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  1. 1. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or ProjectBelow: Ballater from Craig Coillich 2003Patrick Geddes“Geddes Then”OK you may say, butwhy all this talkabout Patrick Geddes– who was this man?I might have entitledthis piece, “A MostUnsettling Person”had that not beenused previously asthe title of one ofthe biographies ofGeddes. PatrickGeddes easilyanswers thatdescription. If I say that the subtitle of anotherbiography describes PG as “biologist, town planner, re-educator, peace-warrior”, you may begin to see the sortof character we have.Some biographies still maintain that he was born inPerth, not Ballater! It is generally conceded nowadaysthat he was born in the Deeside town on 2ndOctober1854. It is not known in which house and, with hisfather a serving soldier; it may even have been in thebarracks. A few years after Patrick was born theGeddes’s moved to Perth, where their house, MountTabor is still in existence and whence, eventually hewent to the Academy. In addition to formal schooling, itis known that Geddes, from an early age was fascinatedby plants and animals – he spent hours and hoursbotanising on Kinnoull Hill. As he grew up he initiallywanted to be an artist but father put that idea out of hishead (at least temporarily).has been termed the “worlds first sociologicallaboratory”. It was based in some respects on themedieval way of life in Edinburgh but extending to thecountry beyond the city and the wider world.He failed to gain the Chair of Botany at Edinburgh (aRegius Chair) and occupied the chair at DundeeUniversity from 1889. This only required attendance forone term each year so Geddes was free for the rest ofthe year to develop his thinking in “civics” how townsand cities functioned – or how they ought to function –like other organisms he realised they needed tohave healthy environments in which to thrive. Heset out to spread this doctrine, about integratedcommunities, towns with countryside, cities andConurbations (his word) in various parts ofBritain and abroad, notably in India.By now he was thoroughly into what becametown (and country) planning. 1911 saw his greatCities Exhibition in Britain, the Continent andIndia. His doctrine of “diagnosis beforetreatment” clearly stems from his earlier days as apure scientist as does appeal for “conservative(small c) surgery”: analysis then synthesis, but“survey before alteration” springs more fromarchitecture than biology. A story from PG’s timein India illustrates his practical approach - inhelping the people of one city to improve theirsurroundings, he insisted in being created “Maharajahfor a day” so that he would have the power to orderthings to be done, things like cleaning the streets,clearing up black spots and so on.His wife Anna had done much to encourage his latentinterest in the arts and music, and theseelements were now firmly in placealongside more scientific ones. His care indeveloping communities was now as muchfor their spiritual as physical health. At atime when scientists were becoming moredeeply specialist, Geddes became moregeneralised. His ideas for wholeness wereforeign to the scientists with whom he hadpreviously been associated – it may be thisthat results in no trace of his name inmany scientific biographies today– not being treated as a scientist.While scientists were gainingconfidence through a basis ofknowing more about less and less,Geddes was developing his ideas of wholecommunities working together, he wasconferring with artists, musicians, and poets,mystics even – as well as other scientists.Practically attempting to design better towns,cities for people of all sorts, types and classesto live together in harmony. He stated, “ourgreatest need is to grasp life as a whole”. Thesynthetic approach.In 1924 he settled in Montpellier, an ancientuniversity town in the south of France wherehe established an unofficial student residence which hehoped would become a Scots College (the Collège desEcossais) for wandering students. In this he was harkingback to medieval ideas, looking for unity among scholarswho saw a wholeness in their studies and in where theylived with others from other lands. There were to beAmerican and Indian Colleges too.His work in planning was recognised in India, where hehad replanned fifty cities and in Palestine. “Where isPatrick Geddes?” someone asked, when being told “he isplanning the New Jerusalem”, the initial enquirerremarked on how sorry he was to hear that Geddes haddied!He died in 1932, having received a knighthood (forservices to education) in recognition of his work. ARabindranath Tagore, Poet andPhilosopher (Left)andMahatma Ghandi, Indian Freedom andHuman Rights campaignerCharles DarwinAuthor of “On TheOrigin of Species byNatural Selection”Above: From the “London Illustrated News” (c. 1850’s). Queen Victoria and the RoyalParty arrive at the Monaltrie Hotel, Ballater en route to Balmoral Castle.View from the Old Bridge.Note that the Old Bridge (replaced), Church (replaced), arch and houses in the distanceno longer exist and the Hotel has been extended.