Delft Lectures on Architectural Design - Cultural Studies Exam Reader
DELFT LECTURES ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN2010 - 2011MSc 1 lecture series of the Department ofArchitecture, TU DelftAR1A060 – 3 ectsEDITORS:Christoph Grafe / firstname.lastname@example.orgDirk van den Heuvel / email@example.com
INTRODUCTIONThe Delft Lectures on Architecture Design highlight currentissues of the architecture discipline against the backgroundof the larger societal conditions that have an inevitableimpact on the practice of design. Contemporary positions inarchitecture practice and theory will be discussed against thebackground of the larger modern era (1750-2050) as char-acterised by the conditions of (post)modernity, the moderntradition in architecture and its various moments of crisis andcritique.Full professors, associate professors and researchers of theDelft Faculty of Architecture will address key contemporarytopics, and investigate historical models and theoretical argu-ments while discussing the latest architecture projects as wellas seminal cases.Main issues are among others:- modernity and its related issues of mass society, democracy,capitalist development and consumerism, mobility and migra-tion;- constructions of identity and community under a global,multi-cultural condition;- the relative autonomy of the discipline vis-à-vis the projectof the avant-garde, the role of the media, authorship and re-conceptualisations of perception and meaning;- the re-thinking of building processes and the interrelationsbetween structure, cladding and ornament;- the multitude of interrelations between the everyday, publicspace and design practices.Key questions concern:- where do architects stand and what can they do?- which positions and practices are developed by architects?- what strategies and approaches were and are relevant?Format:Double lectures (2 x 45 minutes) by full professors, associateprofessors and researchers of the department of Architectureand other faculty members. Lectures are concentrated in thefirst half of the semester, 7 weeks. Generally, the doublelectures start with introducing the ‘issue’, after which the‘positions’ are discussed. The lecture coordinators are presentto introduce the speakers and the topic, and to moderatequestions from the students.Examination:Written, with questions based on a reader to be compiled bythe coordinators, using texts as contributed by the speakers.
CONTENTS LECTURE 1MODERNITY: CONTINUITY AND DIFFERENCE Tom Avermaete, Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds – Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere: an Everyday Triad Paul Meurs – Building in the Stubborn City. Architecture vs History LECTURE 2 CONCEPTS OF CULTURE Christoph Grafe – Welfare State Culture and its Buildings. The Example of the French Action Culturelle Christoph Grafe – Concrete Rocks on the Thames Dick van Gameren – Revisions of Spaces, chapter 2 LECTURE 3 VIRTUAL REALITIES Arie Graafland – From embodiment in urban thinking to disembodied data. The Disappearance of Affect Kas Oosterhuis – A new kind of building LECTURE 4 BUILDING PROCESSES & PRODUCTION Kees Kaan en Henri van Bennekom – The context of the archi- tectural design process LECTURE 5 AUTONOMY VS ENGAGEMENT Lara Schrijver – OMA as tribute to OMU: Exploring Reso- nances in the Work of Koolhaas and Ungers Henk Engel – Theo van Doesburg and the Deconstruction of the Art of Building LECTURE 6 THE ARCHITECTURAL COMPOSITION Susanne Komossa – The Double-Faced Nature of Colour OF GREAT BUILDINGS Michiel Riedijk – Giant Blue Shirt at the Gasoline Station. Pop Art, Colour, and Composition in the Work of Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown Michiel Riedijk – The Parachutist in the China Shop. On Stirling LECTURE 7 BUILDING PLACES Dirk van den Heuvel – Another Sensibility. The Discovery of Context Tony Fretton – On Siza
LECTURE 1MODERNITY:CONTINUITYAND DIFFERENCETom Avermaete, Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds – Architecture,Modernity and the Public Sphere: an Everyday TriadPaul Meurs – Building in the Stubborn City. Architecture vsHistory
Tom Avermaete, Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds Introduction Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere: An Everyday Triad ‘Schiphol is the newest city in the Netherlands’, says Gerlach Cerfontaine, the director of Amsterdam Airport. Indeed, the airport has grown into much more than a few runways plus the facilities to handle arriving and departing planes as quickly as possible. At least forty percent of Schiphol’s total proﬁt comes from its shops and other visitor services, while only 32 percent comes from handling aircraft.1 In its spatial development plan for 2015, the airport takes on the mission of creating a public space for ‘interchange and interaction’.2 New hotels, mixed use in ofﬁce locations, and a larger range of shops are three of the improvements that it plans to make to create an attractive setting for the public. Schiphol also has its own Rijksmuseum, prison, pastoral centre, police force, mortuary, and its own branch of the Salvation Army, which helps the homeless, the airport’s only true residents. Schiphol expects its plans to yield rich returns; it has trademarked its ‘AirportCity Concept’ and plans to export it all over the world. The heart of AirportCity is Schiphol Plaza; the nomenclature alone makes it clear that the airport aims to be seen as an urban entity. Schiphol Plaza is the main square of this new city, full of shops, cafés, and restaurants. It is the place where everyone comes together: passengers and employees, daytrippers, vagrants, and locals. On a busy day, more than 100,000 visitors pass through the Plaza. Its signiﬁcance is obvious, says Jan Benthem of Benthem Crouwel, its designer: ‘Anyone can go there, twenty-four hours a day, without a ticket. Because the space doesn’t belong to anyone, it belongs to you. This type of public domain is an essential feature of the city.’3 Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the airport’s new role as an urban domain, because the expansion of Schiphol into a city is prompted mainly by From the Editors commercial motives. This ties into a broader social tendency: ‘Airports, stations, and major shopping centres – the malls and megastores that are overrunning Europe – are becoming more and more like bustling little urban developments where, above all, the consumer society is running at full steam,’ critic Max van Rooy writes as early as 1995 in the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. He does not regard this development as entirely favourable. ‘Some futurologists,’ he contin- ues, ‘even consider the airport the natural successor to the old and increasingly unsafe inner city. Its enormous terminals, populated by tens of millions of travel- 1 2 3Ruimtelijk Ontwikkelingsplan Ibid., p. 14. Tijs van den Boomen,Schiphol 2015, February ‘Schiphol: stad zonder 0172007, p. 11. inwoners’, in: Intermediair, 23 September 1999.
