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RATIONAL -IRRATIONALITY

The McDonaldization of Urban Development; Case Studies: Free Town Christiania + IBA Berlin 1979-1984/87; The Power of Context; Towards Rational-Irrationality

October 2018 ‘Rational-Irrationality’ Samuel Letchford 170204640 ARC566 Word Count: 6556


With thanks to my tutor throughout this research project, Simon Baker of Sheffield School of Architecture.


CONTENTS

01 FOREWORD 03 PART 1 THE MCDONALDIZATION OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT 08 CASE STUDY: ‘FREE TOWN’ CHRISTIANIA 17 CASE STUDY: IBA BERLIN 1979 - 1984/87 26 PART 2 THE POWER OF CONTEXT 29 PART 3 TOWARDS RATIONAL IRRATIONALITY 32 AFTERWORD 33 BIBLIOGRAPHY


FOREWORD

“An apparently homogenous collection of high-income professional people had split into three distinct and hostile camps. The old social subdivisions, based on power, capital and self-interest, had reasserted themselves here as anywhere else”1 J.G Ballard, High-Rise (1975) Anthony Royal, the architect of J.G Ballard’s ‘High-Rise’, stands at the window of his penthouse apartment, musing over the social disintegration spreading through the high-rise beneath him (Fig 1). A figure of Corbusian inspiration, Royal’s luxury high-rise shares the ‘radiant city’ ideals of modernism, albeit instead of social housing tenants, the residents of the high-rise are affluent, intelligent, bored and listless.2 Removed from the imperfections of the outside world and nurtured within the concrete structure of the high-rise, the residents live in a state of monotonous utopia - until the building, their life-line, falters and the carefully maintained social hierarchy descends into mayhem and tribal violence.

Fig 1 High-Rise, J.G. Ballard 1975 Edition Cover

A prescient work of social fiction, J.G.Ballard’s 1975 novel ‘High-Rise’ serves as an extreme metaphor for the dangers of privatisation and the rationalisation of urban development. Written as a response to the growing number of high-rise projects in Greater London, and perhaps with even greater relevance today, the novel emphasises the excessive rationality of private development, where the balance of social capital, equality and inclusivity are often overlooked in favour of rational concepts such as controllability, efficiency and profitability.

control, can be seen to permeate urban development in Britain in the 21st century. Take a look at any current affairs newspaper or online magazine and you will inevitably find headlines referencing the ‘British housing crisis’ currently gripping the country (Fig 2). The owner occupied sector represents 63% of all households in the UK today, however half of these households (51%) are classed as under-occupied.4 This means that over one quarter of all households in the UK today are classed as under-occupied. Pair this with the fact that private enterprise developments represented 82% of UK housing development in 2017,5 and we are presented with an urban development model which seems alarmingly out-of-touch with the needs of current society. It seems clear from these figures that the rise of McDonaldization has had a detrimental effect on the relevance and social agency of urban development in the UK.

These are central concepts of McDonaldization, a social theory established by George Ritzer whereby “the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world”.3 This theory will be of core importance to this essay, as the four dimensions of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability and 1


Fig 2 The UK housing crisis headlines The Independent (2018)

This research project will explore urban development policy in the context of contemporary society, questioning the widespread approach of rationalised efficiency in favour of alternative urban strategies which take an approach of ‘rational-irrationality’ - the ability to balance rational thought with a receptiveness towards change and surprise. Through the analysis of case studies and urban design theory both past and present, this study will explore their physical outputs and most importantly, analyse their organisational frameworks, design processes and relationships with authority in order to explore whether these strategies of rationalirrationality can be implemented as a counter to rationalised development in the UK.

Ballard, James Graham, Highrise (London, Fourth Estate, 2014) p.69 2 Ballard (2014) pp.viii-ix 3 George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society, 8th Ed (Los Angeles, Sage, 2015) p.1 4 English Housing Survey (2018) 5 English Housing Survey (2018) 1

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PART 1 THE MCDONALDIZATION OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Modern cities are removed from the context in which traditional approaches were developed, a case in point being Venturi and Scott-Brown’s 1972 investigation ‘Learning from Las Vegas’, which was spurred by the realisation that current forms of urban analysis were not applicable to the characteristics of modern cities. The 2018 ‘Garden Communities’ prospectus recently issued by the Ministry of Housing, welcoming a return to the Garden City ideals first established by Ebenezer Howard in 1898, indicates that the planning of our urban environment is still preoccupied with the traditional arrangement of space (Fig 3). In her 1961 book ‘The Life and Death of Great American Cities’, Jane Jacobs laments that “as long as city planners… cling to the unexamined assumptions that they are dealing with a problem in the physical sciences, city planning cannot possibly progress”;11 over 50 years later, it would seem that these lessons have not yet made their way into the mainstream consciousness of governmental urban strategy.

It is important to clarify that ‘urban development’, refers not only to urban design in the traditional sense, but all elements which together form our urban environment. Peter Barber presents this idea quite succinctly through his belief that “when we design urban housing we are designing cities”.6 Housing makes up 70% of all the buildings in London, the consistent element which lines our streets and defines the edges of our squares;7 therefore, our urban development policy should not limit itself by referring specifically to social housing or public space planning, but rather have a more holistic appreciation to the ‘organised complexity’ of our towns and cities.

The aversion to risk and automatic tendency towards rational and predictable urban strategies of the physical sphere has

Organised complexity is the term used by Jane Jacobs to describe the complex workings of the city, painting the city as a living organism, where “a half-dozen or even several dozen quantities are all varying simultaneously and in subtly interconnected ways”8 to create a unified whole. Jacobs believed it essential for these relationships and processes to be understood on a micro scale, focused on small changes based on the human experience as opposed to the authoritative flattening of districts which her local neighbourhood was under threat of at her time of writing in the 1960’s. In the years since Jacob’s retort against destructive urban policy, a new urban theory dubbed ‘New Urbanism’ emerged, seeking to create urban environments which ‘celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice’.9 However, it has been argued that this approach takes an overly nostalgic perspective, celebrating traditional typologies that are incompatible with the modern city and resulting in a “carelessness toward existing conditions that is ultimately as problematic as any other modern vision of urban renewal”.10

Fig 3 The ‘Garden City’ - a slumless utopia? Ebenezer Howard (1898)