“Geddes Then”:: 1 ::Above: From the “London Illustrated News” 1850 - Ballater Temporary Barracks.Patrick Geddes’ Father, Captain Alexander Geddes, was posted here.Patrick Geddes may have been born here. The soldiers are standing in what is now theChurch Green.Then he went to Edinburgh University to study Botany,but he did not like the formal teaching of a subject hehad already become familiar with on his own and hegave up after one week. With the firm idea that hewanted “to study life”, Geddes went to London wherehe studied under T.H. Huxley. Later, while working atUniversity College, he met Darwin and Wallace. He hadalso studied zoology in France where he had seen theaftermath of war and perhaps begun to think aboutsocial conditions. He was asked to set up a marinelaboratory at Stonehaven for Aberdeen University. Nowin his twenties and with a promising career in biologicalscience before him, Patrick had a sudden illness, whichleft him blind.No longer able to use a microscope, he began todevelop abstract thinking techniques and from thispoint his interests developed into what were eventuallyto become the social sciences – the study of life from adifferent angle. His sight slowly returned – by now backin Edinburgh, he could at first work for only two hourseach day at the University Botany Department.In 1886 he married Anna Morton and they went to livein the Royal Mile of Edinburgh – a very differentprospect from today – a slum area of the city. Here itwas that he began his “neighbourhood and community”concept. He set up the first student hall of residenceand in 1892 he established his Outlook Tower whichremarkable man, paradoxical and unorthodox, aprofessor with no interest in degrees, a scientist andartist who had experienced a period of blindness, whoseOutlook Tower, to embrace a view of the world becamea camera obscura show viewing the passers-by onPrinces Street, who had met Darwin, Ghandi andRabindranath Tagore.Ian KinniburghIan Kinniburgh studied under Arthur Geddes - one of Patrick Geddes’s son’s - at Edinburgh University and visited theCollege Des Ecossais at Montpellier.The three doves symbol appearingat the top of these pages wasGeddes’s personal symbol.“Geddes called them the three S’sand they stand for Sympathy, Synthesis and Synergy.Sympathy for the people and environment affectedby any social remedy; synthesis of all the factors rel-evant to the case; and synergy - the combined co-op-erative action of everyone involved - in order toachieve the best result. The doves also representpeace. One of the most evocative sentences Geddesever wrote is:‘People volunteer for war; and it is a strange and a dark super-stition that they will not volunteer for peace’ ”Paddy Kitchen, “A Most Unsettling Person”
  2. 2. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or ProjectInitial GeddesExhibitionA Geddes Exhibitionfor Ballater of five pan-els explaining the Projectwas exhibited in 2000along with a supportingbrochure. Arts work-shops and country walkswere held to comple-ment the exhibition (pic-tures below) and the Ex-hibition has been dis-played in Ballater and on a tour of libraries in theNorth East of Scotland. Some of our panels and ma-terials were recently loaned to a Scottish ExecutiveEvent in Edinburgh to reward good planning wherethe Old Royal Station, Ballater was praised. The pan-els are permanently based in Ballater School to serveas teaching materials for our schoolchildren.Sir Patrick Geddes WayAt the initiative ofBGP2004 the name SirPatrick Geddes Way (pos-sibly the longest streetname ever?!) was given toa street of new affordablehousing in the east of Ballater, very much in keepingwith Geddes’ ideals - he felt that all should live in de-cent accommodation regardless of wealth.Tullich Road Bus Stopand ShelterA bus stop has beenerected at Tullich Road atnew housing to provideshelter to passengers andencourage an alternative toBallater Geddes Project 2004about aspects of the project. These pages are high onthe list of viewers of this web site.If you have an interest in Patrick Geddes you maylike to be listed in our Directory. If so, please visit itto see who is already there and what details youmight like to give and then e-mail us.Geddes WalkwayA Walkway has been initi-ated between the Old RoyalStation and Ballater School.The route is mostly markedby lovely work done byBallater School children in-scribed on plaques. Manythanks to the children fortheir work – it is very impressive and is a pleasure forparents and children to see. Geddes was an