lers each year, have everything that makes a city centre appealing: piazzas, ship between modernity and the public sphere. What inﬂuence does architec-shopping streets, cafés, bars, restaurants, hotels, and pavement cafés where ture have? How can architecture accommodate and represent public life? Theseyou can sit any time, because its boundless spaces are entirely sheltered from are questions that architects must answer, because in spite of all the pessimisticthe weather. Experienced ﬂyers do not wear coats. Furthermore, this city is voices, architects still face the challenge of shaping public space – from piazzaalways clean and safe. Security services and the airport police keep watch, to Plaza™. Indeed, architects are actively searching for answers to these ques-while junkies, beggars, and rough sleepers hardly dare enter the modern tions, for new forms in which to house contemporary public life. Let us begin,cathedrals of steel and glass.’4 While the architect praises the accessibility and however, by investigating the sociological, philosophical, cultural, and architec-vitality of the new airport, calling it a public domain, the critic perceives this tural backdrop to the notion of the public sphere. This notion should be situateddifferently. After all, this type of commercial setting may at ﬁrst seem accessible in the context of modernity. After all, modernity has profoundly inﬂuenced theto all, but cameras and other subtle mechanisms nevertheless facilitate a development of contemporary architecture (at least in the West) and, moreprocess of monitoring and exclusion. Could a space that is not accessible speciﬁcally, has affected the way in which architecture approaches the publicfor everyone, a space where one’s conduct is monitored, really be part of sphere. In short, the central question of this anthology is: What position can thethe public domain? Could this kind of space even be a public space at all? architect take regarding a public sphere that is marked by continual change?With such questions, Van Rooy contrasts new spaces such as airports, railwaystations, and shopping malls with traditional urban spaces like piazzas, 1 Modernityshopping streets, cafés, and bars. His criticism is based on an analysis of these new spaces by the French 1.1 Modernization and modernityanthropologist Marc Augé, who describes them as intimately bound up withmodern forms of travel (planes, trains, and subways) and qualiﬁes them as Three terms form the background to the debate on the public sphere: ‘moderni-non-places. ‘Non-places’, he writes, ‘are spaces of transport and transit that zation’, ‘modernity’, and ‘modernism’. In brief, ‘modernization’ refers to theare lacking any historical signiﬁcance and strong symbolism. If a place can be process of innovation in society in the technical and socio-economic spheres.deﬁned as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which ‘Modernity’ signiﬁes the experience of this process, the condition arising fromcan not be deﬁned as relational, historical, or concerned with identity will be a these processes of technical and socio-economic change. Finally, ‘modernism’non-place.’5 Augé’s analysis shows that a great deal of life is now spent in these stands for artistic and intellectual reﬂection on this condition – in short, thenon-places, waiting for planes, trains, and subways. Yet the design of such way that this manifests itself in art and culture.10 This introduction concentratesspaces, though it allows them to fulﬁl their functions in a precise and efﬁcient on the terms ‘modernization’ and ‘modernity’, in so far as they pertain to themanner, does not promote a ‘public experience’. While cities’ traditional public emergence of the public sphere.spaces bring people together, these transitional spaces do not appear capable The modernization of society with its tremendous social impact, receivedof doing so. Augé notes that these new spaces are generic, rather than woven a strong impetus from the technological and scientiﬁc breakthroughs of the lateinto the historical and social fabric of the city. nineteenth century. Industrialization led to the reorganization of labour and This analysis of the changing character of public space, which Augé relates income. Cities grew to accommodate the ‘new’ labourers. Modern modes ofto airport terminals, railway stations, and subways, is not fundamentally new. transport made it easier to travel long distances. All these developments led toBack in the 1960s, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas noted in his well- a process of ‘normalization’. A good example is the effect of the introductionknown work Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit that the public domain is under of railways.11 After all, a reliable rail network requires a system for accurateconstant pressure from all sorts of forces, and risks vanishing completely.6 In measurement of time. In the Netherlands, for instance, no such system existed;recent architectural discourse, the 1989 English translation of Habermas’ bookand arguments like Augé’s have reopened the debate on the public domain, 4 anthropologie de la surmoder- 7 Variations on a Theme Park.and more speciﬁcally about its decline.7 Bruce Robbins’ The Phantom Public Max van Rooy, ‘Grenzeloos, nité. Paris 1992. For the rediscovery of The New American City and From the Editors zacht ﬂonkerend eurowaren- 6 Habermas’ conception of the the End of Public Space.Sphere, and Michael Sorkin’s Variations on a Theme Park. The End of Public huis. Onderweg van Lille naar Jürgen Habermas, Struktur- public sphere, see Harold New York (Hill & Wang) 1992.Space,8 are two examples drawn from the great ﬂood of works examining the Londen en Parijs’, in: NRC wandel der Öffentlichkeit. Mah, ‘Phantasies the Public 9 Handelsblad (1995), included Untersuchungen zu einer Sphere: Rethinking the Sorkin, Variations on a Themerelationship between the public domain and architecture. These authors tend to in: Max van Rooy, Het verhaal Kategorie der bürgerlichen Habermas of Historians’, in: Park, p. xv.link the notion of the public sphere to Western ideas of democracy. For instance, van de architectuur. Amster- Gesellschaft. Darmstadt The Journal of Modern History, 10Michael Sorkin writes in his introduction, ‘In the “public” spaces of the theme dam (Prometheus) 2007, (Luchterhand) 1962; English vol. 72, no. 1: New Work on Hilde Heynen, Architecture p. 244. translation: The Structural the Old Regime and the French and Modernity. A Critique.park or the shopping mall, speech itself is restricted: there are no demonstra- 5 Transformation of the Public Revolution. A Special Issue in Cambridge, Mass. (MIT Press)tions in Disneyland. The effort to reclaim the city is the struggle of democracy Marc Augé, Non-Places: Sphere. An Inquiry into a Honor of François Furet (March 1999, p. 26.itself.’9 When public space is not accessible to all, does this imply that certain Introduction to an Anthropo- Category of Bourgeois Society. 2000), pp. 153-182. 11 logy of Supermodernity. Studies in contemporary 8 Auke van der Woud, Eengroups are excluded from the interaction that takes place? When a space is London/New York (Verso) German social thought, Bruce Robbins, The Phantom nieuwe wereld. Het ontstaandeﬁned by restrictions (no demonstrations in Disneyland, no skateboarding in 1995, p. 77; original title: Cambridge, Mass. (MIT Press) Public Sphere. Minneapolis van het moderne Nederland.the mall), to what extent are we still free agents? Non-lieux. Introduction à une 1989. (University of Minnesota Press) Amsterdam (Bert Bakker) 1993; Michael Sorkin, 2006, pp. 27-32. 019 Architects are inevitably drawn to take a stand on the problematic relation-
