city & bioregion

Is sprawl good, after all?

I have always assumed that sprawl is a Bad Thing. For Jane Jacobs, in ‘Dark Age Ahead’, urban sprawl is something that “murders communities, and wastes land, time, and energy”. Sprawl is frequently blamed for environmentally-damaging transport intensity, the collapse of communities, even obesity. But James Woudhuysen, for one, thinks density has been over-sold, and […]

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Corrupted by cool?

Have cultural producers and designers become the stooges of property development? Guy Julier has invited me to stir things up in a talk at the inauguration on 2 March of DesignLeeds, a new research and consulting centre at Leeds School of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Invitations are available from Jean Horne: Telephone +44 113 283 […]

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Automatic eco architecture?

SOM, the global architecture firm, believes that we are entering an age of comprehensive, pervasive, simulation of the physical world. It has appointed a Digital Design Director, Paul Seletsky, to develop its expertise in Building Information Modeling (BIM). With BIM, models of all a building’s physical components are stored in a report-generating database that produces […]

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The diminishing spaces of childhood

A fascinating essay by Henry Jenkins explores the changing spaces of childhood. In the nineteenth century, children living on America’s farms enjoyed free range over a space which was ten square miles or more; boys of nine or 10 would go camping alone for days on end, returning when they were needed to do chores […]

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U and Non-U cities

(Seoul). In my car from the airport I am disconcerted by what sounds like someone drowning a dog in a bucket of water. It turns out to be the ringtone on my driver’s mobile phone. The traffic here is worse than ever so he probably has time in jams to source the weirdest downloads. More […]

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Doors of Perception get-together in Seoul

I’ll be in Seoul next week (to speak at Design Korea 05) and would be delighted to meet any friends (or friends-of-friends) of Doors, who are also going to that event, or who are in town, the evening of Wednesday 30 November. Go to the Grand InterContinental Seoul, 159-8 Samseong-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-732, South Korea […]

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Young words happening in Turin

I generally hate the Olympics but it does sometimes generate curious and interesting side events. Turin, which is hosting the winer Olympics, is hosting the the first electronic Town-Meeting in Italy. In “Young words happening” (great title by the way) young (under 35) people from all over the world will engage in three days of […]

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2-D cities

A quck reminder about the conference Urban Screens being organised by Mirjam Struppek in Amsterdam in three weeks from now. Presentations address the growing acreage of large digital moving displays that increasingly pervade our public spaces. Can the mainly commercial use of these screens be broadened to include cultural agendas? A question I hope will […]

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Urban planners in Fused Space

Can new technology improve the quality of public space? We know that technology changes the ways we use public space, but the most important ways tend not to have been consciously designed – they just happened. The widespread use of text-2-meet, for example, was not anticipated by the people who invented text messaging; and many […]

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