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thus contributed to the McDonaldization of our urban spaces. If governmental planning policy is to regain its relevance in contemporary society, a fundamental change in perspective is required, which recognises the importance of urban development as a social practice as well as a physical one. “People are not always oppressed by cruel tyrants with bad intentions. In many cases, a well-intentioned liberal society can place system-wide constraints on groups and limit their freedom”12

Fig 4 Disneyland One of the most popular ‘Islands of the Living Dead’

Iris Marion Young Five Faces of Oppression (2004)

spaces where visitors are merely tolerated as opposed to openly welcomed. If we compare the management of a fast food outlet with the management of a public square startling similarities can be witnessed. Any given fastfood chain is hugely reliant on the consumer, however the interiors of the restaurant (and the drive-through concept) are often clinical and uncomfortable, encouraging consumers to eat their meal and quickly leave, in order to avoid any anti-social behaviour occurring and to keep the flow of sales flowing; in the case of the drive-through, a customer does not stop at all.16 Whilst the chain is reliant on the consumer, it merely tolerates them. The same principle can be seen in the private control of our public spaces, with anti-homeless features, banned activities, ‘no loitering’ signs and gated access (to name a few) being increasingly present control measures implemented to ensure the smooth operation of the space (Fig 5). In the modern neoliberal city, you no longer inhabit public space as a citizen, but as a consumer.

This essay is not intended as an attack on the capitalist systems of UK governance and nor should McDonaldization be villainised as a thoroughly negative force; as Ritzer acknowledges, rationalized spaces are often hives of life which people willingly flock to and enjoy in huge numbers.13 Employing the term ‘Islands of the Living Dead’, Ritzer applies his theory to the realm of social geography in order to visualise McDonaldization as an archipelago of rationalised settings which are dispersed throughout our urban environment. Identified as shopping malls, fast food restaurants and entertainment parks, these islands of rationalisation can be identified as both ‘living’ and ‘dead’. They are alive, as these islands are often thriving places of consumerism, offering entertainment and leisure in a predictable, safe and comfortable setting. However, these islands can simultaneously be seen as ‘dead’ spaces, free from any of the risk which makes everyday life vibrant and stimulating (Fig 4). As a result of this pursuit of rationalised perfection, extended time spent dwelling within these islands can become at best dull, repetitive and predictable,14 and at worst oppressive, segregatory and discriminative.

The strive for perfection and order in our urban environment has resulted in what Rene Boer describes as the ‘Smooth City’, where “urban no longer means raw, edgy and conflictual but smooth, perfect and happy”.17 Echoing the principles of McDonaldization, in the Smooth City all ugly or undesirable factors are banished in order to create a polished vision of utopia, excluded from its advantages and displaced into the leftover urban zones, or ‘Unsmooth City’.18 Iris Marion Young identifies this phenomena as a form of ‘structural oppression’, where minority groups

In the years since Ritzer’s original publication, the archipelago of McDonaldization is getting increasingly connected, spreading out from the shopping and entertainment parks and coming to infiltrate both urban development and public space in the UK. Our public spaces are increasingly privately “owned, monitored and regulated”,15 reduced to ‘pseudo-public’

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Fig 5 A security guard watches over the smooth operation of pseudo-public space at Granary Square, London (2017)

suffer segregation through “the assumptions underlying institutional rules and the collective consequences of following those rules”.19 As the Smooth City grows and rationality becomes the norm, those groups of lower social capital are increasingly marginalised. Housing developments and social inclusion policies have long since struggled to find ways to nurture inclusive and diverse communities, the most widespread solution being to include a small percentage of affordable housing units in private developments. However, in reality this rarely has positive results, with residential segregation of this manner often intensifying and highlighting differences between different groups - the breakdown of Ballard’s ‘HighRise’ serves as a particularly vivid example. As an alternative, Young presents the idea of ‘social differentiation’, which shares the “commitment to combat exclusion and foster individual freedom”, as many social inclusion policies, but also “affirms the freedom of association that may entail residential clustering and civic differentiation”.20 Put simply, social differentiation acknowledges the differences between people and celebrates

them as a potential strength, not a weakness. What sets this approach apart from traditional models is how it embraces a certain sense of irrationality, referred to as ‘eroticism’ by Young, as an essential component of vibrant and diverse communities. Eroticism can be understood as “the novel, the strange and surprising”21 which one encounters through everyday city life. Eroticisim recognises the value of encountering unique cultures other than our own, learning of differing perspectives of the city and thriving in the inexhaustible social conditions which city life can offer. Additionally, eroticism can refer to the form of the city itself, in the contrast of building styles and typologies, the unpredictability of turning a corner into a new spatial setting or the hectic arrangements of signage and lighting (Fig 6).22 Rationalised development frequently lacks these qualities, usually being constructed for a specific target audience and their corresponding social capital and budget, ultimately leaving little possibility for the strange or the surprising. Eroticism can therefore be seen as the antithesis 5


to McDonaldization, an example of ‘rationalirrationality’ which has the potential to negate the harmful side effects of urban rationalisation. However, the fundamental issue still remains; how do we introduce this sense of rationalirrationality to mainstream urban development? In order to investigate this question, during the summer of 2018 a number of European urban development projects were visited and explored, all of which were delivered through alternative development strategies which supported an irrational approach (Fig 7). The following sections will explore a series of these case studies, analysing how these projects demonstrate ‘rationalirrationality’ in their organisational frameworks, in order to explore whether similar principles could be applied to a modern UK context.

Fig 6 Gordon Cullen’s theory of ‘Serial Vision’ where a series of jerks and revelations give the streetscape drama and richness, can be seen as a physical form of eroticism

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Pamela Johnston, ed., Project Interrupted: Lectures by British Housing Architects (London: The Architecture Foundation, 2018) p.53 7 Pamela Johnston (2018) p.53 8 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Vintage Books Ed (New York, Random House, 1992) p.433 9 Congress for the New Urbanism, ‘The Charter for the New Urbanism’, CNU, <https://www.cnu.org/who-we-are/charternew-urbanism> [accessed 21st September 2018] 10 John Chase, Margaret Crawford and John Kaliski, Everyday Urbanism (New York, Monacelli, 1999) p101 11 Jacobs (1992) p.439 12 Iris Marion Young, ‘5 Faces of Oppression’ in ‘Oppression, Privilege, and Resistance: Theoretical Perspectives on Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism’ by Lisa Heldke and Peg O’Connor (Boston, McGraw Hill, 2004) p.37 13 George Ritzer, ‘Islands of the Living Dead: The Social Geography of McDonaldization’, American Behavioral Scientist, 47 (2003) pp.119-136 14 Ritzer (2003) p.128 15 Arjen Oosterman, ‘Access for All’, Volume, 53 (2018) p.4 16 George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society, 8th Ed (Los Angeles, Sage, 2015) pp.90-91 17 Rene Boer, ‘Smooth City’, Volume, 52 (2017) 6-9 18 Rene Boer (2017) p.6-9 19 Heldke O’Connor (2004) p.39 20 Iris Marion Young, Inclusion and Democracy (Oxford, Oxford University Publishing, 2002) p.197 21 Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2011) p.267 22 Young (2011) pp.266-267 6

