Reading 2 – Allen

When human ecology becomes condensed and a coherent accumulation of controllable ontology, the city rises. Allen’s reflection on the city, from metropolis to capital, brings forward questions about which pervades current ecology the most. When Allen suggests that the metropolis is “not only the site of the most radical experiments of modernism, it is itself an active protagonist in the actions of the avant-gardes,” the capital remains an organized milieu, bringing forth protection and power. What is not apparent in the capital sets the metropolis up for change. Conflict brings about shifts in power and Allen argues that in doing so the metropolis sparks a flame for creative thought and new solutions. Allen writes, “It is the task of the metropolis to make a ‘place’ for conflict, and in so doing, create the conditions to absorb and manage the inherent conflicts that modernity creates.”

As the “metropolitan sensibility” faded, from a once vibrant vehicle for urbanism, it moved into a wide field condition settled amongst the west American plains. Urbanism became transport, social interaction became information communication, what Allen identifies as the “waning of affect.” In bringing back a meaning of place, a new constituent becomes apparent as information is an overriding thematic structure throughout. From Maxwell’s Demon, to printed circuit boards, the flow of information is a comprehensible series of yes/no, defining an exchange system, “a complex system capable of producing multiple meanings and unanticipated effects.”


About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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