The Walkable City

A performance by Economy/Tor Lindstrand.

 

 

“I wish I could talk in Technicolor. Or let you see, did you say you could see it? It’s here, can’t you feel it? This whole room. Everything is in color and I can feel the air and I can see it, I can see molecules. Wonder at the incredible vistas that surround you with the vivid contrast of green lawns that meet the azure blue of the River, be mesmerized by the beauty of the setting sun and dazzled by the twinkling stars at night. I have never seen such infinite beauty in my life. It’s like a curtain or a spider web. Can you see it it’s right here in front of me. Now, watch, no, good heavens. You know it went through me. It passed right through me.”

Non-plan enterprise zones, propagative-atmospheric-urbanism and dark matter organization are examples of contemporary strategies that are used to transform the city and its architectures. The practice of building has become so abstract, so hi-jacked by the forces of economics that when we talk about building cities, we are no longer talking about actually building matter, but optimising systems to better insure continued growth. The qualities of the cities of the future have nothing to do with the needs of the current citizens; instead it is geared toward attracting a future workforce of ambitious, well-educated and creative young professionals. The urban industry complex is preparing us for a city where life and work are again merged as one. A city where attention is the new currency and every interaction, encounter or experience is understood as an economical transaction. What role will architecture and architectural processes play under these conditions, is it doomed to act as a lubric

ant for an increased privatization or could it re-form itself as an oblique order, a refused flank, for the construction of a different collective?

 

Tor Lindstrand

 

Tor Lindstrand (Stockholm) is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH-A) and a co-owner of the office of Larsson, Lindstrand and Palme. He has been working on projects oscillating between architecture, visual art and performance in numerous cultural contexts, among others TATE Liverpool, Venice Architecture Biennale 2008 and 2010, Steirischer Herbst, Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture 2009, VOLTA Basel, Performa New York, Royal Dramatic Theatre Copenhagen, NAI Rotterdam, Stockholm Architecture Museum and Storefront New York. Together with choreographer Marten Spångberg he initiated International Festival, a practice working on context specific projects spanning from buildings, publications, films, installations, public interventions and situations. In 2010 he founded Economy together with Jessica Watson-Galbraith, a Swedish-Australian platform working with architecture, art and performance. He is currently involved in a collaborative research project on Power, Space and Ideology at KTH-A and Södertörn University.


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