Christiania Copenhagen

UK Kreuzberg Berlin

Fig 7 Study trip map (August 2018) 7


CASE STUDY: FREE TOWN CHRISTIANIA

At first glance, Free Town Christiania appears to be a physical example of ‘autonomy’ in its purest sense, a self-governed community free from external control or influence. This suggests Christiania as an extreme example of ‘rational-irrationality’, fully removed from the capitalistic values of McDonaldization. However, as discovered upon visiting the Free Town and supported by extended reading on the topic, ‘autonomy’ is not necessarily a “synonym for independence and selfreliance”,23 as autonomous communities such as Christiania are ultimately reliant on the capitalistic systems operating at their periphery. Despite the largely self-managed structure of the Free Town, the community is dependant on the City of Copenhagen for electricity and water supplies alongside dwelling permissions, primarily stemming from a 1972 agreement with the Danish municipality. What makes Christiania interesting therefore, is how an autonomous community mindset coexists alongside the capitalist government of Copenhagen, in an irregular and often selfcontradictory relationship. This constantly evolving relationship and the subsequent impact on the infrastructural framework of Christiana offers an insight as to how irrationality and neoliberal governance can operate side by side in a modern societal context.

Fig 8 Christiania Entrance Gate (August 2018)

Founded through a squatter movement in 1971, the Free Town established itself as a self-governed community, valuing democratical processes which emphasise communal consensus and negotiation.24 The community has a range of urban and social services which are funded by the ‘common purse’, paid into by residents and local businesses of Christiania, Fig 9 ‘Gratis’ - ‘Free’ Free materials and equipment displayed on the street, ready to be shared by the community (August 2018)

Fig 10 (overleaf) Free Town Christiania Aerial view from the spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke (August 2018) 8


creating a self-sustaining environment which allows these initiatives to be driven by a social responsibility as opposed to market value. The ‘common purse’ covers locally managed services such as rubbish collection, recycling, street cleaning, building renovation, public saunas, toilets and showers, a kindergarten and a youth club amongst others (Fig 11).25 Of particular relevance to my study is the ‘building assistance programme’, which supports and assists in the resident-led development of the urban environment, producing the unique architectural creations for which Christiania is famous (Fig 12,13). This results in a huge variation of urban projects, exemplifying the perspective that “participation should not be perceived as a gift to residents, but as a right.”26 This engagement between resident and urban fabric instills a sense of eroticism into the Free Town environment, compounded by the diversity of the Free Town population. As a result of the liberal attitudes of Christiania, the community has accumulated a wide range of inhabitants since its creation, ranging from young professionals and families to more vulnerable groups such as the homeless or those with addictions who are typically oppressed in neoliberal society.27 The eroticism of Christiania therefore emerges from this diverse mix, with each individual able to leave their mark on the physical and social environment of the Free Town (Fig 14 - 18).

Fig 11 A poster displaying the extensive community-run recycling scheme: Hard Plastic, Metals, Bottles, Paper, Cardboard, Electronics, Batteries, Light Bulbs, Other Waste, Biodegradable (August 2018)

opposed to a professional service, taking the sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s perspective that “(social) space is a (social) product”.29 Here, building experts and resident architects act as enablers, becoming one of many agents involved in the process of enabling residents to exercise their right of urban participation. In this sense, the urban development framework demonstrated in Christiania, and indeed the communal mindset of the Free Town as a whole, can be seen to possess agency, where ‘agency’ can be defined as “the capability of acting otherwise”.30 Identified by Tatjana Schneider and Jeremy Till in their writings on ‘spatial agency’, this capability of acting otherwise is at odds with the traditional role of the architect as a service provider, undermining the certainty of output permeated by the client/professional exchange.31 The framework demonstrated in Christiania therefore represents a fundamental change in urban policy and the role of the architect, no longer providing a physical

This model of inclusivity can be seen as the antithesis of the ‘design as a commodity’ model perpetuated by privatisation and the traditional role of the architect, which sees urban development as a product or professional service for the privileged. The traditional value of the architect, defined by the RIBA as an individual “highly skilled and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality”,28 suggests that the architect offers a service in an exchange-driven process between client and professional. Unfortunately this model inevitably hides architecture behind a paywall, creating a divide between those able to access or afford this product, and those who cannot. This can be seen to contribute to the ‘smooth city’ effect, allowing only those with wealth or high social capital to shape the urban environment. In contrast, the urban development within Christiania is considered a social service as 11


Fig 12 Christiania Building Store (August 2018)

Fig 13 Christiania Building Store - pick n’ mix windows (August 2018)

Fig 14 Christiania Eroticism - Buddhist temple (August 2018)

Fig 15 Christiania Eroticism - ‘Greenhouse’ Green House (August 2018)

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Christiania Eroticism (clockwise) Fig 16 Daycare activity spilling onto the beach + floating rafts and model boats in the lake Fig 17 Impromptu streetside musical performance Fig 18 A house of glass - Christiania modernism? (August 2018)

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There is therefore an increased risk that these ‘investors’ will not share the autonomous mindset, and will most likely possess greater personal wealth than the majority of the population. If allowed to escalate, this influx of ‘normal’ individuals of higher social capital could push the vulnerable groups out and result in a ‘smoothening’ of Christiania, diluting the irrational spirit of the Free Town. In turn, the ability for participatory engagement of residents in their urban development could be directly impacted by this homogenisation. The introduction of individuals who do not share the values of Christiania could pose a roadblock for residents wishing to embark on construction projects, more likely to face vocal opposition to design choices and thus adding a level of discouraging bureaucracy to the system and possibly limiting the creative expression and eroticism of architectural creations.

product as per rational development, but providing a social service which enables the participatory engagement of residents in the shaping of their own neighbourhood. However, it can be suggested that the capacity for Christiania to express this social agency has become somewhat limited in recent years, as the relationship between the community and local governance continues to evolve - an agreement signed in 2012 has been a particular cause of contention. A primary element of the agreement granted “inhabitants of Christiania to buy collectively most of the land on which they live at the price of about 76 million kroner (14 million euro), to be paid half in 2012 and half before 2018”,32 with the historical ramparts protected by Danish heritage being rented for a lease of 30 years. This means that whilst Free Town residents now legally occupy the land on which they live, relieving pressure from the government, as a consequence ownership and thus privatisation has now been introduced into the community.

