COULD THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE BE MORE INTERACTIVE? [16/20]
Unitary Urbanism is the critique of status quo urbanism by Letterist Interational that started in 1953-1960 it then developed further after 1960. It was developed into the practices of: the situation, the dérive or drift, psychogeography, detournement, recuperation and revolution, which LI believed were necessary for Unitary Urbanism. The relative utopia of the UU ideal was that the structural and artistic elements of human’s metropolis surroundings are blended into such a grey area that one cannot identify where function ends and play begins. Unitary Urbanism would become the synthesis of art and technology, it would an enthralling functional environment, an adaption to practical function, technical innovation, comfort and banishment of superimposed ornament. The current landscape of our cities does not stimulate us, it does not enthral us, we’re becoming drones in grey disconnected cities. The current architecture of cities forces oneself into a certain system of interaction with their environment, there is no space for different paths to be chosen, for different unexpected outcomes to occur, our cities have left us unable to drift around them without purpose or aim. We work in the city we are always on a mission to get to x, y, z places on time, we’re tourists in a city we’re always on a mission to cram as many tourist attractions into as little time as possible, we’re not experiencing our city nor is it interacting with us. Most large cities lack ‘ambience’ as well, Guy Debord who was a supporter of Unitary Urbanism wanted the unification of two different factors of “ambience” both soft - light, sound, time and hard - physical constructions, when was the last time we were able to justly describe the ‘ambience’ of a city? Most cities have the psychogeographical relief with constant fixed points which discourage entry to and exit from certain zones, our cities are no longer open spaces, more and more spaces are becoming privatised, in the future will we be able to freely explore space without exploring privatised territory?
- Coverley, Merlin. Psychogeography. (London: Pocket Essentials, 2006).
- Debord, Guy (editor). Guy Debord presente Potlatch (Paris: Folio, 1996).
- Ford, Simon. The Situationist International: A User’s Guide. (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2005).
- Aleksandar Janicijevic, “Psychogeography Now - Window to the Urban Future” (Toronto, June 2008) (International Journal for Neighbourhood Renewal, Liverpool, UK)