Emerging Concepts In Urban Design Cultural Studies Essay

This paper is concerned with the beginnings and structural manifestations of the consequence of the two station modernist attacks to urban design referred to as neo empiricist philosophy and neo rationalism. The former can be considered a retreat into the past and the latter is a practical and rational manner of covering with the universe as it exists around us. They grow out of two opposing philosophical constructs, that of rationalism and empiricist philosophy. The contrast of British idea and Gallic idea. The beginning for the treatment is Geoffrey Broadbent’sA Emerging Concepts in Urban Space and Design. Although described as far less visually effectual than Gosling and Maitland, it however serves as a utile introductory catalogue of recent urban design theories and is based on a clear philosophical model ( Lloyds Jones & A ; Roberts, 1996 ) .

Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now


In order to understand the constructs elucidated in the 20th century by the neo empiricists it is first necessary to look to the philosophical attack to the empirical attack to understanding the universe around us that was proposed by minds such as Francis Bacon and David Hume in the late seventeenth to mid 18th century during the period normally referred to as the Enlightenment. This can be considered to be the maturing of early modern western thought following the Renaissance period, which fought to throw of the yolk of irrational medievalism in the preceding centuries.

In its simplest signifier empiricist philosophy can be described as cognition gained by centripetal experience, constructing up a mention library of past experiences with which to compare new ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . Like many philosophical systems they end up by a procedure of reductio ad absurdum reasoning such pathetic places as Hume ‘s averment that nil exists if no 1 is at that place to see or hear it ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . Such anthrocentric compulsions with adult male as the pinnacle of creative activity intimation at an underlying medievalism that one could reason is built-in in much philosophical theory and is merely a small manner along the way that considered Jerusalem to be the Centre of the existence.

This focal point on the centripetal experience necessarily led to the accent on aesthetic experience and beauty, or as Addison said, the Great, the Uncommon and the Beautiful ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . The two phases of experience are the immediate and the secondary, the direct and the contemplative. There is an component in this architectural attack that can be considered to fall into what Scott refers to as the romantic false belief ( Scott, 1980 ) .

In order to derive an apprehension of what the structural manifestations of the neo empiricist attack to planning and architectural design is in such a short survey it is best to look at a individual development that comprises a multiplicity of constructions. An illustration of Neo empiricist philosophy in station World War II architecture is the instead saccharine and ersatz development at Port Grimauld. Located on the gulf of St. Tropez and developed on an on-going footing since 1963 the construct was developed by Francois Spoerry ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . Although the development has been described as “ the most hopeful and important architectural be aftering accomplishment of our clip ” ( Broadbent, 1990, p.234 ) , it is a contrived and backward looking development that sums up so much that is incorrect in architectural design. It typifies an attack to architecture that is stuck in the medieval epoch and prioritises chocolate box soft focal point external aesthetics over rational functional attacks to the populating country of the built environment. It is instead similar go forthing Europe and happening oneself push in to Las Vegas. One merely has to drive a short distance to St Tropez to understand the difference between a existent Provencal town that has developed organically and been highly good developed and restored to understand the man-made nature of the Port Grimauld development. It is true that it is far cheaper the purchase flats in Port Grimauld that in the surrounding towns and small towns of the Gallic Riviera, but that in itself shows how the market has decided its true value.

In its defense mechanism it does, by making a series of unreal fingers of land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea, supply about all the flats with waterfront moorage. However this clearly unreal geological signifier is so over-laid with an effort to make the quintessential southern Gallic small town with changing manners and sizes of houses. It is possibly its salvaging grace that the mark market is the nouveau riche euro rubbish that have, traveling by their general frock sense, no grasp for genuineness or gustatory sensation. Although Williams Ellis instead sycophantically depict it as “ capturing ” and Broadbent believes that Spoerry transcends the disingenuous and contrived expression ( Broadbent, 1990 ) , one has to inquire if they have of all time really visited the site, or the encompassing country.

In order to see the incorrect bend taken by the empiricists one merely has to look at the celebrated exposure of the Barcelona Exposition in 1929. Behind the clean lines and fantastic merger of thin lucidity and happy stuffs fused into a functional and beautiful whole stands the medievalist resurgence constructions of the Pueblo Espanol. It is this substitute man-made rejection of the nascent modernism that condemns this whole philosophical attack of urban design base on neo empirical lines. It is instead absurd that Broadbent feels able to depict such Disneyland aesthetics as “ serious architecture ” ( Broadbent, 1990 ) .


Rationalism by contrast, as codified by Descartes is leery of the vagaries of human esthesis and experience. He preferred the modern to the medieval ( pg 82 ) . He was cognizant that although small small towns can be capturing, as they grow into big urban urban sprawls the same aesthetic has to give manner to the practical. In contrast to the absurd terminal point of empiricist philosophy, Descartes could understand that whether he was awake or asleep a square still had four sides ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . Following the philosophical definition, it fell to marc Antoine Laugier to interpret them into an architectural aesthetic, which he did in his Essai Sur l’Architecture in 1753 ( Broadbent, 1990 ) .