These issues originate in the political and circumstantial positioning of Christiania as an ‘opposition’ to local neoliberal governance. Whilst positioning themselves as an ‘alternative’ community has given Christiania the freedom to develop various policies of ‘rationalirrationality’, it is this separation which becomes a detriment to the transformative potential of the Free Town’s social agency. Transformative agency as defined by Anthony Giddens can be understood as ‘action that affects social change’,35 and thus by practicing agency within an isolated setting instead of an established social environment, the ability for the irrational policies of Christiania to instigate social change is severely limited, only benefitting the inhabitants of the Free Town itself. The critique of rationality expressed by Christiania therefore demonstrates critique as a force acting upon a system, operating from the outside - perhaps in order to become truly transformative, this critique needs to come instead from within mainstream neoliberal society itself (Fig 19).

“Disneyfication is one of the biggest threats. Now it’s legal for everybody, you don’t need to be a little quirky to go to Christiania”33 (Activist, 25th July 2012) “If you are not interested in Christiania it’s actually harmful to Christiania if you live there and only consider it as a place to live”34 (Activist 30th July 2012) This introduction of private ownership is a contentious issue with residents, as evidenced in the above comments. The concerns expressed refer primarily towards the gentrification, homogenisation and commodification of Christiania. The privatisation of Christiania land opens the potential for outside investment, leading the community down a dangerous road which could lead to the rationalization of the Free Town. Beforehand, those wishing to live in Christiania were required to directly participate in the community, whereas the recent agreement offers external individuals an easy way to ‘buy their way into’ the community.

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Neoliberal Society Frameworks of Power

Christiania

Fig 19 Christiania as an isolated entity = limited impact on Neoliberal frameworks

Neoliberal Society Frameworks of Power Alessandro Coppola and Roberto Vanolo, ‘Normalising Autonomous Spaces: Ongoing transformations in Christiania, Copenhagen’, Urban Studies, 52 (2015) p.1155 24 Coppola, Vanolo (2015) p.1157 25 Coppola, Vanolo (2015) p.1157 26 Jack Burgers and Jan Vranken, ‘How to Make a Successful Urban Development Programme: Experiences from nine European Countries’, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2014) p.44 27 Roberto Vanolo, ‘Alternative Capitalism and Creative Economy: the Case of Christiania’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37 (2013) p.1789 28 RIBA, ‘Why use an Architect’, RIBA, <https://www. architecture.com/working-with-an-architect/why-use-anarchitect> IBA [accessed 2nd October 2018] 29 Lefebvre, Henri, The Production of Space (Oxford, Blackwell, 1991) p.26 30 Anthony Giddens, Social Theory and Modern Sociology (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1987) p.216 31 Schneider, Tatjana and Till, Jeremy, ‘Beyond Discourse: Notes on Spatial Agency’ Footprint, 4 (2009) p.98 32 Coppola, Vanolo (2015) p.1159 33 Coppola, Vanolo (2015) p.1161 34 Coppola, Vanolo (2015) p.1162 35 Schneider, Till (2009) p.97 23

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Fig 20 ‘You are now entering the EU’ Christiania exit sign

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CASE STUDY: INTERNATIONAL BUILDING EXHIBITION (IBA) BERLIN 1979 - 1984/87

Considered a landmark programme for social participation and cooperative development, the IBA Berlin 1979-1987 focused on innercity living and the regeneration of residential districts. The programme had a dual-headed approach; IBA Neubau focused on ‘critical reconstruction’ and new-build development, whilst the IBA Altbau explored the creative refurbishment and renewal of existing districts and communities, led by planning director Hardt-Waltherr Hämer.36 Despite belonging to the same programme, these branches represent divergent approaches to urban design with fundamental differences, which when discussed side by side generate an insightful portrayal of urban theory at the time. Whilst both sides of the project have been celebrated as successes in urban redevelopment, it is the IBA Altbau which is frequently cited as having the greater legacy and influence on modern european urban policy, because unlike past IBA projects, IBA Altbau was “not a prototypical city at all, but a radically new urban approach”.37

Fig 21 IBA 1987 Poster

An exemplary showcase of modernist urban development, IBA Interbau focused on one-off architectural wonders and their corresponding figurehead architects as the stars of the show, ‘an architectural display for the sake of architecture’ if you will (Fig 22). Typical of the modernist attitudes against which Jane Jacobs pitted her theory of organised complexity, and in line with traditional urban theory, IBA Interbau 57’ focused on the physical realm in an effort to create a new vision for Berlin, offering plenty of high-quality architecture but failing to address the broken city fabric and social disarray of Berlin in the wake of the second world war.

In order to further explore this position, we must delve into the history of the International Building Exhibition itself, and learn how the IBA Altbau stood apart from projects which had come before it. Some 20 years earlier, Berlin had hosted another IBA, which in the shadow of the Second World War, focused on the widescale reconstruction of the destroyed city. The IBA Interbau of 1957 was a competition celebrating cutting-edge modernist design, with internationally renowned architects such as Alvar Aalto, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier invited to design a mixture of high-rise and lowrise buildings in the heart of a park landscape.38

Fast forward to 1987, IBA Neubau aimed to mend the socio-physical fabric of the inner-city through a more intimate patchwork of urban projects. Efforts were made to deliver projects designed through diverse collaborations between architects and projects such as Otto Frei’s ‘Eco Houses’ and Herman Hertzberger’s ‘LiMa’ apartment complex (Fig 23) demonstrated a commitment towards resident 17