instead, each town and village set its own time. Whenever a railway station as it does to their counterparts in the twenty-ﬁrst century. The Dutch philosopher opened, the local time inevitably had to be brought into line with the time all René Boomkens identiﬁes four historical and philosophical stages of moderni- along the route. More generally, one could argue that the rational control, struc- ty.20 The ﬁrst one starts in the mid-nineteenth century, when new inventions, turing, and regulation of life is the hallmark of modern existence. In all domains, scientiﬁc breakthroughs, and the rise of industry inspired amazement, but also modernization prompts a search for a great, new rational world order.12 a distinct sense of ephemerality. Writers like Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Newton, for instance, rejected medieval cosmology, replacing it with a world Rimbaud vividly described this experience. Baudelaire for instance described order that was much more abstract and comprehensive, and therefore more the condition of modernity as ‘the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, one transparent to reason. The French revolutionaries replaced old local measures half of art, the other half of which is the eternal and the immutable’.21 of weight, distance, and time with ‘universally’ applicable ones. They abolished In the second stage, between the two world wars, the liberating and pro- the countless legal systems of the Middle Ages and the ancien régime, with all gressive potential of modernity was strongly emphasized. Scientiﬁc and techno- their privileges and exceptions, to clear the way for a uniﬁed legal code. In logical advances inspired profound conﬁdence in the perfectibility of society each case, a not entirely controllable local order made way for a rationally and the progress of culture - generally meaning Western culture. Modernity was conceived universal one. In the name of rational science, this new order dealt experienced as distant from the past and aiming at the future. However, simulta- harshly with charlatans, fantasists, dreamers, and poets.13 neously, alarming books were being written by philosophers and historians In short, modern society subjected the world with ‘obsessively legislating, such as José Ortega y Gasset and Johan Huizinga, who believed that society deﬁning, structuring, segregating, classifying, recording and universalizing was in crisis, that it was losing touch with classical civilization and its cultural state reﬂected the splendor or universal and abolute standards of truth’,14 and ideals.22 They even worried about a return to barbarism. Yet most thinkers, and above all in the name of establishing ultimate control over the world. Hence, most architects, embraced the modern project and its liberation from the yoke the Canadian philosopher Michel Freitag describes modernity as a new way of of the past: it was experienced as a project of liberation, progress, and emanci- ‘regulating’ society.15 What Freitag means by regulation is the way that society pation. In architecture, this implied the radical reconsideration of architectural is organized and reproduced in various media. Both the organization and the tradition. The resulting radical urban and architectural projects by avant-garde reproduction of society changed profoundly under the inﬂuence of modernity. architects as Le Corbusier and Ernst May had a tremendous impact on the pro- In order to maintain the illusion of a perfectible world, modern society elimi- fession and on cities. nated anything that manifestly contradicted that illusion; all the ambivalence The third stage of modernity had a more diffuse character. It showed that could not be controlled. Discipline, rationalization, and civilization are the both regressive and progressive tendencies, and reached its apex in the late key terms of this process. Whoever behaved unpredictably, irrationally, or in 1960s, with the sexual revolution, and the Paris protests of May 1968 and the any uncivilized way had no place in the carefully weeded ﬁeld of activity that Amsterdam Provo movement. One key feature of this stage was the emergence was modern public space. Their re-education and rationalization could take of the welfare state and mass culture, resulting in growing economical prosperi- place in one of the specialized institutions (such as prisons, asylums, workhous- ty and social mobility, but also in an increasing process of individualization.23 es, academies, and boarding schools) that were so plentiful in modern society.16 The fourth stage can be ‘postmodernity’: modernity in crisis. Postmodernist These institutions were both expressions and safeguards of the perfectibility of thinkers, such as Jean François Lyotard, proclaim the end of all ‘Great that society. 12 16 18 le peintre de la vie moderne’, Otto Mayr, Uhrwerk und Michel Foucault, Naissance de Mattei Calinescu, Five Faces of in: Oeuvres complètes. Paris1.2 Modernity and its stages Waage. Autorität, Freiheit und la clinique. Une archéologie Modernity. Modernism, Avant- (Seuil) n.d., p. 553. technische Systeme in der du regard medical. Paris (PUF) Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, 22 When we consider the concept of the public sphere, we inevitably touch upon frühen Neuzeit. München 1963; English translation: Postmodernism. Durham José Ortega y Gasset, The (C.H. Beck) 1987; Stephen The Birth of the Clinic. An (Duke University Press) 1987. Revolt of the Masses. New York another concept: modernity. The exact nature of this condition may vary sub- Toulmin, Cosmopolis. The Archaeology of Medical 19 (W.W. Norton ) 1932; Johan stantially, as Jeffrey Herf emphasizes: ‘There is no such thing as modernity in Hidden Agenda of Modernity. Perception. New York Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Huizinga, In the Shadow of From the Editors general.’17 Different disciplines, such as philosophy, sociology, and architec- New York (Free) 1990. (Pantheon Books) 1973; Large. Cultural Dimensions of Tomorrow. New York (W.W. 13 Michel Foucault, Surveiller et Globalization. Minneapolis Norton) 1936. ture, have interpreted modernity in different ways. Depending on one’s position Michel Foucault, Histoire de la punir. Paris (Gallimard) 1975; (University of Minnesota Press) 23 or perspective ‘modernity’ takes on different semantic ﬁgures. Mattei Calinescu folie. Paris (Union Générale de English translation: Discipline 1996. Boomkens, Een drempel- writes of at least ‘ﬁve faces of modernity’ in the book with the same title,18 and l’Edition) 1964. and Punish. The Birth of the 20 wereld, p. 27; see also Arthur 14 Prison. New York (Pantheon René Boomkens, Een drempel- Marwick, The sixties: cultural similarly, Arjun Appadurai emphasizes in Modernity at Large19 that modernity Zygmunt Bauman, Intimations Books) 1978. wereld. Moderne ervaring en revolution in Britain, France, complies to a variety of meanings. An arsenal of terms and deﬁnitions for mo- of Postmodernity. London 17 stedelijke openbaarheid. Italy, and the United States, dernity has been developed over the past decades. The following paragraphs (Routledge) 1992, p. XIV. Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Rotterdam (NAi Publishers) c. 1958 –- c. 1974. New York 15 Modernism. Cambridge 1984, 1998. (Oxford University Press) 1998. provide a historical and philosophical overview and then go on to discuss the Michel Freitag, Dialectique et p. 1. 21 different cultural manifestations related to the concept of modernity. société. Vol. 2, Culture, ‘Le transitoire, le fugitif, le As mentioned before, modernity involves a drastically altered condition, pouvoir, contrôle. Les modes contingent, la moitié de l’art, de réproduction formels de la dont l’autre moitié est l’éternel which results from the processes of modernization. Obviously, there is no way société. Montréal (Les éditions et l’immuable’; Charles 021 modernity could have meant the same thing to people in the nineteenth century Saint-Martin) 1986. Baudelaire, ‘Constantin Guys,
Narratives’, even of the narrative of modernism.24 They claim that the modern the most important means for regulating in the Gesellschaft is money. project brought not only progress, but also the radically rationalized machinery Consequently, everything is expressed in monetary terms. Tönnies sees the of Auschwitz. Along with freedom, modernity brought alienation and social ex- city as a typical example of this society based on money and contracts. clusion. Postmodernism was further articulated by inﬂuential philosophers such The French sociologist Emile Durkheim points out that with the advent of as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean Baudrillard. In contrast to some modernity traditional ‘value patterns’ can no longer serve as the underpinnings of their modernist counterparts, these postmodern thinkers have stressed the of society. According to Durkheim, the increasing process of specialization of destructive and volatile aspects of modernity – its transitory side – but have re- social roles, professions and occupations that is characteristic of modernity pre- frained from proposing a new project to deal with these issues.25 In some cases, cipitates changes in ethics.30 The traditional collective deﬁnition of social ties this postmodern attitude has even led to nostalgia, melancholy, relativism, per- gives way to individualistic solidarity. However, Durkheim notes that increasing spectivism, and indifference.26 autonomy implies an awareness of growing interdependence as well; of relat- ing to the other in order to organize ones life. He calls this a shift from ‘mechan- ical’ to ‘organic’ solidarity: ‘There is then, a social structure of determined2 The public sphere nature to which mechanical solidarity corresponds. What characterizes it is a system of segments homogeneous and similar to each other. Quite different2.1 Gemeinschaft in absentia is the structure of societies where organic solidarity is preponderant. They are Modernity is often described as a condition of uprootedness. The American