advocatefor the arts and education. (See Panels 3 & 9).Ballater, Scotland -Kolkata, IndiaSchool LinksAgain with Ballater School,the Project is pioneeringInternational links. PatrickGeddes worked with thefamous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore and helpedplan an international university in India which still ex-ists today (See Panel 7). Through a Project memberKenny Munro contact hasbeen made with the Schoolof Art and Craft inKolkata (formerly Cal-cutta) - Geddes workedthere - to which links havebeen established.Tandra Chanda, a partnerin the school, came to Ballater School and BGP2004resolved to create links using the Internet to transmitpictures, video and voice. BGP2004 proposed the ac-quisition of cameras to make this possible and Bal-later VictoriaWeek has kindlygifted four ofthem. Our thanksgo to BallaterVictoria Week forhelping to en-hance the schoolchildren’s studiesof other cultures in their classwork and letting ourchildren and Indian children see how others live.Web Cam /beautiful Ballater and the Cairngorms, Lochnagar,Morven etc. and the Cairngorms National Park.Views from Geddes’s Outlook Tower overEdinburghA Ballater Geddes Project 2004 publicconsultationFor 2004:Completion of started Projectstrands.Return trip by BGP 2004member and artist KennyMunro to India (see panels 5-6for reports and lovely pic-tures).This “Geddes Today” Exhibi-tion.Further artistic collaboration in September 2004between Schools in Ballater, Finzean and Indiaon the theme of “Rivers and Leaves”.Collaboration with various groups around Scot-land and the world to celebrate the 150th Anni-versary of Geddes’s Birth.CameraObscuraThe Projecthas proposedto replicate theOutlook Towerin Edinburghusing moderntechnology byplacing cameras on Craig Coillich hill, Ballater. TheOutlook Tower on the Royal Mile in Edinburghshows the city and surrounding area using a peri-scope to project an image in a darkened room. Wehave proposed to do the same here into the OldRoyal Station Building and onto to the World WideWeb for educational purposes and to allow visitorsand those unable to get into the hills to see them.The images would be available on the Internet, and,in the Old Royal Station by means of a steerablecamera projecting its images onto a table there. Werecommend a visit to the Outlook Tower in Edin-burgh to see the 150 year old technology in action oryou can view photographs taken from it by a Geddesproject member at www.ballaterscotland.com/geddesremembering to substitute beautiful Edinburgh for:: 2 ::the car. This would have appealed to Geddes, an en-vironmentalist 100 years ahead of his time.The bus stop bearsthe Project logoand a short biogra-phy of Geddes toinform passengersof their famous lo-cal son while wait-ing for the bus.Makes a changefrom advertising!Geddes Web SiteA web site has been established at:www.ballaterscotland.com/geddesto explain Patrick Geddes’s importance and theProject’s activities which features: Geddes informa-tion, reading lists, links touniversities and other sites,a very useful internationaldirectory, photographs,press releases and varioussupporting documentsRight and above:Wood Sculptor Gavin Smith carvesthe posts for the Geddes Walkwayin Ballater. BGP2004 ConvenerSheila Potter admires the workCommunicationsMembers of theProject have given nu-merous talks, lectures,held consultations andkept the media informed of our progress.Arts Workshop:Sculptor Kenny Munrodemonstrates stonecarvingCountry Walk:Andrew Manwell explainslocal geographyArts Workshop:Sculptor Gavin Smithencourages wood carvingThe Ballater Geddes Project 2004 hasrun from 1999 to 2004.This exhibition is the culmination ofour five year journey learning aboutGeddes, his life, his ideas and his prac-tical actions and effects.Although the Project itself formally ends this year some aspectswill carry on, and we are sure that the impact of our Projecton ourselves and others will resonate down the years because, asLewis Mumford wrote:“the work of Patrick Geddes and the tasks he set for himselfas a solitary thinker and Planner have now become the collec-tive task of our generation....his work goes on.”
