Thursday, December 10, 2009

Steven Holl Does Urbanism

Exactly the way you would expect it be done. Hollystyle: immaturish and child-like.

I came across this new book on Urbanism, by architect Steven Holl, and have yet to purchase it. I doubt I will, after reading this product description from Amazon:

(description in black/interpretation in red):

Contemporary urban development is increasingly characterized by a reliance on diagrams to convey the rational statistical point of view of the professional urban planner. In his new book Urbanisms architect Steven Holl suggests that just as modern medicine has recognized the power of the irrational psyche urban planners need to realize that the experiential power of cities cannot be completely rationalized and must be studied subjectively. (You silly people with your facts, figures, and insistence upon empiricism should let me do the kind of self-indulgent "exploration" of my own choosing, because you see it is way to complex for you to understand.)

With a selection of urban and architectural projects from his thirty year practice Holl stretches urban planning into the domain of uncertainty. Analyzing a wide range of matters from everyday experiences to spatial data Urbanisms examines how perception and the senses are intertwined with the material space and light of urban form. (I thought you said data was too rational? Or how about you are just dealing with the incomprehensive nature of statistical abstractions and incalculable "externalities" like an adolescent?)

A comprehensive exploration of each project illustrates this much-celebrated and influential architect's perspective on large-scale planning. (Because I, being Stephen Holl, am the embodiment of Neitzsche's overman. The only human capable of harnessing the power of the irrational and administering it upon all of you lesser beings.)

Say no more Steven, pictures sometimes say a thousand words. This one says, "ugh."