constituted, not by a repetition of similar, homogeneous segments, but by a author Marshall Berman writes in his 1982 book All That is Solid Melts into Air. system of different organs, each of which has a special role, and which are The Experience of Modernity: ‘To be modern is to ﬁnd ourselves in an environ- themselves formed of differentiated parts.’31 ment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of our- In the case of mechanical solidarity, the uniqueness of the individual selves and the world – and at the same time threatens to destroy everything we remains dependent on a homogeneous group identity, whereas organic solidar- have, everything we know, everything we are.’27 ity is based on the differences between individuals. Durkheim argues that the This condition of social uprootedness has been investigated previously by far-reaching social changes arising from modernity do not diminish or erode well-known sociologists such as Ferdinand Tönnies, Emile Durkheim, Georg social cohesion, but alter the nature of interpersonal ties. Durkheim believes that Simmel, and Max Weber. Each in their own way, they illuminate the profound in an individualistic society, the challenge is to ﬁnd new forms of civic conscious- social changes wrought by modernity. They relate modernity to new social ten- ness, new civic morals, which replace images of community drawn from tradi- dencies such as individualization, fragmentation, differentiation, and rationali- tion and religion. zation. They describe how modernity drasticalluy alters interpersonal relation- In his famous 1903 essay ‘Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben’, the ships and patterns of solidarity and social cohesion. German sociologist Georg Simmel describes the resulting effect for the individu- Many of these insights can be traced back to the distinction drawn by al: ‘The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual the German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies in his well-known 1887 book to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of over- Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft. Tönnies identiﬁes two types of social associa- whelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the tion, Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft: ‘The theory of Gesellschaft takes as its technique of life. . . . The psychological basis of the metropolitan type of individ- starting point a group of people who, as in Gemeinschaft, live peacefully along- uality consists in the intensiﬁcation of nervous stimulation which results from the side one another, but in this case without being essentially united – indeed, on swift and uninterrupted change of outer and inner stimuli.’32 According to the contrary, they are here essentially detached. In Gemeinschaft they stay to- Simmel modern urbanites develop a mentality, a so called ‘blasé’ attitude: ‘In gether in spite of everything that separates them; in Gesellschaft they remain this phenomenon the nerves ﬁnd in the refusal to react to their stimulation the separate in spite of everything that unites them. As a result, there are no activi- last possibility of accommodating to the contents and forms of metropolitan life. ties taking place which are derived from an a priori and pre-determined unity The self-preservation of certain personalities is bought at the price of devaluat- From the Editors which therefore expresses the will and spirit of this unity through any individual who performs them.’28 24 27 29 32 Gemeinschaft is an organic form of society. Individuals are assimilated in it Jean François Lyotard, Marshall Berman, All That is Ibid., pp. 22-51. Georg Simmel, ‘Die Groß- The Postmodern Condition. Solid Melts into Air. The Experi- 30 städte und das Geistesleben’ at birth and they remain afﬁliated with it for the rest of their lives. Their way of A Report on Knowledge. ence of Modernity. New York See e.g. Mustafa Emirbayer (1903); English translation: life is determined by the customs and traditions of their Gemeinschaft. They Minneapolis (University of (Penguin Books) 1982, p. 15. (ed.), Emile Durkheim. ‘The Metropolis and Mental Minnesota Press) 1984. 28 Sociologist of Modernity. Life’, in: James Farganis (ed.), regard their actions as primarily serving the community. In the Gemeinschaft 25 Ferdinand Tönnies, Oxford (Blackwell) 2003. Readings in Social Theory. individual interests are of no great importance. Tönnies postulates that this form Boomkens, Een drempel- Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft 31 The Classic Tradition to of community is found mainly in rural areas.29 wereld, p. 35. (1887); English translation: Emile Durkheim, The Division Postmodernism. Third edition, 26 Heynen, Community and Civil Society. of Labor in Society. Translated New York (McGraw-Hill) The rise of modernity, he continues, brought about a second form of associ- Architecture and Modernity, Cambridge (Cambridge by George Simpson, New York 2000, p. 149. ation: the Gesellschaft, in which interpersonal relationships do not develop or- p. 28; cf. Boomkens, Een University Press) 2001, p. 52. (The Free Press) 1933, p. 181; ganically. The relationships between individuals in Gesellschaft are not founded drempelwereld, p. 35. original title De la division du travail social. Paris 1893. 023 on any fundamental connectedness, but on contracts and abstract rules. One of
ing the whole objective world, a devaluation that in the end unavoidably drags 2.2 Public space: a new mode of social organizationone’s own personality down into a feeling of the same worthlessness.’33 The‘blasé’ attitude that Simmel describes affects not only one’s internal emotional The emergence of modern public sphere is inextricably linked to the need tolife, but also one’s attitude towards others. Encounters between people in the cope with the social ambivalence arising from modernity, which was discussedcity are impersonal and marked by reserve. in the previous paragraph.37 Resisting social ambivalence is one of the principal The American urban sociologist Louis Wirth expands on Simmel’s theories concerns of modernity, Bauman writes that ‘the effort to exterminate ambiva-in his inﬂuential 1938 essay ‘Urbanism as a way of life’. Wirth argues that the lence’ is a ‘typically modern practice, the substance of modern politics, ofsocial changes resulting from modernity can best be perceived in the modern modern intellect, of modern life’.38 The control, domestication, and regulation ofcity, which is distinguished by its size, density, and heterogeneity. Here one can social ambivalence is one of the main features of modern life. As noted above,note how frequent interaction does not necessarily lead to true sociability, but Michel Freitag describes modernity in comparable terms, as a new way of regu-implies merely playing particular roles, such as postman, fellow subway passen- lating society.39 He characterises modernity by a new mode of social reproduc-ger, and so on. Modern urbanites, Wirth says, show a growing tendency to tion. Social codes and messages are no longer conﬁned to traditional symbols,encounter each other in segmental, utilitarian roles. In fact, he adds, modern but are also generated and transmitted through new communications media,society is the product of a complex interplay of roles: ‘By virtue of his different in- like newspapers, radio, television, and so forth. Modernity, in Freitag’s view,terests arising out of different aspects of social life, the individual acquires mem- moves beyond the cultural and symbolic spheres that regulated the reproductionbership in widely divergent groups, each of which functions only with reference of traditional societies, creating a political and institutional sphere alongsideto a certain segment of his personality. Nor do these groups easily permit of a them. Within this ‘public sphere’ – that is situated in coffee houses, learned soci-concentric arrangement so that the narrower ones fall within the circumference of eties, and associations, in pamphlets and periodicals – citizens inspired bythe more inclusive ones, as is more likely to be the case in the rural community or Enlightenment ideals debate the proper organization of society and the properin primitive societies. Rather the groups with which the person typically is afﬁliat- form of community. Authors like Bauman, Freitag, and Habermas agree that thised are tangential to each other or intersect in highly variable fashion.’34 new public sphere is the most characteristic element of modernity. Wirth saw that the modern setting of the city makes it possible to keep One of the deﬁning documents of the modern public sphere is themoving from one social circle to another without truly getting to know anyone. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.40 This declaration, madeIn the city a person can, so to speak, move from one world to another and in Paris during the French Revolution, established legal rights of property for themay behave differently in each one without anyone noticing the difference. ﬁrst time. From then on, an individual could formally own and manage a plotFurthermore, because the city brings very different people together in a small of land or a home. Paradoxically the declaration included a deﬁnition of thearea, one is constantly in the company of strangers. People who are worlds private domain and established the right to make one’s own rules within it. Thisapart in social terms must often share the same few physical square metres. description of the private domain is also the ﬁrst ofﬁcial deﬁnition of a modernIn the modern urban setting, rich and poor stand in line next to each other, public domain.Christians, Jews, and Muslims sit side by side on the tram. Different groups The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in fact introducesand classes are continually crossing paths. a three-pronged distinction between public and private, based on ownership, In his book Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World, the Polish accessibility, and purpose.41 With regard to ownership, the term ‘publicsociologist Zygmunt Bauman offers a synthesis of many of the above-mentioned domain’ relates to spaces under the possession and management of govern-insights into the relationship between modernity and community. He argues ment, the public sector. This includes all areas with a collective function, suchthat modernity eroded the ‘dense sociability’ of the pre-modern, feudal society, as streets, squares, parks, and some public buildings. The public authoritiesdisrupting traditional patterns of rights and duties. It shattered the sense of a are responsible for amenity and security within these spaces. This contrasts withnatural social hierarchy, in which each individual has a ﬁxed place within the the private domain, which consists of private property like land, shops, ofﬁcesfamily, village, or urban community. Bauman underscores that the promise and interior spaces, managed by the private sector. From the Editorsof liberation from tradition, of individual freedom, and of self-realization, apromise which is an inherent part of modernity, comes at a high price. After all, 33 World. Cambridge (Polity 38 the Dutch urbanist Jan Heeling: Ibid., p. 153. Press) 2001, pp. 9-11. Bauman, Modernity and ‘Op zoek naar de grondslagenthis freedom goes hand in hand with the loss of security, of tacit, shared opin- 34 36 Ambivalence, p. 7. van de stedenbouw’, in:ions, and of social ties and shared sentiments, all of which were central to tradi- Louis Wirth, ‘Urbanism as a Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity 39 H. Bekkering, P. Drewe et al.tional ways of life.35 way of life’, in: American and Ambivalence. Ithaca Freitag, Dialectique et société. (eds.), Stedelijke transforma- Journal of Sociology, 44 (Cornell University Press) Vol. 2, Culture, pouvoir, ties. Actuele opgaven in de Bauman suggests that the disappearance of traditional forms of social (1938), no. 1, pp. 1-24; 1991. contrôle. stad en de rol van de stede-organization, of familiar types of community, creates ‘social ambivalence’.36 reprinted in: Richard Sennett 37 40 bouwkundige discipline. DelftWithin modernity, individual roles and interpersonal relations are never clear (ed.), Classic Essays on the For an introduction to the term Déclaration des droits de (Delft University Press) 1998, Culture of Cities. New York ‘public sphere’, see Arthur l’homme et du citoyen, 1798. pp. 157-183.from the outset, never deﬁned unambiguously in advance. Bauman holds that (Appleton-Century-Crofts) Strum, ‘A Bibliography of the 41modernity poses the problem of the ongoing organization and reorganization 1969, p. 156. Concept Oeffentlichkeit’, in: This complementary deﬁnitionof the social sphere, of society. 35 New German Critique, Winter of the private and public urban Zygmunt Bauman, Community: 1994, no. 61: Special Issue on domain has been described 025 Seeking Safety in an Insecure Niklas Luhmann, pp. 161-202. from various perspectives by
The second distinction between public and private domains relates to In Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit, Habermas summarizes the develop- accessibility. The public domain is accessible to all, at every moment of the mental history of the public sphere, which he links to the rise of capitalist society day. Streets, squares, parks, and the city’s other public spaces are not generally in Europe. His argument, stated brieﬂy, is that the advent of the stock exchange, fenced in. Anyone is free to use them, up to a point. The use of the private as a result of the march of capitalism, led around 1550 to the emergence of domain may be subject to restrictions, however. Businesses may have limited trading organizations that obtained political power. The result was a domain opening hours, and organizations may restrict the number or type of visitors of öffentliche power, in which the state and the dominant economic class were they receive. By deﬁnition, the private domain is exclusive, shutting out the in charge. Those who did not belong to this domain had no access to it. As capi- proverbial Other. The public domain is inclusive; it serves to strengthen the talism continued to expand and intensify, however, a new bourgeois class of social fabric. doctors, lawyers, and scholars emerged, which developed a critique of öffentli- The third way in which one can distinguish between the public and the che power. Hence, in the eighteenth century a bourgeois public sphere was born private domain is in terms of their purpose. A house has an individual purpose; in which the organization of society was subject to critical examination: ‘The it serves the interests of an individual or a private body (a family, business, or bourgeois public sphere may be conceived above all as the sphere of private organization). Squares, streets, or public buildings, on the other hand, have people who come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere reg- a collective purpose; they serve the public interest. The house is therefore the ulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a symbol of the private domain, while the square, the public building, and the debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but street are symbols of the public domain. The use and management of public publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor.’44 spaces are often grounded in social motives, while the use and management of According to Habermas, in this new order, debates on how to organize private spaces are more often based on individual or personal considerations. society took place in personal discussions and in print media. The press was In this complementary approach, the public domain is clearly distinguished one medium that played an important role in the formation of public opinion from the private domain. Nevertheless, according to this deﬁnition, only a small (öffentliche Meinung), because it functioned as a forum in which citizens could portion of the city is public domain – namely, the space that is under public discuss important social issues. Books, pamphlets, and newspapers circulated ownership, is always accessible, and has a collective purpose. The rest of the among the literate, serving as vehicles for theses, analyses, arguments, and space must be assigned to the private or semi-public domain. This approach counterarguments that referred to one another or contradicted one another. excludes countless spaces in which the relationship between public and private The new public spaces also included physical forums such as salons, cafés, is more complex. These spaces are often of central importance in the contempo- and clubs, where members of different classes met to engage in debate, verbal rary city and society. The tripartite distinction between public and private still sparring, and displays of rhetorical sophistication. inﬂuences many discussions on the public domain. What is more, its multiple It would all have been unthinkable before the eighteenth century: the news- deﬁnitions of public and private often lead to misunderstandings. papers and periodicals, the printed evidence of the new freedom of expression The term ‘public sphere’ is wider in scope than ‘public domain’. It also that was soon to be enshrined in the law, along with the freedom of association. refers to a speciﬁc practice or set of practices. The philosophical debate on the For Habermas the Enlightenment was the radiant, inspiring dawn of modernity, concept of the public sphere is often linked to the discussion on the development and the creation of the public sphere was one of its greatest achievements, if of Western democracy. The work of the philosophers Jürgen Habermas and not its very essence. The