Fig 22 IBA Interbau 1957 ‘Architecture as an object’

participation, resulting in some of the more interesting and visually striking projects of the Neubau.39 However, the overriding concept of Neubau remained firmly within the production of architecture as a means to mend the scars of Berlin, with the architect at the centre of the process. It is important to clarify that the IBA Neubau and IBA Altbau did not operate in isolation, with many of the new-build projects of Neubau possessing the social sensitivity of the Altbau projects, Frei and Hertzberger’s projects being key examples of this growing trend towards participatory design in architecture. It was the Altbau programme however, which took this concept and pushed it as the central goal of the IBA - a radical re-thinking of ways we approach design and the process through which we develop our urban environment. Fig 23 IBA Neubau Central courtyard with play area and gardening zone Herman Hertzberger (1986)

IBA Altbau focused on a city block in the district of Kreuzberg, a residential district to the immediate south of the city centre (Fig 24). In a situation curiously similar to that faced by Jane Jacobs in 1961, Kreuzberg had suffered from a 1957 urban planning competition entitled ‘Berlin, Capital City’ which sought to lay a 18


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network of four-lane ring roads and stacked interchanges over the existing fabric of the city, resulting in twenty years of demolition and aggressive urban development.40 Witness to widespread displacement due to the destruction of city blocks, the community of Kreuzberg was a diverse mix of squatters, young entrepreneurs, students, adolescents, retirees and immigrants, consistently under the threat of eviction.41 A spirit of activism emerged from this diverse community in order to challenge destructive development and in the 1970’s a squatters movement exploded across the capital city. This potent mix of social groups, all with varying social capital, represented an organisational structure naturally built upon the concept of ‘organised complexity’ and ‘social differentiation’, a complex community with individual beliefs and requirements, simultaneously participating in acts of activism in order to contribute towards a shared objective.

Fig 24 The inner-city district of Kreuzberg District map of Berlin Fig 25 (opposite) The 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal Annotated

Central to IBA Altbau was the ‘12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal’’, a set of guidelines developed through informal collaboration between Hardt-Waltherr Hämer and members of the squatter movement, which aimed to secure a new approach towards urban development (Fig 25). These principles sought to protect the social infrastructure and complex relationships which exist within established communities, arguing that the mainstream tendency towards destructive refurbishment was detrimental to the lives of city residents.42 The groundwork for these ‘12 Principles’ can be seen to have started in the late 1960’s, when Hardt Hämer was assigned to work on an urban block which was earmarked for destruction by the authorities. Following an analysis of the structure however, Hämer instead sought to prove that the cost of refurbishing the structure would be considerably lower than the financial commitment required for the demolition and subsequent re-construction of the area.43 Seen as the beginning of Hämer’s policy of careful urban renewal, this was a position which he maintained and elaborated on throughout the 1970’s in the lead up to the IBA of 1979. Meanwhile, residents and squatter groups of Kreuzberg living in those blocks marked for demolition, growing increasingly frustrated by their precarious position, took it upon themselves to refurbish the apartment blocks within which they dwelled. Named

the Instandsetzung, this group publicly demonstrated in a far shorter period of time, and in a much more publicly visible manner, the benefits of careful urban renewal which Hämer had been championing throughout the 1970’s.44 As a result of these simultaneous endeavours, the ‘12 Principles’ materialised and formed the backbone of IBA Altbau, maintaining the involvement of the Instandsetzung alongside other cooperative groups and ensuring that residents remained centrally involved with the redevelopment of their neighbourhood. Like in the case of Christiania, IBA Altbau therefore saw the architect take a back-seat role, no longer regarded as the ‘lone genius’ but instead working to support the local community in expressing their right for participation (Fig 26). In this manner, the architect became one of many agents alongside resident groups working towards social change, with the Instandsetzung in particular expressing a form of ‘spatial agency’ - a physical critique and demonstration of an alternative to the governmental urban strategy. However, what sets the IBA apart from Christiania, is the positioning of these social agents within an established governmental framework. Working from within the established structures of power in order to integrate a ‘capability of acting otherwise’, the architect and participants were 20


able to express a form of ‘system immanent critique’ upon the entire “hierarchical political structure and its paternalistic urban planning strategies”.45 As a result of this, IBA Altbau was able to become a truly transformative programme, instigating fundamental change in mainstream urban policy, with the 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal being adopted into official urban development policy soon after their announcement in 1982.46 The legacy of the IBA can be best seen in the city block positioned between Kottbusser Tor and the Landwehr Canal, aligned along the axis of Admiralstrasse, with Block 70 and the self-construction experiment ‘Wohnregal’ being amongst the most celebrated projects (Fig 28). ‘Wohnregal’ translates to ‘residential shelving’ and is a prime example of early modular design, with a concrete and timber structure acting as a shelving unit within which self-built apartments are stacked. Block 70, a patchwork redevelopment of a city block with its expressive sweeping elevations, multi-levelled accessible internal courtyard, and chaotic arrangements of windows and balconies effectively represent the idiosyncratic creations which arose from the bottom-up design process of IBA Altbau (Fig 27). However, it is not in these architectural creations, but in the resulting social environment where the true success of the IBA can be experienced. Some 30 years later, the neighbourhood feels alive and distinctly communal - bars and cafes spill out into the streets; pedestrianised roads allow for impromptu events and gatherings; political banners and washing lines hang from balconies, announcing themselves to passers by and residents hang from windows, chatting and passing items between floors (Fig 27, 29 - 32). There is a distinct human presence on the street and a sense of resilience amongst the community who endured and built this neighbourhood for themselves. As a physical example of ‘eroticism’ the neighbourhood is a convincing portrayal of Marion Young’s theory, with “the novel, the strange and surprising”47 being present here in abundance. The focus on social infrastructure and cooperative development represents an ‘irrational’ diversion from the top-down model of traditional development, driven by the ambition to create living, breathing, inclusive

Fig 26 Postage stamps depicting the difference in focus between the two IBA programmes: IBA 1957 - ‘Architecture as an object’ IBA 1987 - ‘Social participation and human scale’

neighborhoods as opposed to predictable, rational and profitable development. This leads us to an important question which now needs to be addressed. If the IBA Altbau was such a celebrated advancement of urban theory and integrated rational irrationality into mainstream urban policy, and if eroticism and organized complexity were implemented with such success, why are the principles demonstrated here not commonplace in modern British society? The answer to this question lies in the founding circumstances of IBA Altbau, and what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as ‘The Power of Context’.48