  3. 3. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 3 ::EducationPatrick Geddes had a very broad view of theinterpretation of the term ‘education’ and was highlycritical of the boringstraightjacket of the Victorianideas which held sway in theschools, colleges anduniversities of his time. Hesaid, “It is high time to abolishcompulsory public instructionbased on the three R’s. Reading,‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic have toolong been stuffed into youngminds as routine work in thescholastic mills”. “But the ... agedawning in the twentieth centurymust have something better; it willhave something better: a life-centred,folk-centred culture. It will have aninstruction based not on the three R’s, but on the three H’s: thevital education of Heart, Hand and Head.” (See Panel 10).This meant that a child should be content and happy,that the distraction of physical needs, e.g. hunger,should be attended to, and then they would be receptiveto intellectual training.“The child’s desire of seeing and hearing, touching and handling,of smelling and tasting are all true and healthy hungers”declared P.G., “and it can hardly be too strongly insisted thatgood teaching begins neither with knowledge or discipline, butthrough delight.”His motto, “Vivendo Discimus” – “By Living WeLearn”, followed the thinking of all the great teachersfrom Socrates on, that learning is a life-long process. Heurged people to be active, i.e. if you want to understanda neighbourhood, go out and explore it. If you want toknow about the way of life of a farmer or fisher, try itout for yourself for a spell – experience is the bestteacher.Geddes encouraged parents to widen the educationalhorizons of their children e.g. “On the shoulders of parents,possibly helped by the exceptional teacher, rests the burden of‘leading children out into freedom, of givingthem the franchise of the world of culturewhich the routine education of the three R’s,despite all machinery of standards, additionof special subjects and what not, hopes andpromises to give but necessarily fails.’”Quotes From “Patrick Geddes: Maker of theFuture” by Philip BoardmanHe was a teacher by example inwhatever aspect of life he happenedto be engaged. He took over a slum,cleaned and painted it, went to live init, and then encouraged hisneighbours to do the same. He established the first self-governing student hostel in Ramsay Gardens,Edinburgh then went on to encourage universitiesaround the country to do the same. He encouraged thecuriosity of his children about nature in the garden bybeing himself “head gardener”.Geddes adopted what for the Victorian age wereunconventional but highly effective methods ofteaching. His children weretaught at home, and he leasedthe Camera Obscura at the topof the High Street inEdinburgh and renamed it“The Outlook Tower”.(Described by Charles Zeublinas “the world’s first sociologicallaboratory.”) Here heconducted groups, with aconstant running commentaryranging over the history,geology, sociology, art, andgeography of Edinburgh asseen from the roof gallery and the camera obscura atthe top, then ranging on the lower floors through aseries of ever-widening exhibits about Scotland, theBritish Empire, Europe and the World. He pioneeredthe idea of Summer Schools (now adopted by manyUniversities), deliberately bringing together leadingminds from different academic specialities.Later as he became more involved in town planning, hemade great use of major exhibitions, being there inperson as much as possible to talk the viewers throughthe exhibition (and much else if they gave him thechance!). He found books too restrictive. Above all hebelieved in active participation and endless discussion,with ideas flowing, and sparking yet more ideas, as theideal of learning.UniversitiesIt would be fair to say that Geddes had a love/haterelationship with the Universities of his day. Whilebelieving, with an almost religious zeal, in a high level ofeducation for all, he was disappointed with the wayUniversities were run, how they taught and what he sawas the limited range of their activities. And he wasn’t shyof saying so which, of course, didn’t endear him to theeducational establishment! Apparently paradoxically,Geddes sought University posts while simultaneouslyremaining highly critical.Geddes wanted to popularise and bring good educationin all areas of knowledge to as many people as possiblealways with a view to bringing them together - Synthesis.For this he was good naturedly called the “Professor ofThings in General”, less pleasantly, he was bitterlycriticized as an “intellectual whore” for his perceivedpromiscuity in all fields ofknowledge by the increasingranks of Universityspecialists of his time.In bringing education to allGeddes started and wastireless in promoting the University Extension Movement inScotland which took University teaching out to ordinaryworking people. This can be seen as a forerunner of theWorkers Educational Association and the OpenUniversity.“1903 Albert and Frances Mansbridge established an Asso-“Prophets are proverbially without honourin their own country, but even so the ne-glect or ignorance of Sir Patrick Geddesin Scotland goes to an uncommon degreeand throws a very disconcerting light onour whole national condition, since he wasone of the outstanding thinkers of hisgeneration, not merely in the world, andnot only one of the greatest Scotsmen ofthe past century but in our entire history.”That was the verdict of the poetHugh MacDairmid, who pointed toGeddes’s refusal to specialise as oneof the causes of his neglect. Geddes was knightedfor services to education; one of his biographers de-scribes him as “biologist, town planner, re-educator andpeace warrior”; and he was also a sociologist, dramaproducer, university planner and landscape architect.That list is misleading, for Geddes’s life was not with-out focus. He chose life itself as his subject and re-fused to subdivide it.