opportunity for the public to form their own opinions, Hannah Arendt and that of the sociologist Richard Sennett helps to clarify the he repeatedly emphasizes, is a necessary condition of human freedom and relationship between this theoretical debate and actual public space. emancipation. According to Habermas, the bourgeois public sphere is the backbone of Western democracy, where all the public debates take place that serve as2.3 Approaches to the modern public sphere: Habermas, Arendt, and Sennett the basis for political decisions, debates that are entirely open to all citizens. Öffentlichkeit is the sphere in which ideas can be freely expressed, exchanged, From the Editors Jürgen Habermas: a new mode of social reproduction and criticized. This active formation of public opinion differs strongly from the A variety of thinkers have attempted to describe the characteristics of the traditional situation, in which public opinion was characterized primarily by its modern public sphere. Without a doubt, the German philosopher Jürgen unconsidered character and the fact that it was not subject to discussion and Habermas is one of the most important. His well-known book Strukturwandel criticism. What went on in traditional communities was more like passive trans- der Öffentlichkeit is devoted entirely to this subject.42 Habermas deﬁnes the term mission of ideas on the public opinion from generation to generation. Öffentlichkeit, ‘the public sphere’, as ‘a realm of social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed . . . and in which citizens can 42 ‘Jürgen Habermas: “The Public translation: Jürgen Habermas, 44 confer in an unrestrictive manner’.43 He describes this sphere as a social Habermas, The Structural Sphere” (1964)’, in: Sara Lennox, & Frank Lennox, Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public New German Critique, 1974, ‘The Public Sphere. An Transformation of the Public domain – alongside the state and the commercial domain – in which rational Sphere. For a detailed discus- pp. 45-48. Encyclopedia Article’ (1964), Sphere, p. 27. discussion takes place between citizens on matters of general interest. The sion of the concept of the 43 in: New German Critique, public sphere in the work of Habermas, The Structural no. 3 (Autumn 1974), p. 49. public opinion emerging from this rational debate formally and informally Jürgen Habermas, see Peter Transformation of the Public 027 inﬂuences the organization of society. Hohendahl & Patricia Russian, Sphere, p. 141; English
The transformation of the public sphere of their class, gender, status, or race.51 In ‘Rethinking the Black Public Sphere:Jürgen Habermas’ title Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit refers to the changes that An Alternative Vocabulary for Multiple Public Spheres’, Catherine R. Squiresthe public sphere has undergone since the eighteenth century. Habermas believes advocates an elaborate typology of the public sphere, with categories such asit has been in decline. In late capitalism, Habermas says, the public sphere has de- ‘enclave, counterpublic, and satellite public spheres’.52 New vocabulary of thisgenerated into a manipulated realm. The institutions that were supposed to foster kind will make it possible, she argues, to distinguish among a wide range of coun-and protect the public sphere – voluntary associations and the mass media – have terpublic spheres on the basis of ‘how they respond to dominant social pressures,gradually been recuperated by state and economy. Civil-society organizations and legal restrictions, and other challenges from dominant publics and the state’.53associations that previously worked to develop informed public opinion, no longer A number of authors have also pointed out the importance of the new masshave the critical distance that is indispensable to public debate. In short, ‘large or- media in the formation of a counterpublic sphere. Craig Calhoun, for instance,ganizations strive for political compromises with the state and with each other, ex- has asserted that the mass media ‘are not entirely negative and there is a certaincluding the public sphere whenever possible’.45 The communications media that amount of room of manoeuvre for alternative democratic media strategies’.54 Johncitizens are meant to use to air their opinions, arguments, and criticism are, to a Downey and Natalie Fenton have expanded on this idea in their article ‘Newgrowing extent, in the service of private, commercial interests. What could have Media, Counter Publicity and the Public Sphere’, in which they give various exam-been an institutional pillar of the public sphere has degenerated into an instrument ples of how the Internet has made counter-public spheres possible – for instance inof publicity. ‘The world fashioned by the mass media’, Habermas says, ‘is a public the Zapatista and McSpotlight campaigns – through ‘small, alternative, non-main-sphere in appearance only.’46 The content disseminated through the media is no stream, radical, grassroots or community media’.55 These perspectives echo thelonger critical and argumentative in character, but reﬂects the promotional charac- article ‘Meinungsforschung und Öffentlichkeit’ that the German philosopherter of the culture of consumption. The inﬁltration of market principles into the mass Theodor W. Adorno published in 1964, in which he highlighted the importancemedia has, according to Habermas, transformed active, rational public debate of the mass media in the modern public sphere.56 Adorno points out that the massinto passive cultural consumption. As a result, ‘the sounding board of an educated media plays a dual role, as both ‘forums’ and ‘organs’ of public opinion. Hisstratum tutored in the public use of reason has been shattered; the public is split analysis of the mass media as simultaneously inculcating a normative concept ofapart into minorities of specialists who put their reason to use non-publicly and the the public sphere and acting as vehicles for public practices still seems importantmass of consumers whose receptiveness is public but uncritical. Consequently, it today as we seek to understand new counter-public spheres.completely lacks the form of communication speciﬁc to the public.’47 Hannah Arendt: the political dimension or the space of appearance Counter-public spheresThe public sphere extends much further than the bourgeois sphere described by In her book The Human Condition (1958), the German-American philosopherJürgen Habermas, a fact that has been brought forward by the German philoso- Hannah Arendt links the concept of the public sphere to political action. Thephers Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. In Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung, they public sphere, Arendt says, is a place where people act rather than work. Thisemphasize that one of the essential features of the public sphere is that it always perspective she bases on an Aristotelian distinction between two forms of activity.contains Gegenöffentlichkeit, counter-public spheres.48 Negt and Kluge demon- The ﬁrst type of activity, labour, is characterized by necessity and compulsion,strate that at the same time as Habermas’ liberal, bourgeois public sphere came and the second, action, by freedom and self-realization. By acting and speakinginto being, populated mainly by literate white men, so did proletarian, plebeian,and female public spheres. They claim that the public sphere is not an expression 45 1993. For an introduction to 51 54of the discourse within a single social class, but that more typically a variety of Habermas, Lennox, & Lennox, the thinking of Negt and Kluge, Nancy Fraser, ‘Rethinking the Craig J. Calhoun, Social ‘The Public Sphere. An see Fredric Jameson, ‘On Negt Public Sphere. A contribution Theory and the Politics ofsocial groups lend their contrasting voices to the debate. The two authors stress Encyclopedia Article’, p. 54. and Kluge’, in: October to the critique of actually Identity. Cambridge, Mass.the plurality of the public sphere, in which new forms of public life are constantly 46 (Autumn 1988), vol. 46: existing democracy’, in: Craig (Blackwell) 1994. Habermas, The Structural ‘Alexander Kluge: Theoretical Calhoun (ed.), Habermas and 55emerging: ‘These new forms seem to people to be no less public than the tradition- From the Editors Transformation of the Public Writings, Stories, and an the Public Sphere. Cambridge, John Downey & Natalieal bourgeois public sphere. Here and in what follows we only understand the Sphere, p. 171. Interview’, pp. 151-177. Mass. (MIT Press) 1992, Fenton, ‘New Media, Counterpublic sphere as an aggregate of phenomena that have completely diverse 47 49 p. 123. Publicity and the Public Ibid., p. 173. Negt & Kluge, Public Sphere 52 Sphere’, in: New Mediacharacteristics and origins. The public sphere has no homogeneous substance 48 and Experience, p. 12. Catherine R. Squires, Society, (2003), no. 5,whatsoever.’49 Oskar Negt & Alexander 50 ‘Rethinking the Black Public pp. 185-202. As Negt and Kluge see it, one of the hallmarks of the public sphere is that it Kluge, Öffentlichkeit und Ibid. See also Eberhard Sphere. An Alternative 56 Erfahrung. Zur Organisations- Knödler-Bunte, Sara Lennox, & Vocabulary for Multiple Public Theodor W. Adorno,makes it possible for individuals to interpret social reality and express those inter- analyse von bürgerlicher und Frank Lennox, ‘The Proletarian Spheres’, in: Communication ‘Meinungsforschung undpretations. In this sense, the public sphere is a ‘central element in the organization proletarischer Öffentlichkeit. Public Sphere and Political Theory, 12 (2002), no. 4, Öffentlichkeit’ (1964), in:of human experience’.50 A similar view is expressed by the contemporary social Frankfurt a.M. (Suhrkamp) Organization. An Analysis of pp. 446-468, at p. 446. Idem, Soziologische Schriften 1972; English translation by Oskar Negt and Alexander 53 I, Frankfurt 1972, pp.theorist Nancy Fraser. She too emphasizes that Habermas’ notion of the public Peter Labanyi et al., Public Kluge’s “The Public Sphere and Ibid., p. 457. 