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Fig 27 Block 70 corner house and public realm eroticism Annotated (August 2018) 22


Fig 28 IBA Altbau Aerial View Annotated with Block 70 + Wohnregal locations

Fig 29 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Rehabilitate instead of levelling! No concrete on the bank!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Political banners on balcony (August 2018) 23


Fig 32 Wohnregal today - exterior planting and furniture (August 2018)

Fig 30 Block 70 Gatehouse - Permeable internal courtyard (August 2018)

Fig 31 Wohnregal at the time of completion (1987) 24


IBA meets IBA Network, ‘1979–1984/87 IBA Berlin: Inner city as a living space’, Open IBA, <https://www.open-iba. de/en/geschichte/1979-1987-iba-berlin> [accessed 27th September 2018] 37 Peter Blake, ‘Berlin’s IBA: A Critical Assessment’, Architectural Record, 181 (1993) p.202 38 IBA meets IBA Network, ‘1957 Interbau Berlin: Competing Systems’, Open IBA, <https://www.open-iba.de/en/ geschichte/1957-interbau-berlin> [accessed 29th September 2018] 39 Blake (1993) p. 40 Hardt-Waltherr Hamer, ‘A Testing Ground for Urbanism’, The Unesco Courier, 1 (1991) p.34 41 Eva Maria Hierzer and Philipp Markus Schorkhuber, ‘Infrastructural Critique. The Upside Down of the Bottom-Up: A Case Study of the IBA Berlin 84/87’, Footprint, 7 (2013) p.118 42 IBA meets IBA Network, ‘12 Principles of Careful Urban Development’, Open IBA, <https://www.open-iba.de/ en/geschichte/1979-1987-iba-berlin/12-grundsatze-derbehutsamen-stadterneuerung> [accessed 29th September 2018] 43 Hierzer and Schorkhuber (2013) p.117 44 Hierzer and Schorkhuber (2013) p.117 45 Hierzer and Schorkhuber (2013) p.119 46 IBA meets IBA Network, ‘12 Principles of Careful Urban Development’, Open IBA, <https://www.open-iba.de/ en/geschichte/1979-1987-iba-berlin/12-grundsatze-derbehutsamen-stadterneuerung> [accessed 29th September 2018] 47 Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2011) p.267 48 Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, New Ed (New York, Back Bay Books, 2002) 36

Fig 33 Block 70 internal courtyard landscape (August 2018)

Fig 34 Landwehr Canal looking west (August 2018)

25


PART 2 THE POWER OF CONTEXT

‘The Power of Context’ refers to one of journalist Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Three Rules of Epidemics’, which states that the ‘tipping point’ or start of an epidemic happens as a result of some change occuring “in one (or two or three) of those areas”.49 In a twist of the traditional definition, an epidemic can be understood for the context of this study as a widespread occurrence of an infectious idea or trend, which spreads to permeate an entire community. The power of context primarily concerns the theory that “human beings are a lot more sensitive to their environment than they may seem”.50 Human behaviour is unconsciously sensitive to the details of our surroundings, responding to the social, political, economical and religious context of our daily lives. If an idea relates to these contextual factors, it can have a far greater impact and contribute towards the eventual ‘tipping point’. IBA Altbau, and the subsequent institutionalisation of the 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Development can thus be seen as the ‘tipping point’ of urban participation, creating an ‘epidemic’ which has influenced urban policy in Berlin ever since.

Fig 35 The Tipping Point The point at which an ‘epidemic’ is triggered

Following the success of IBA Altbau, it would be easy to suggest that the 12 Principles simply be picked up and applied to a modern British context, however the success of this strategy was directly linked to the circumstances through which they were developed - remove them from this context, and their potential for transformative agency is severely reduced. The remainder of this study will therefore not focus on the potential modern day applications of the 12 Principles themselves, but rather an exploration of how radical theory is formulated and subsequently integrated into existing frameworks. The institutionalization of the Kreuzberg ‘cautious urban renewal’ programme should not be romanticised as a visionary aspiration towards social responsibility - in reality the 26


Fig 36 Karl-Marx-Allee (Formerly Stalinallee) East Berlin urban development (1967)

official validation of the programme was politically motivated, adopted as a means of conflict resolution. The squatter movement of the 1970’s put huge pressure on the state, with the growing number of organised opposition groups prompting the administration to pursue public relation strategies in an effort to find a resolution.51 This resolution strategy started with the competition ‘Strategies for Kreuzberg’, which involved a resident’s action group named SO36 e.V. in generating ideas for the alternative development of Kreuzberg, however widespread destructive development still prevailed in the meantime.52 After a period of growing tensions between the public and the authorities, triggering a chain of action and reaction, this eventually led to the formation of the Instandsetzung and the start of the IBA in 1979, forming a tipping point towards the institutionalisation of cautious urban renewal strategy. There is also an inescapable link to political ideology which underlines this process; the Berlin Wall was still in existence during these years, and so the liberal government of West Berlin would be keen to celebrate the participatory democracy of the IBA as a triumph over the socialist regime of East Berlin, who had produced their own urban development projects focused around the monumental boulevarde Stalinallee (now

Karl-Marx-Allee) (Fig 36).53 It is therefore clear that the emergence and institutionalization of the 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal is inseparable from the sociopolitical context of the time, intimately connected to the details of the city environment. There is a growing theory within architectural discourse that the current socio political climate of the UK incubates the same potential for radical action as demonstrated in Berlin in the 1970s. Against the backdrop of the housing crisis, political parties from both sides seem to have established a sense of common ground, with a cumulative acknowledgement that the private sector is not delivering the number of homes needed, making the crisis the ‘defining political issue of the moment’.54 This situation can be seen to mirror the circumstances of the post-war years in Britain, where a collective push for housing was the tipping point towards the widespread building of social housing throughout the 1960’s. Considered the ‘golden age’ of social housing design, which saw the construction of celebrated social housing projects such as the Alexandra Road Estate, local authorities delivered projects designed by in-house architectural departments, attracting talented graduates fresh out of architecture school.55 As a result, in the early 1970’s 50% of 27


architects were employed by the public sector whereas today less than 9% of architects are working on public sector projects.56 The overall success of these individual social housing projects is debatable, however they represent an undeniable visionary optimism, attention towards social responsibility and an embracing of risk which is lacking as a result of the McDonaldization of modern urban development. Therefore, there is reason to suggest that the current climate of the UK housing sector represents a new tipping point, signifying the moment at which alternative theory is best positioned to challenge the established rationality of urban development.

