Working in an Urban Age: Thoughts - Projects - Narratives

author: Markus Schaefer, Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG
published: June 29, 2015,   recorded: May 2015,   views: 1931


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We live in a time of planetary urbanism. Throughout the world there are similar urbanization processes at work which depending on the local context, degree of centrality and quality of infrastructure generate gentrifying urban cores, sprawling agglomerations, mega-slums or depopulating rural areas. We are witnessing the largest loss of diversity and complexity ever recorded in human history. Yes, we believe that the world gets more complex, but only because in the anthropocene more and more of it is under our influence and yet little of it in our control.

But what are cities actually? What are their systemic commonalities? Can we understand the urban in a coherent manner? Can we generate a science of cities, a science of the generic? And on the other hand, can we value the local, the existing, the truly diverse and hence generate a phenomenology of the specific?

Working in an urban age is a challenge which we are only slowly starting to understand. This lecture shows a personal trajectory through such questions, trying to understand the global and yet working on the local.

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