532-537; English translation:sphere excludes a variety of publics. These subaltern publics or counterpublics, Sphere and Experience. Experience”’, in: New German ‘Opinion Research and Toward an Analysis of the Critique, Winter 1975, no. 4, Publicness’, in: Sociologicalas Fraser calls them, include ‘such diverse groups as women, workers, peoples Bourgeois and Proletarian pp. 51-75. Theory, 23 (March 2005), 029of color, and gays and lesbians’, who are barred from the public sphere because Public Sphere. Minneapolis no. 1, pp. 116-123.
in public space, we appear to one another as free and equal individuals, and Richard Sennett: the rise and fall of ‘civicness’politics become possible, Arendt claims. She writes: ‘Action and speech createa space between the participants which can ﬁnd its proper location almost any Building on Arendt, who deﬁnes the term ‘polis’ as the locus of the publictime and anywhere. It is the space of appearance in the widest sense of the sphere, the sociologist Richard Sennett places the public clearly in the contextword, namely the space where I appear to others as others appear to me, of the city. In his 1967 book The Fall of Public Man, Sennett describes thewhere men exist not merely like other living or inanimate things but make their the modern city’s public sphere as the space in which anonymous individualsappearance explicitly.’57 interact.64 The concept of ‘the public’ is closely connected to the emergence of The essence of the public sphere, as Arendt identiﬁes it, is to allow us to modern urban life. Within this context, public space was understood as therelate to one another in our plurality, with the aim of creating a common world: social space in which strangers meet. This space included boulevards and city‘Action, the only activity that goes on directly between men without the interme- parks, as well as the cafés, theatres, and opera houses where ‘the public’ con-diary of things or matter, corresponds to the human condition of plurality, to gregated. Whoever took a stroll on the boulevard or went to the theatre wasthe fact that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world. While all venturing out among unfamiliar people. Until that time, the theatre- and opera-aspects of the human condition are somehow related to politics, this plurality is going public had been a relatively close circle of people who knew each otherspeciﬁcally the condition – not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio well, and when they gathered to see a performance, it was usually by invitation.per quam – of all political life.’58 In modern urban life, however, the public had increasingly become an assem- The space that Arendt associates with this condition and activity is public blage of strangers, and tellingly, performances no longer required an invitationspace, and she harks back to the concept of the agora, the marketplace of the but the purchase of a ticket.ancient Greek polis (city-state).59 In other words, Arendt argues that there is a As encounters with strangers became more frequent, society needed newspeciﬁc place where people, in all their diversity, can – and must – be seen and social conventions to bring order to the new domain of the public. Sennett usesheard. Out of this perspective, the public space is the stage on which people the notion of ‘civicness’ to describe the urban social conventions that emerge inperform. Hence, Arendt clearly does not simply equate the public sphere with the eighteenth century. Civicness permeated every aspect of public interaction,the agora, or with any other particular public space, urban or otherwise. She such as language, dress, and, above all, attitude: ‘Playacting in the form ofbelieves that the public sphere can take many forms. Building on a republican manners, conventions, and ritual gestures is the very stuff out of which publictradition, she sees a highly developed civic public culture as one in which citi- relations are formed.’65zens participate energetically in numerous associations of all sizes that offer In eighteenth-century Paris, London, or Rome, Sennett writes, the publicthem opportunities for ‘action’. The media can potentially do a great deal to domain was a sphere of regulated sociability. It was quite normal for passers-support this culture, she says. They contribute information, creating their own by in public spaces to greet one another, even if they were complete strangers.little public spaces – in newspapers, for example – where citizens can think The patrons of cafés and ale houses freely debated matters of general interestabout public themes together. without being acquainted. Personal remarks were avoided. The public domain For Arendt, the term ‘public sphere’ has two closely connected, but not was a safe haven, where people could trade in their private concerns for aidentical, meanings. Firstly, she sees the public sphere as essential to human publicly oriented cosmopolitan life.existence. What appears in the public sphere must be genuinely visible and What was true of interaction in parks and theatres was also true of publicaccessible to everyone. Reality is ﬁrst constituted by this process of entering the debate; whoever took part in it was entering the public domain and had there-public sphere: ‘It means ﬁrst that everything that appears in public can be seen fore to obey the rules of public appearance. As dress and courteousness wereand heard by everybody and has the widest possible publicity. For us, appear- to interaction with strangers in the park, so eloquence and argumentative skillsance – something that is being seen and heard by others, as well as by our- were to interaction in public debate. Argument was part of civicness, as wereselves – constitutes reality.’60 Only that which is brought into the public sphere courtesy, tact, and charm. It was the most suitable way of ensuring that dis-and can be discussed by a broad public makes a contribution to society. Only agreements between strangers did not get out of hand. Just as citizens dressed From the Editorsa life lived in public can be meaningful, Arendt says. The second meaning that in a certain way in public to conform to social norms rather than to express theirArendt assigns to the term ‘public sphere’ is ‘the world itself, insofar as it is personalities, arguments were a means of persuading one’s audience rathercommon to us all and distinguished from our privately owned place in it’.61 She than a mode of self-expression. In this climate of tolerance and sociable interac-states that this world is constituted by the ‘world of things’ which is the human tion with strangers, public debate could ﬂourish, says Sennett, whose argumentartiﬁce. Undoubtedly, Architecture is part of this world of things – and is as such in this respect resembles that of Habermas. Not only urban space, but also poli-a premise for public life. Arendt, too, refers to a decline in the public sphere. She sees a loss of ‘com- 57 Cambridge, Mass. (MIT Press) 61 64monality’ resulting from the rise of mass society. What concerns her is not that Hannah Ahrendt, The Human 1995, chapter 7. Ibid., p. 52. Richard Sennett, The Fall Condition. Chicago/London 58 62 of Public Man. New Yorkthere are so many people, but that the world between them can no longer (University of Chicago Press) Ibid., p. 7. Ibid., p. 60. (Vintage) 1977.connect and divide them.62 According to Arendt, without this type of commonal- 1998, p. 198; original edition 59 63 65ity, each individual remains suspended in his own individuality, in his own 1958. See also:george Baird, Ibid., pp. 28-37; 192-199. Ibid., p. 57. Ibid., p. 29. The Space of Appearance. 60 031purely personal experience.63 Ibid., p. 50.