“Everything I have done”, he once said at Le College desEcossais, “has been biocentric; for and in terms of life, bothindividual and collective; whereas all the machinery of thestate, public instruction, finance and industry ignore life, whenindeed it does not destroy it. The only thing that amazes me,therefore, as I look back over my experiences is that I was notcaught and hung many years ago.”Rob Cowan quoting the Scottish Poet, Hugh MacDairmid (1892-1978), andGeddes, in “Town and Country Planning” September 1979.Hugh MacDairmid bySheila MacLeanciation to Promote the Higher Education of Working Men,bringing together supporters of working-class education fromthe churches, the Co-operative Movement, trade unions and theUniversity Extension Movement. The association was renamedthe Workers’ Educational Association in 1905 to better rep-resent the inclusive equality of the movement.”From the Workers Educational Association web site:http://www.wea.org.uk/Centenary/timeline/1900.htm“Adult Education”“In his earlier days he (Geddes) was seriously consid-ered a theorising genius in biology and even regardedas a potential successor to Darwin and Huxley. Incollaboration with J. Arthur Thomson.... he wrote thebook Evolution of Sex regarded then as an original andbrilliant contribution to the science of Biology.Amelia Defries in her book The Interpreter Geddes men-tions a dinner in 1923 in Le Play House, Londonwhich was held in honour of Geddes “... Sir JohnCockburn who presided, said that it might surpriseProfessor Geddes to hear that he was one of thecauses of the Womens Suffrage Movement! For, heexplained, it was after reading The Evolution of Sex andbeing armed by it in his youth, that he went to Aus-tralia and there fought till women had votes. So thefight which was afterwards taken up in London, andwon there, too, a good while later, owed much to theAustralians and, before them therefore, to The Evolu-tion of Sex.”“Grieve on Geddes”“University Militant”Universities should be free to indulge in the battle ofideas and do useful, practical things thought Geddes.PG liked the concept of “The University Militant” - thetitle of a book by American writer Charles Fergusonpublished in 1912 for what he thought that Universitiesshould be doing - a more active role than just teachingwhat had gone before. Geddes deplored any attempt todictate education and said: “Education, like religion, can onlybe truly vital in the measure of its freedom from externalauthority; since truth, like goodness, cannot be imposed fromwithout, but can only grow with mind and soul within.”University PlanningAfter success in planning Santinitekan, withRabindranath Tagore in India, Geddes was to facedefeat of his ambitions in Jerusalem planning theUniversity there:“Charles Ashbee....wrote in 1923 that:“Geddes’s chief work out here has been the plans, enebauche, for the Zionist University, a magnificentscheme and a wonderful report. But it has cleft Jewry intwain. The orthodox and the ritualists have no use for aUniversitas in the real sense of the word, such as hedesires, nor have the political propagandists for thescholar and the man of science.Will it be a university or only a Zionist university?Geddes has thrown down the glove to Jewry. It isanother challenge to the theocratic state and the olddevil of sectarianism who stands between us and oursearch for truth. Will the challenge be taken up? ...Butwhen all’s said and done, Pat is right. His prophecy islikely to sound the farthest. You can have no sectarianuniversity”....Dr. Weizmann (1874-1952), the great Zionist Leader(first President of Israel) whose vision transcended allsectarianism, later wrote...“The ideal of the Hebrew University wasfor many of us the noblest expressionof our Zionist humanism. On it wereconcentrated the dreams of our youthand the endeavours of our manhood. AHebrew University in Palestine wouldmean release from the pariah statuswhich was the lot of Jewish youth in somany of the Universities of Eastern and even CentralEurope. It would provide a focus for the freedevelopment of the Jewish spirit. It would givescientific guidance and moral inspiration to the buildersof the new Zion. It would pave the way for a synthesisbetween the spiritual heritage of our people and theintellectual movements and aspirations of our age... Istill hope before I die to see the great assembly hallwhich Geddes designed rising on the slopes of (Mount)Scopus”.