Pedantic, Semantic or just Anagrammatic" is a tongue-in-cheek play on words that carries with it a more serious message. The dialogue around landscape urbanism has been called pedantic, and the splitting of hairs could be dismissed, particularly by those uninformed and who disagree with the concepts, as mere semantics. The anagrammatic is purely a place on words.
From a Cause to a Style: From a Cause to a Style collects 11 essays that were mostly written in the s yet continue to reflect a disillusionment with modernist architecture rooted in the s. A sociologist long interested in urban planning, Glazer has two primary concerns: Observers of the contemporary scene will encouragingly note that architecture has learned from modernism's mistakes and moved on.
Given his commitment to the social agenda of architecture, Glazer might well be heartened by the goals of landscape urbanism and other new approaches to urban design.
These essays are productively read as historical responses to a bygone era, not as fresh responses to recent trends. Nevertheless, the core worry of the book remains pertinent today: And it is valuable to hear the voice of a public intellectual reinsert architecture and urban design into social criticism.
The argument in the first section of the book, "The Public Face of Architecture," hinges on a formalist critique of modernist architecture. Glazer believes that the stripped-down elements of the International Style and its offspring -- the flat roof, undecorated cornice, unarticulated window and entrance -- cannot fulfill the symbolic requirements of monuments and in particular of memorials.
He approvingly quotes the critic and historian Lewis Mumford: Not only has the aesthetic power of modernist architecture been amply proven, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the defining memorial of our times, solved the problem formulated by Mumford.
Glazer's preoccupation with style seems misguided. As the evolution of the September 11 memorial at Ground Zero suggests, constituency concerns and budgetary pressures now shape monuments in more powerful ways than the designers do.
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|Landscape urbanism vs New Urbanism? | News | Archinect||While there were key forces at play prior to this, this event signalled the emergence of a reasonably coherent group of theorists, designers and apologists, including James Corner, Stan Allen, the Dutch firm West 8 with Adriaan Geuzethe Office for Metropolitan Architecture OMAand Foreign Office Architects FOAoperating under the banner of landscape urbanism.|
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But peeling away Glazer's antimodernist bias to get at the core values animating these spirited essays, you find an important humanist value: A monument, he writes, is meant to celebrate, to recall, and to honor.
Agreed, and to this list we might add a range of other emotional effects.
Yet one suspects that in his criticism of modernist architecture, Glazer is mistakenly equating a set of physical forms that he calls the modernist style with a social dynamic, namely the disinvestment in and erosion of the public realm. The second axis of the book concerns the failure of modernist architecture to design an attractive city and to match the complexity of the historic urban fabric.
In making his case against modernist urbanism, Glazer overstates the power of design and discounts other factors determining how designs are realized and inhabited.
Public policy sets funding and tenant-eligibility requirements. Reduced budgets and high labor costs result in poor-quality construction, inadequate maintenance, and no landscaping. Government regulations, despite bureaucratic language, shape housing projects, as Federal Housing Administration requirements certainly did.
The architect's choice of ornamental language is far less important than these influences. The key problem is the inadequate investment in public architecture, not how the buildings look. Though Glazer knows this, his essays emphasize style and treat architectural decisions as the critical ones. Faith in the power of architecture drives his critical perspective, notwithstanding his disillusionment.
Glazer holds that public housing undermined the social aims of architectural modernism. He evokes the tragic and by-now-familiar arc from social optimism in the s, when public housing was first built to improve slum conditions, to defeat, marked by the demolition of housing projects beginning with Pruitt-Igoe in and propelled by the federal HOPE VI program.
But the essay "What Happened in East Harlem" offers a timely alternative reading of this history. Glazer grew up in East Harlem, where the tenement blocks he called home were replaced in the s by a superblock and public-housing project.
On a visit to East Harlem, rather than nostalgically longing for a lost home, he is impressively clear-eyed about the changes in his old neighborhood.May 19, · Given his commitment to the social agenda of architecture, Glazer might well be heartened by the goals of landscape urbanism and other new approaches to urban design.
These essays are productively read as historical responses to a bygone era, not as fresh responses to recent trends. Essay in ‘Atlantis’ Magazine.
This magazine is our medium to keep you as member up to date about everything going on in the urbanism & landscape architecture world. The issue discusses concepts around the ‘Urban Landscape’ and features contributions from a wide range of authors.
This slight-of-hand underlying the project of landscape urbanism — excising the word architecture while doubling down on architectural conceptions of landscape — is explored in Peter Connolly’s essay, “Embracing Openness: Making Landscape Urbanism Landscape Architectural,” in The Mesh Book: Landscape/ Infrastructure, .
Landscape Urbanism Essay - Landscape urbanism brings together two previously unrelated terms to suggest a new hybrid discipline. While there has been much support for landscape urbanism ideas within the design and planning professions, a considerable amount of skepticism and even hostility remains.
These definitions distinguish between landscape as representational medium, academic discipline, and professional identity. Beginning with an inquiry into the origins of the term itself, Is Landscape? features essays by a dozen leading voices shaping the contemporary reading of landscape as architecture and beyond.
Here is Alan Berger, in an essay in Waldheim's book The Landscape Urbanism Reader: The phrase "urban sprawl" and the rhetoric of pro- and anti-urban sprawl advocates all but obsolesce under the realization that there is no growth without waste.