The ulterior developments that grew from Rationalism were in kernel an effort to make utopia and draws on the thought of such leading lights and Marx and Engels. In the field of architecture and urban design it led to the work of Jenneret, Oud and Rietveld. The neo positivist ideal, born in Italy in the early 1960s and espoused the likes of Rossi was known as Tendenza. Its intent was to make volumetric signifiers to physically specify the societal Utopia that was being developed intellectually all over Europe ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . It is instead unusual that Broadbent finds it deserving adverting that that the motion was able to blend both Marxist and American constructs of planning ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . , as if thoughts can non be integrated and adapted to multiple and varied state of affairss. It seems something of a amylum to claim the modern motion as a whole wanted to destruct every built construction and get down once more. In the context of urban planning there is so a demand to take old constructions in order to refashion the metropolis, but it does a ill service to scholarship to do rather such absolutist statement, peculiarly with no beginning to endorse it up ( Broadbent, 1990 ) .

Although many of the designers normally referred to as neo positivist have fallen back on a instead minimalist neo neo-classical manner the root of their attack is to be found in such purely modernist edifices as the 1924 Schroeder house in Utrecht by Geritt Rietveld. Examples given by Broadbent, such as Ricardo Bofill ‘s Les Arcades du Lac owe a clear debt to Oud ‘s lodging development at Wiessenhoffsiedlung in Stuttgart. Unfortunately he feels the demand to use the instead contrived veneer of classical pediments and saccharine Romanesque arcades, something non make at Murralla Roja. It is unfortunate because the formal layout is really beautiful and effectual but the rejection of pure signifier and map that was so good developed in the 1920s is unfortunate. The Schroeder house is one of the finest illustrations of holistic design of all time created. There is a empyreal balance and complete integrating of the formerly disparate elements of the external signifier, internal fluidness of the internal spatial layout through the usage of cut outs a movable screens and stylistically homogeneous furniture all integrated into a incorporate life environment.

Although now seen as a resurgence of classicalism and a rejection of modernism in its more barbarous signifiers that were to a great extent influenced by Jenneret ( Le Corbusier ) ( Broadbent, 1990 ) , it is merely as a consequence of the groundbreaking developments in the 1920s and 1930s and beyond by the modern motion that it was truly possible for the integrating of classical attacks to metropolis planning as seen in both the ancient universe and in the Renaissance metropolis planning of Italy. The metropoliss of the yesteryear were non of the same order of magnitude or a merchandise of the machine age. It was the integrating of modern stuffs and the depriving down of the luxuriant ornament that had encrusted the pure classical manner during the Baroque that architects from Oud to Mies van der Rohe must be credited with and which allowed people such as Rossi to take the waies that that they have. In fact one could reason that that Rossi ‘s Modena graveyard is every bit barbarous as it is classical.

Leon Krier is one of the designers who feel the demand to tack pathetic pediments onto edifices as if that is traveling permeate a tower block with a Greco Roman aesthetic ( Broadbent, 1990 ) . The compulsion with replacing echt architectural design with the over usage of trigons and simplified pediments if the curse of the built environment and was peculiarly prevailing in the 1980s. Mercifully more corporate committees are of the nature of Norman Fosters Gherkin in London. What is more interesting about the neo positivist attack is the usage of neo classical planning instead than the compulsion with the external ornament of the old-timer which does little more than highlight the decease of originality on the designers portion instead than supply uninterrupted ocular nexus with the sensed glorifications of the Roman Republic.


The instead arbitrary division into two general attacks is instead debatable. For illustration one is forced to oppugn the inclusion of the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Neo Empiricist subdivision when he take such a rational attack to blending signifier and map in the manner the visitant to the infinite is drawn around the edifice.

As has been seen the two attacks to particular design come from two different strains of idea and looking at the universe. These attacks are employed to changing grades all over the universe, but draw their beginnings from Bacon and Hume in Britain, and Descartes in France. The national features still can be argued to follow the same traditions. Britain is backward looking and obsessed with the past and defying alteration, a construct referred to as Nimbyism ( an acronym for non in my back pace ) , where as France modernises and develops practical solutions on a wide social degree, this holistic attack has led to that state, along with much of the continent holding far superior urban and interurban transit systems. One merely has to look at London being rebuilt after the Great fire on a mediaeval metropolis program once more, whereas the Gallic destroyed much of the mediaeval Centre of Paris and under the way of Hausmann built a functional and livable metropolis of avenues and flats. Britain prefers to continue every picturesque small town, and so the Eurostar train crawls through the south E of England before rushing through France. One could reason that the cardinal division between the two attacks is in the age old split between neo classical order and neo Gothic romanticism.


I'm Heather

Would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out