(A contrast between Geddes/Weizmann versus those paying for/lobbying for particular features in the University. The assembly hallwas the primary and largest building in Geddes’s plan where allcould meet and interact. It was a domed building which thesectarians described as being like a Mosque. Those same peoplepreferred to have the largest building be the centre for Hebrewstudies).From “A Vision of Zion” by Graham Ross.Explanatory text in italics added for this Exhibition.The Scots College, MontpellierAfter India, in later life, Geddes bought a property andfounded the College des Ecossais for travelling Scotsstudents near the University of Montpellier in the southof France. There was to be a College des Indien (Indian)headed by Rabindranath Tagore (see Panels 7, 8 & 14),and College des Americain (American). The concept ofitinerant students went back to earlier times whenstudents throughout Europe would travel to othercountries andinstitutions tocomplete theireducation in realsituations rather thanbe restricted to dryhome and universitystudy.The Outlook Tower, EdinburghEducation by the Three H’sThe College des Ecossais in MontpellierRamsay Gardens,EdinburghOld College, EdinburghChaim WeizmannSP & TP
  4. 4. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 4 ::Geddes theEnvironmentalist -“By Leaves We Live” isthe motto of BallaterGeddes Project 2004. It istaken from Geddes’ ownlonger statement:“By Leaves We Live”“This is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small,and all dependent on the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people havestrange ideas that they live by money. They think energy is generatedby the circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a vast leafcolony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass:and we live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of ourharvests.”It sums up very neatly Geddes’ understanding of thevarious elements of nature: people, crops, animals,mountains, trees, andabove all fresh air.Given an unconventionaleducation by his father, inwhich the outdoors andvarious aspects of naturewere given more emphasisthan book learning, it isnot surprising that his choice of career was in biology.He showed great promise in his early work in marinebiology. He softened the harsh “survival of the fittest”theory of Darwin by describing the cooperationnecessary in symbiosis, which had evolved, for example,in jellyfish.This promising future was cut short by temporaryblindness and poorer eyesight which made it impossibleto use a microscope forlong periods, so he turnedthe focus of his biologicalunderstanding onto theenvironment in whichpeople lived. Leading byexample, he moved hishome into a slumtenement in the High Street in Edinburgh, and set aboutbrightening and modernising it, then cajoling hisneighbours to do the same.He advised on the renovation of old buildings, designedgarden suburbs, wrote “Cities in Evolution”, a designfor Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline. Althoughconsidered too ambitious at the time, it has since beenwell studied and many of its ideas adopted.He widened his interest to the world at large, withexhibitions in Paris andDublin, and lecturing inthe USA.prophecies that if man is“...to remain healthy and be-come civilised...(he) must takespecial heed of his environ-ment; not only at his perilkeeping the natural factorsof air, water and light attheir purest, but caring only for ‘production of wealth’ at all,in so far as it shapes artificial factors, the material surround-ings of domestic and civic life, into forms more completely serv-iceable for the Ascent of Man.”Sheila PotterFor ten years he spentmost of his time in India,becoming a professor atthe University of Bombay.He applied what he called“conservative surgery” to the renovation of the slumquarters of Indian cities. He preserved all that was stillgood, clearing the clutter of rickety extensions toincrease the flow of air, and preserving trees, in theshade of which much of the life of the people wasconducted. He preserved too open water whereverpossible, for its cooling effect on the air around it.He considered above all the effect of change on thepeople who were to live in the cities and towns herenovated, avoiding wholesale clearances just for thesake of some grand design, which would have leftcountless people homeless.He spent the last phase of his life teaching mainly at theScots College inMontpellier in the southof France, lecturing andholding summer schoolswhich covered not only hisapplication ofenvironmentalpassive and plastic to its con-ditions, more under the swayof environmental change, andhence this seasonal change ofplant life becomes the moreimpressive spectacle of livingnature.See the tide of life set in with a flood in spring, filling everycorner of the earth with sprouting seeds and shooting stems,and crowding spreading rippling leaves; how as the russetunderwood warms to the fuller sun through branches still bareit glows with bright golden patches of lesser celandine. See howits dead leaves silently sink under a restless foam-tipped sea ofgreen anemone; how every mossy bank is set with primroses incrowded constellation; and how the deep summer sky shows firstin sheets of hyacinth. Soon comes high tide of leaves in June:the full-robed year is crowned and garlanded with exuberantblossom to which July brings the strongest chords of colour.