I have been influenced by the Dutch artist and architect Constant Nieuwenhuys, whose 18-year architectural project entitled New Babylon was first conceived under the auspices of the Situationist theory of “unitary urbanism”. Constant was a founding member of the avant-garde group the Situationist International. In 1957 he began working on New Babylon and continued its development until he was forced to concede that it would never be realized, eighteen years later.

Constant defined unitary urbanism as a rethinking of the perceived order of the city and its structure. Rather than thinking of the city as a fractured system of individual parts, Constant conceived the city as an all-encompassing structure.  New Babylon makes “use of already-known architectural parts in order to fabricate a new unknown” through the complex interactions of real and imagined structures, new urban forms emerge through the patterning of spaces.  The impact of this dialogue…

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“Ways of being urban in Latin America”

For a brief intro of sorts to urbanculturalstudies and Latin American cities [in English, references to works in English translation as well as David Harvey, and Doreen Massey] see the article by Alejandra García Vargas (Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidad de Jujuy, Argentina) and Patria Román Velázquez (Department of Sociology, City University, London) titled

Latin American Urban Cultural Studies: Unique Texts, Ordinary Cities

available online here.

[the post’s title is a phrase taken from the above essay]