Read Collage City by Colin Rowe Free Online
Book Title: Collage City|
The author of the book: Colin Rowe
Edition: Mit Press
Date of issue: March 15th 1984
ISBN 13: 9780262680424
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.43 MB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 5.5
Read full description of the books:
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter were both influential architects and theorists. Rowe is known for making unconventional comparisons between cultural events and ideas, a practice that is evident in Collage City.
Collage City was published in 1978. During the 20th century, architecture and planning went through a shift. Growth in cities skyrocketed after the 19th century industrial revolution, and new models of cities began to be considered to deal with the effects of this growth. One of these views was modernism, which began to arise in the 1920s. Rowe’s unique view on history and Koetter’s progressive work were influential in changing how modern architecture and urban planning were viewed during that time. Collage City is a critical re-evaluation of the modernism movement. Rowe and Koetter discuss the fallacies of the modernist movement and note that while Modernist utopian visions were influential, they would ultimately result in uninhabitable cities. Collage City rejects the utopian visions of ‘total planning’ and ‘total design’ and instead proposes a city of fragments— a collage city. Although the argument of Collage City can at times be difficult to discern in the thickness of the writing, the argument is ultimately successful because of the large amount of examples, comparisons, and representations put forward by the authors to support their ideas.
The author’s main arguments in Collage City revolve around the idea of compromise. Following an introduction, the book is divided into five sections. The first section sets up the problem that the authors are addressing, the modernist visions of ‘total design’ and ‘total planning’. The middle three sections each discuss an idea of compromise in order to combat the monocular utopian visions discussed in the first section. These compromises include looking both forward and backward, balance between the planned and the unplanned, and compromise between scientific reasoning and bricoleur architecture. In the last section, the authors bring together all of these compromises in the proposal of a city of collage. An additional sixth section, an Excurses comprised of examples of what pieces of a collage city might look like, neatly ties off the book.
Overall, Collage City is an influential book in the field of urban planning and architecture. Rowe and Koetter’s rejection of popular modern utopian visions steered urban planning in a new direction. The proposals in Collage City are thoughtfully put forward and well backed up with examples. Comparisons to other author’s ideas and the thoughtful presentation of images further support the authors’ argument. However, at times the authors’ argument can be hard to follow due to long paragraph-like sentences and foreign words and concepts. If one can maneuver the complexity of Rowe and Koetter’s writing they will find in Collage City a well-supported argument against monocular modernist visions in favour of a flexible, contextualized, city of collage.
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Read information about the authorColin Rowe was a British-born, American-naturalised architectural historian, critic, theoretician, and teacher; acknowledged as a major intellectual influence on world architecture and urbanism in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond, particularly in the fields of city planning, regeneration, and urban design. During his life he taught briefly at the University of Texas at Austin and, for one year, at the University of Cambridge in England. For the majority of his life he taught as a Professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1995 he was awarded the Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the professional group's highest honor.
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