“Yet already the tide has turned, the flowers are withering orfading, but a new profusionof fruits, more strangely var-ied even than the flowers, isrising in their place. These,too, ripen and pass and theseeds, each a young life, find -ofttimes through strange ad-venture - their resting placeand sleep. The shivering leaves surrender their life to thebranches which have borne them and fall away, often beauti-fully transfigured in dying; only their tiny nurslings the budsremain, warmly wrapped away within their protecting sheaths.Life has ebbed out of sight; Prosperina is in Hades and skyand mother earth must mourn till her release.”“Il Faut Cultiver SonJardin”(Voltaire “Candide”)“An active, constructive peaceis the only one that can com-pete with war and its glory:action. Therefore, said Ged-des, peace means an unendingfight against disease and slums, ignorance and economic injus-tice, against deforestation and waste of natural resources; peacemeans, both concretely and figuratively, that everyone must cul-tivate his garden.”“Geddes reiterates his own sweeping ecological warn-ing that wherever and whenever a function or an en-vironment is found to have a bad influence on theorganism, ‘its modification must be attempted, and,failing that, its abandonment faced’. Further heBy planting a dense mass of foliage we can increase the breezeon either side of it and even a little way beyond it, for the airflows in rolling waves over the obstacles as well as in swift cur-rents around each side.”“The Evolution of Sex”Three of the book’s four divisions were taken upwith descriptions ofprocesses of reproduc-tion in representativeforms of life, with sum-maries of experimentsperformed and of theo-ries propounded up tothe year 1889. But the fi-nal section - and the one of greatest interest today -put forth Geddes’s remarkable theory which, curi-ously enough, received experimental confirmationsome forty years later in the laboratories of Americanscientists.” (Boardman)“ ‘There was in this garden,’ said an English visitor, ‘a verita-ble artist’s laboratory, even apart from its seasonal bursts offlowers.... A Monet or a Claus might have painted on indefi-nitely, studying here the varieties of colour possible when allseems green.’ (University College Dundee).” (Boardman)“How did Geddes himself see and feel nature? Howdid this Scottish Darwin record his impressions inthe only textbook he everwrote? Here is a frag-ment from his accountof the pageant of theseasons.“Life is indeed universallyrhythmic, in animal as inplant; but the plant is more“Care of Mother Earth is the prime task ofman”Patrick Geddesconsiderations to townplanning but his manyother interests. To the endof his life he insisted onteaching outdoorswhenever possible, takinghis students on long walksinto the neighbouring countryside.He was an environmentalist long before the word“environment” became fashionable, and his teachingsare increasingly studied and applied today.“After early and extensive biological studies he diverged into acomprehensive philosophy aiming at the coordination of manwith his environment which he described as ‘the new human-ism’. With this aim in view, he became an amateur, in the bestsense of the word, of all the arts and sciences, and endeavouredto employ his knowledge in raising the standard of living forall with whom his activities brought him in contact.”“Environment and organism,place and people, are insepa-rable....”“As biologists know, and asthe finer civilisations have atvarious times magnificentlyshown us, Health results from ‘the good life’, that is a life ofnormal and full reaction within an adequate environment.Such an adaptation, which has become normal to flower andtree, insect, bird and beast, has grown increasingly harder forman to attain since his social grouping has become larger andmore complex (from rural village to crowded industrial city).”“A garden is the very best of Savings Banks for, in return fordeposits of time and strength,otherwise largely wasted, theworker reaps health for him-self and his children in air,vegetables and in fruit.”“The judicious planting oftrees may also increase breezesinstead of impeding them. Currents of air flow, as in thestream, faster and stronger round the side of obstacles.Quotes: Boardman, TyrwhittEnvironment