Gladwell (2002) p.19 Gladwell (2002) p.29 Hamer (1991) p.35 52 Hierzer and Schorkhuber (2013) p.118 53 Blake (1993) p.216 54 Johnston (2018) p.8 55 Johnston (2018) p.7 56 RIBA Building Futures, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Future for Architects?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; (2011) 49 50 51

28


Architect

Planner

PART 3 TOWARDS RATIONALIRRATIONALITY

Public

Residents Group

S PATIAL AG E N CY

This study has thus far established rationalirrationality and its connotations of eroticism, organised complexity and spatial agency as an antidote to the McDonaldization of urban development, offering the opportunity for transformative change within the frameworks of neoliberal society, at a pivotal moment or ‘tipping point’ in time. This concluding chapter will gather the findings thus far, in order to suggest how ‘the capability of acting otherwise’ may be implemented in practice. In the case of the Instandsetzung and Hardt Hämer in the run-up to the 1987 IBA Berlin, to create urban development which was critical and socially engaged, it was necessary to acknowledge and express internal critique towards the infrastructural framework of power within which they operated (Fig 37). This required a rethink of the role of the architect, abandoning the ‘Fountainhead esque’ myth of the sole genius57 and instead considering the architect as one social agent amongst many in the pursuit of spatial agency, as demonstrated in the social urbanism of Free Town Christiania (Fig 38).

Local Authority

Neoliberal Society Frameworks of Power

TOP DOWN Place Making

Complex Rules

Command Control

spatial agency MIDDLE

GROUND

Fig 37

Condition Making Enabling Simplecritique Rulesto influence Expressing system-imminent theLeadership frameworks of Neoliberal Society

BOTTOM UP

The output which a policy of rationalirrationality may produce, and the direction in which ‘acting otherwise’ may lead are intimately linked to context, due to the fact that “spatial agents work with a situated approach, in which ‘context’ is core to prioritising the human needs of any specific place”.58 It is therefore impossible to propose a specific set of principles as a ‘one size fits all’ solution to the issues of McDonaldization; like the 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal, remedies are intimately connected to their founding context and thus unable to be applied to a new setting without losing some of their original transformative power.

Architect

Planner

Local Authority

Public

Residents Group

S PATIAL AG E N CY

Fig 38 The Architect as a spatial agent amongst many

Neoliberal Society 29

Frameworks of Power


Public Practice, a London based social enterprise founded by Finn Williams and Pooja Agrawal, can be seen as a potential platform through which to make these aspirations a reality. Public Practice acts as a broker, ‘placing built environment experts within forwardthinking public authorities’ in order to improve the public sector’s capacity for proactive planning.61 Through the placing of design professionals within governmental frameworks, the ability for system-immanent critique could be maximised, therefore providing the opportunity to instill the mindset of spatial agency and ‘the capability of acting otherwise’ into the higher frameworks of urban policy.

The importance of locality subsequently increases the importance of devolution, favouring area specific policy as opposed to the nationwide blanket solution recently proposed by the Ministry of Housing’s ‘Garden Communities’ prospectus. In this context, local governmental bodies such as local authorities and city councils are of increased importance, having better ties to the locality and thus being in the position to implement urban policy rooted in context. Local governance has the opportunity to become one of the many social agents working to deliver socially responsible urban development, focused on the creative evaluation of the frameworks through which projects are processed, as opposed to the physical delivery of projects.

The success of Public Practice and the spread of the ‘capability of acting otherwise’ of course depends on the skills and talents of these design professionals alongside the receptiveness of the local governance involved in embracing change, echoing the conclusions originally drawn by George Ritzer regarding

This suggests a change from traditional ‘placemaking’ policy; instead of dealing in the physical realm of ‘place’, which can exert topdown control and risks permeating the singular vision of the ‘smooth city’, it is far more liberating to deal with the social realm and pursue a policy of what can be called ‘condition-making’. Explored in his work on ‘game urbanism’, Hans Venhuizen considers spatial planning as a game, which should strike a balance between the “game side of seriousness, and the serious side of game playing”.59 As opposed to deterministic, ‘game urbanism’ is responsive and fluid, with the urban designer taking the role of games master, overseeing the game of participation without dictating the outcome. Game urbanism is therefore a creative form of ‘condition making’, where the architect or planning officer becomes a guide and enabler, shaping the frameworks through which urban developments are formed in order to ensure social inclusion and engagement is central to the process.

TOP DOWN Place Making

Complex Rules

MIDDLE

Condition Making

In order to achieve these goals, a direct engagement with existing power structures and a creative analysis of their frameworks is essential in order to find where a policy of rational irrationality can be integrated. Kevin Campbell provides an effective analysis of the existing top-down process against bottomup process, and suggests a middle ground between the two; based on a series of small changes to top-down rationality, previously limiting bureaucracy can be tweaked to become responsive and enabling (Fig 39).60

Command Control

GROUND

Simple Rules

Enabling Leadership

BOTTOM UP

Architect

Fig 39 Pursuing a ‘middle ground’ between top-down Local Residents and bottom-up processes Planner Authority Public Group(2013) Kelvin Campbell

30

S PATIAL AG E N CY


the importance of human reason in limiting the McDonaldization of society. Returning to Denise Scott-Brown’s reflection on her career in urban design and architecture, the future of urban development policy is therefore ultimately in the hands of those willing to shape it, requiring a diverse range of spatial agents working in organised complexity across multiple distinct localities, who “will know when, in their given role, it is appropriate to design and when it is more creative not to.”62

The Fountainhead, a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand centers around Howard Roark, an individualistic architect of modernist buildings who champions the architect as a ‘sole visionary’, refusing to accommodate any compromise from the original design intent of his creations. 58 Corrado Curti and Marcia Caines, ‘Spatial Agency: a conversation with Tatjana Schneider on architecture as a quietly revolutionary practice’, Cluster, <http://www.cluster. eu/2011/04/21/spatial-agency-a-conversation-with-tatjanaschneider-on-architecture-as-a-quietly-revolutionary-practice> [accessed 3rd October 2018] 59 Hans Venhuizen, Game Urbanism : Manual for Cultural Spatial Planning (Amsterdam, Valiz, 2010) p.102 60 Kelvin Campbell, Youtube, Top Down vs Bottom Up Kevin Lynch Memorial Lecture, <https://www.youtube.com/ watch?time_continue=1&v=QO2vCv_JYWw> [accessed 12th September 2018] 61 Finn Williams, ‘About’, Public Practice <http://www. publicpractice.org.uk/about> [accessed 6th October 2018] 62 Scott Brown, Denise, ‘Between Three Stools: A Personal View of Urban Design and Pedagogy’, Education for Urban Design: A Selection of Papers Presented at the Urban Design Educator’s Retreat, April 30th-May 2nd, 1981 (1982) p.172 57

