Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tactical Architecture

a funny personal anecdote was related to me the other day, over some 4-Star Vegan, and it got me thinking...

My uncle, who is a Psychology Professor at York University in Toronto, was telling me about an exchange term where he taught at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil around the turn of the decade. For the first week, there was excessive winds tearing through the campus, and he was complaining that all the buildings are excessively spread out, built an estimated minimum of 2km away from each other, requiring him to walk through the wind and not just causeway from building to building. He asked one of his colleagues why this was, and was greeted with the reply that the University had redesigned it that way during upgrades and expansion in the early 60's at the behest of the Government and Military, so that in the case of a student uprising, the army would be able to isolate each building with ease.




Now this entire story is just hearsay, and I haven't been able to back it up visually or factually, but it triggered a firestorm of thoughts about the integration of architecture and urban geography with the powers of the state; that they are almost always working at their behest, that our environments are increasingly being shaped and designed against us, and that we are increasingly left to the marginal options of reacting to those spaces... the essence of Molar/Molecular.

This is more of a signpost than a manifesto, and this topic has been covered with far more grace and depth elsewhere, but it seemed prescient...

~ J

PS - Speaking of York U, I heard a similar rumour that the causeway in the centre of campus was designed so that you could drive a tank up it...








27 comments:

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曉薇 said...

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皇銘 said...

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