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People, power and architectural ideologies

By Jan Kristek


The article is analysing and classifying some of the contemporary ways of thoughts and approaches in architecture towards public space. It is particularly focused on genealogy of contemporary architectural thinking circa since 1960s. The aim of the article is to find some common basic features of our current way of thinking about public space as a necessary theoretical basis for further work. It is particularly focused on positivist thinking spread among architectural milieu by books such as Jan Gehl’s Life Between Buildings or publications of Leon Krier and other New Urbanists. As that school of thoughts is usually constructed and perceived as “anti-modernist” the article on the contrary argues that it has a very same basis as modernism itself and that only some interpretations and some partial aims have changed. The common basis lies in the vector of thought from physical structure or form toward societal structure – in other words that by shaping proper environment also proper society can be shaped. Furthermore, the text explores the conspicuous tendency towards normativeness of contemporary positivism and finds its grounds in reinterpretation of the “human animal”. While modernism with its hygiene, sunlight, and minimal living space was focused on “human animal” as on an averaged singular body the contemporary “postmodern” positivism refocuses on “human animal” as on a part of larger population and strives for its “natural” environment. That is why the normalization of modernism tends to be disciplinary, whereas normalization of contemporary positivism is rather bio-political. Finally, the article establishes criticism of contemporary positivism based on deconstruction and categorizations of contemporary ideologies in urban design

Topics: kritické myšlení; Nový urbanismus; urbanismus; Categorization of thought; Critical thinking; architektura; pozitivismus; Urbanism; New urbanism; Architecture; Veřejná sféra; Kategorizace myšlení; Positivism; Public realm
Publisher: Akademické nakladatelství CERM
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