cost although this isn’t always as easy as there is a much bigger target audience.
With the public space becoming a business the businesses themselves need to generate workers, or cogs in a machine, but there needs to be a goal something that spurs people to want to become a cog and not waste away, this is where the television network, advertising boards and straight out celebrities comes into play. It advertises food, clothes and the latest in technology; it also develops ideas of wealth and luxury, showing of celebrities and what they have that we haven’t and allows people to follow there every day lives and bombards us with pictures while making these people seem so special and irreplaceable. When in fact with 7 billion people nobody is irreplaceable, it’s a delusion as there is always another person how can take that job, or stand in the public image.
“The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want” – Steve Jobs
Because of the businesses competing and challenging each other they have destroyed any hope of a true Utopia city; but it is not their fault as even two of the greatest architects made their own attempts at Utopia, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier they also both fell into the fault as the business do, and that they only show there opion on what everyone needs when in fact Utopia is not the idea of one man or 50 business or 1000 brilliant architects, it’s the idea of everyone that is going to be occupying the space. Le Corbusier said he wanted a
“Radiant city of glass and steel skyscrapers” – Le Corbusier
But why is his idea of Utopia meant to be everyone’s, not everyone loves steel and glass buildings, not everyone wants the cities to be more dense so we as humans are easier to control.
However because it is the businesses that are deciding on what out idea of utopia should be it leads to Junk-space. I feel that Rem Koolhaas hits a lot of nails right on head but i don’t think he hits them for the right reasons. He talks about the planet constantly building and how we are not building anything that is permanent when that’s because unlike when the pyramids where the idea of a single man and no one could challenge, today’s age is built of many business each run by a series of people who will constantly disagree; but because it’s about making money as something new is developed people won’t want to go to an out of date place because of the lush modern shops shown on T.V a business is forced to knock down, and re create itself.
“There is already more Junk-space under construction in the twenty-first century than has survived the twentieth” – Rem Koolhaas
This failure to find a Utopia is what is coursing a constant cycle of Junk-space which is slowly destroying our planet. The failure is purely based on the dependency of money and how the people with lots of money won’t want to give it up for the people with little amounts but only want more when in fact the key to a utopian dream is putting people and their needs in front of what is simply paper with ink printed to make a value. Maybe this idea is just the Utopian dream that is talked about but if it can become more than a dream then the idea of big cities simply won’t work the system and the idea of small colonies should be the choice of action as too many needs means too many disagreements and too many problems. But with this day of transport why can’t people chose which Utopia they wish to live and if they change their minds move to the next idea until they can find their own Utopian dream.
Pictures 1 : “Heil Tescos”
Picture 2 : Celebrity magazines http://frenchmediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/paris-match-and-celebrity-magazines-by.html
Picture 3 : London skyline http://www.londoneditions.com/product_379_46.htm
Urban Utopias in the twentieth century
Chapter 18 Le Corbusier page 160-163
From the chapter I have read I understand that Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier both had similar ideas on the ideal cities and both can be seen as variations on the same utopian theme. They both saw that the industrialization was bring a new era of as said
“Justice, Harmony and Beauty”
However they both differed as Wright wanted to abolish cities and to replace them with a continuous union of towns and country which in my opion would be expensive but would become practical and logical. Le Corbusier also saw the city as a natural home of centralized power; but he wanted to make the cities more dense which somehow he believed would mean that crime and such could be more controlled, in my opion i think it would be madness to squeeze as many people together in one space and he should open the cities to allow more room for people to simply breath clean air. However the materials of in his words
“Radiant city of glass and steel skyscrapers”
Sounds like a dream come true in my eyes as i love the idea behind skyscrapers and the combination of steel and glass correctly can give a modern era look. But this doesn’t mean cities should be bombarded with these buildings there should be a limit and the idea of a skyscraper works more affiant for a place of work than to live in my own opion.