tics became public. No longer were government affairs discussed only in the and Charles Fourier. In Owen’s design for the village of New Lanark (1815) select circle of the nobility and the administrative elite; instead, they became in Scotland, a large, collective space is the central means of mixing workers’ political issues, that pertained to everyone’s interests and about which people dwellings with public areas such as nursery schools, a communal dining hall, formed their own opinions. kitchens, and libraries. Owen called the result a ‘Community of Mutual Association’.68 Also in France, social movements, based on utopian ideas about a modern public sphere, emerged after 1800. The Saint-Simonists – named3 The public sphere and architecture: after the nineteenth-century reformer Claude Henri de Saint-Simon, established representing and accommodating the public domain their ﬁrst society buildings in Paris around 1830. These buildings housed about ﬁfteen families, and a mansion formed the public centre for all the households, ‘The most vital force in our time seems to be the awakening spirit of democracy where people could meet, eat together, and so forth. The Saint Simonistes . . . and it may be that the living art we hope for will embody this spirit.’ aimed to create new communal forms of society. Land ownership and birth Barry Parker, 1910 no longer mattered, but rather skills in the sciences and industry.69 Yet none of these initiatives could rival Charles Fourier’s vision of a ‘new ‘The people want the buildings that represent their social and community life to industrial world’, as he called it in his essay ‘Le nouveau monde industriel’ give more than functional fulﬁllment. They want their aspiration for monumental- (1829). Ideal communities or ‘phalanxes’, housed in phalanstères, were to form ity, joy, pride, and excitement to be satisﬁed. The fulﬁllment of this demand can the cornerstone of Fourier’s non-repressive society. In his early writings, Fourier be accomplished with the new means of expression at hand, though it is no describes the outward characteristics of his phalanstère; its layout is based on easy task.’ that of the palace at Versailles. The central building was intended for public Sigfried Giedion, José Luis Sert, Fernand Léger, Nine Points on Monumentality, 1943 purposes (and included the dining hall, library, and conservatory), while private apartments and work areas were located in the wings.70 In Traité de l’association agricole (1822), Fourier described the phalanstère as a miniature3.1 Shaping the public sphere city in which the streets were sheltered from the elements, so that it would The modern public sphere is not merely a subject of writing and thought. In always be possible to encounter other people.71 modern Western society, to a growing extent, ‘public’ is considered to be that Fourier’s new industrial world remained a dream, despite numerous attempts which can be planned and organized. The public sphere is deﬁned as the to found phalanstères in Europe and America. The project that most nearly domain of activity in which society can start to build itself. The public sphere is approached Fourier’s ideas was the Familistère which the industrialist Jean- the constitutional system that lays down a person’s rights; it is the abstract space Baptiste Godin had built next to his factory in the northern French town of Guise of the economic free market; it is the forum of scientists dismantling traditional between 1859 and 1870. This complex consists of three residential buildings, knowledge; it is the modern, bureaucratic system, which does away with a crèche, a nursery school, a theatre, schools, a swimming pool, and a laundry. privilege, nepotism, and irregularities by imposing a universal, rationally Its most distinctive elements, however, are the large courtyards with overhead planned order.66 lighting, with galleries alongside them that give access to the apartments. These central courtyards were conceived as places for public use and interaction. In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels severely criticized3.2 The accommodation of the public as an explicit aim of architecture the experiments of Utopian socialists such as Owen and Fourier: ‘They still The perfectibility of the modern public sphere ﬁnds its fullest expression in the dream of experimental realisation of their social Utopias, of founding isolated domain of modern architecture and urban planning. Envisioning the public “phalanstères”, of establishing “Home Colonies”, of setting up a “Little Icaria” sphere by means of architectural and urban form is one of the chief aims of – duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem – and to realise all these castles modern architecture. The modern faith in the potential of architecture to inﬂu- in the air, they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the From the Editors ence human behaviour and articulate the public sphere is aptly illustrated by bourgeois.’72 French architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in the eighteenth century. Ledoux be- lieved that everything – politics, morals, legislation – was within the scope of 66 68 Taylor (ed.), Henri Saint Simon 72 the architect, whom he described as ‘equal to the Creator’.67 Ledoux spent much Bruno Latour, We Have Never Franziska Bollerey, 1760-1825. Selected Writings Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, Been Modern. Cambridge Architekturkonzeption on Science, Industry and The Communist Manifesto of his life designing the ideal industrial town. His only built work was the Saline (Harvard University Press) der utopischen Sozialisten. Social Organization. New (1848), in: Karl Marx, Royale in Arc-et-Senans (France), a semicircular complex. In the middle is a 1993. Alternative Planung und York (Holmes & Meier) 1975. Selected Writings. Ed. 67 Architektur für den gesell- 70 Lawrence H. Simon, large public space, dominated by the director’s house but also accessible to For an introduction to the work schaftlichen Prozess. München Bollerey, Architekturkonzeption Indianapolis (Hackett) 1994, the other inhabitants of the city such as labourers, clerks, and servants. Ledoux of Ledoux, see Anthony Vidler, (Moos) 1977. der utopischen Sozialisten. p. 184. regarded this space as a place for recreation and for meeting other people, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Archi- 69 71 tecture and Utopia in the Era of George G. Iggers, The Charles Fourier, Traité de where different social classes could observe and inﬂuence one another. the French Revolution. Basel/ Doctrine of Saint-Simon. l’association agricole (1822), We ﬁnd a similar pairing of a vision of the public sphere with architectural Boston (Birkhäuser) 2006. An Exposition. New York Le nouveau monde industriel (Schocken Books) 1972; Keith (1829). 033 form in the work of nineteenth-century social utopians, such as Robert Owen