31


AFTERWORD

This research project started by asking how rational-irrationality can be integrated into modern UK urban policy, which through primary source observations, historical case studies and analysis of urban theory both past and present, has concluded with the realisation that it is not a set of principles, but rather a certain perspective or mindset which must be implemented - ‘the capability of acting otherwise’. This study has therefore not produced a set of ‘one size fits all’ principles, but rather laid out the guidelines for how a mindset of rational-irrationality may be integrated into infrastructures of power. The view of architecture as a purely physical discipline is an outdated model which is out of sync with modern cities; in order to move urban theory forward architects must become spatial agents, integrated within the frameworks of established power structures in order to practice system-immanent critique that becomes a transformative force from within. “The globalised architect must become more than just an artful visionary, but also a master of the art of the political nudge, willing to act in multiple mediums and the simultaneous scales of the chaotic new world disorder” Michael Jenson ‘The Architect of Alterity’ (2014)

Michael Jenson, Mapping the Global Architect of Alterity: Practice, Representation and Education (London, Routledge, 2014) p.10 63

32


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VISUAL MEDIA Fig 1 High-Rise, J.G. Ballard 1975 Edition Cover <https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2264635.High_ Rise>

Fig 12 Christiania Building Store (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 2 The UK housing crisis headlines The Independent (2018) <https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/housing-homeless-crisis-homes-a8356646.html>

Fig 13 Christiania Building Store - pick n’ mix windows (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 14 Christiania Eroticism - Buddhist temple (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 3 The ‘Garden City’ - a slumless utopia? Ebenezer Howard (1898) <https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2014/mar/17/ebbsfleet-garden-city-george-osborne>

Fig 15 Christiania Eroticism - ‘Greenhouse’ Green House (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 4 Disneyland One of the most popular ‘Islands of the Living Dead’ <https://www.britannica.com/place/Disneyland>

Fig 16 Daycare activity spilling onto the beach + floating rafts and model boats in the lake Image produced by the author

Fig 5 A security guard watches over the smooth operation of pseudo-public space at Granary Square, London (2017) <https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jul/24/revealed-pseudo-public-space-pops-london-investigation-map>

Fig 17 Impromptu streetside musical performance Image produced by the author Fig 18 A house of glass - Christiania modernism? Image produced by the author

Fig 6 Gordon Cullen’s theory of ‘Serial Vision’ where a series of jerks and revelations give the streetscape drama and richness, can be seen as a physical form of eroticism <https://blogs.ethz.ch/prespecific/2013/09/17/cullentownscape>

Fig 19 Christiania as an isolated entity = limited impact on Neoliberal frameworks Image produced by the author

Fig 7 Study trip map (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 20 ‘You are now entering the EU’ Christiania exit sign Image produced by the author

Fig 8 Christiania Entrance Gate (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 21 IBA 1987 Poster http://mypicturepostcards.blogspot.com/2014/03/theinternational-building-exhibition.html

Fig 9 ‘Gratis’ - ‘Free’ Free materials and equipment displayed on the street, ready to be shared by the community (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 22 IBA Interbau 1957 ‘Architecture as an object’ https://afterthewarblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/berlininterbau57-revisited

Fig 10 (overleaf) Free Town Christiania Aerial view from the spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 23 IBA Neubau Central courtyard with play area and gardening zone Herman Hertzberger (1986) h t t p s : / / w w w. a h h . n l / i n d e x . p h p / e n / p r o j e c t s 2 / 1 4 woningbouw/78-lindenstrasse-housing-berlin-germany

Fig 11 A poster displaying the extensive community-run recycling scheme: Hard Plastic, Metals, Bottles, Paper, Cardboard, Electronics, Batteries, Light Bulbs, Other Waste, Biodegradable (August 2018) Image produced by the author

Fig 24 The inner-city district of Kreuzberg District map of Berlin Image produced by the author

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Fig 25 The 12 Principles of Cautious Urban Renewal Annotated Image produced by the author

Fig 38 The Architect as a spatial agent amongst many Image produced by the author Fig 39 Pursuing a ‘middle ground’ between top-down and bottom-up processes Kelvin Campbell (2013) Image produced by the author

Fig 26 Postage stamps depicting the difference in focus between the two IBA programmes: IBA 1957 - ‘Architecture as an object’ IBA 1987 - ‘Social participation and human scale’ <https://www.archinform.net/stich/543.htm> <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stamps_of_ Germany_(Berlin)_1987,_MiNr_785.jpg> Fig 27 Block 70 corner house and public realm eroticism Annotated (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 28 IBA Altbau Aerial View Annotated with Block 70 + Wohnregal locations Annotated Google Earth image Fig 29 ‘Rehabilitate instead of levelling! No concrete on the bank!’ Political banners on balcony (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 30 Block 70 Gatehouse - Permeable internal courtyard (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 31 Wohnregal at the time of completion (1987) <https://www.open-iba.de/en/geschichte/1979-1987-iba-berlin/selbstbauexperiment-wohnregal> Fig 32 Wohnregal today - exterior planting and furniture (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 33 Block 70 internal courtyard landscape (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 34 Landwehr Canal looking West (August 2018) Image produced by the author Fig 35 The Tipping Point Image produced by the author Fig 36 Karl-Marx-Allee (Formerly Stalinallee) East Berlin urban development (1967) <https://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/thehistory-of-karl-marx-allee-in-1-minute> Fig 37 Expressing system-imminent critique frameworks of Neoliberal Society Image produced by the author

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Profile for Samuel Letchford

Rational-Irrationality  

Exploring alternative urban policy as a counter to the rationalisation of urban development, through the first-hand analysis of case studies...

Rational-Irrationality  

Exploring alternative urban policy as a counter to the rationalisation of urban development, through the first-hand analysis of case studies...

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