What could be more fantastical, of more consequence, than building a new city? Or a new house? Hunting a hog or ploughing a field is easy
enough, you can follow a natural order. But building a new city? That’s pure imagination, pure virtuality. On a small, carefully chosen and defined plot of land, a city can be anything we want it to be. There, in that particular abstraction of territory, there are no qualitative boundaries, except those set by our own imagination, which in turn has been shaped over time by the rhythms of the fields that lie under the sun.
Today, thus our contention, it is no longer the cultivation of fields that is being visualised and whose surpluses find articulation in the cities. Through information technology it is our cities themselves that are being cultivated. Today we look for virtualisations and architectural articulations on a new plateau. What, then, are the imaginings, the thought patterns that are being shown to us by Vitruvius, Palladio, Ledoux, Durand, Semper, Loos,
Wright, Corbusier, Sullivan, Rossi, Krier, Ungers, Alexander, Otto, Venturi, Eisenman, Libeskind, Hadid, Gehry, Lynn, Herzog & de Meuron, Zumthor, Koolhaas? What are the virtualities, what the urbanities described by deconstructivism, structuralism, post-structuralism, minimalism, functionalism, international style, modernity, postmodernism, existentialism, phenomenology, behaviourism, positivism, vitalism?
Let’s cultivate these ideas for our new architecture and our new cities.