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Learning from steel cities

“Steel City awakens a longing for for authenticity in of a world where networks and technologies are no longer palpable. Steel City is a place of physical presence, the presence of body, of the haptic, of patina and aging. Steel City can be touched and felt”. Thus, poetically, Professor Wolfgang Christ, in his preview of next week’s conference on Steel Cities in Sheffield, UK. As China and India race to modernise their economies with imported steel, the focus of the conference is the ways in which lives, landscapes and relationships continue to be, transformed by steel. A sad-sounding post-conference excursion takes you to a former steel works that has been turned into a “science experience” where the arc furnace building is animated by a “rock and roll sound and light show”. Respectful silence as a trigger to the imagination would have been a better design strategy.

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