  5. 5. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 5 ::Ballater School “The School in theTrees”(hint - green roof)Environmental Education 1/2Primary 1 draw Leavesand ButterfliesGeddes The ThinkerPrimary 2 draw Animals and FishPrimary 2/3 draw Birdsand SheepGeddes The PlannerPrimary 4 draw Deerand BadgerGeddes The PhilosopherPrimary 5 draw Animals and FishGeddes The Ecologist and Patron of the ArtsPrimary 6 draw Animals and PlantsPrimary 7 draw Animals and PlantsGeddes Walkway fromthe Old Royal Stationvia Monaltrie Park toBallater SchoolPatrick Geddes’sunderstanding ofenvironmentaleducation grew fromhis own experience as achild. He was theyoungest by severalyears of four siblings.By the time he wasthree years old hisfather, after serving for thirty years in the RoyalHighland Regiment, had semi-retired as Captain in avolunteer regiment, the Perthshire Rifles. The familysettled in Mount Tabor Cottage high up on the side ofKinnoull Hill, overlooking Perth and a wide area of thesurrounding Tay River valley and hills beyond.Patrick was not considered strong enough to attendschool until he was nearly eight, and in the meantime hisfather had plenty of time to attend to his earlyeducation. This turned out, for a child of the Victorianera to be very unconventional, as is shown in thisexample, which taught gardening, measuring andcounting all at the same time: (About planting Potatoes)“And of course at first I put them in too irregularly; but soon sawthe sense of not having them too close at one point, and too faraway at another. So he showed me how people learned to measure,setting one foot after another; and thus we found the length of therow in feet. Then, cutting a stick a little longer than his foot, hegave me this for a measuring-rod, and now I relaid my potatoeswith accuracy as to length…. Then I counted them (I think therewere 31 or 32 in the row) and he suggested cutting notches on thestick to remember this number by. But this was to be a longoperation, so he showed me how to simplify it: with three deepnotches for the tens, and little scratches beside the last one for therest.”He loved to roam over Kinnoull Hill, collecting fernsfor his garden, and quartz crystals from a small quarry.He spent long hours observing the river valley below,which led to his later theories of the ‘Valley Section’ andthe interconnectedness of everything.As an adolescent, his father widened his horizons stillfurther by taking him on a long walking tour to visitrelatives and friends in Ballater and Grantown-on-Spey,crossing the mountains between the valleys of the Dee,Don and Spey.With such an early education it is not surprising that hesettled on biology as his chosen career. He studiedunder Huxley, knew Darwin, by then an old man, andby his early twenties was a marine biologist with agrowing reputation for original research. Unfortunately,at this juncture his eyes were damaged during a visit toMexico and he had to give up long periods ofmicroscope work.He turned his attention to the environment in whichhumanity lived and now developed his life-long methodof teaching: by example and personal involvement. Hemoved with his wife Anna, who gave her full support,into a slum tenement in the High Street in Edinburghand showed by example how to renovate and makehabitable a sound but neglected building. He thenencouraged the other inhabitants to do likewise.From this modest beginning over the years he improvedthe environment of several buildings in the Royal Mile,using them as hostels to improve the lot of students atEdinburgh University, and taking on and extendingRamsay Gardens, beside Edinburgh Castle.Holding various teaching posts, including the part-timeChair of Botany at Dundee, he also ran a series ofSummer Schools at Ramsay Gardens, with a wide rangeof subjects: environment, sociology, arts, music, in factanything PG felt was important, including his first lovegardening. He aimed to create gardens below the castleabove the Grass Market in Edinburgh. He was alsoknown to lead parties of students, who would otherwisehave been sound asleep, to the top of Arthur’s Seat toenjoy the atmosphere on a fine moonlit night!In later life he spentten years in India,advising on therenovation of thepoor slum parts ofseveral cities bywhat he called“ConservativeSurgery”, that isopening the streetsup to air and lightby demolishing the worst houses, while saving andrenovating where at all possible.One of the most effective and imaginative examples ofhis education about the environment of the entirepopulation of a whole city took place in Indore, Indiaand it is worth describing in full:Maharajah for a Day“He had been shocked to find it (Indore) one of themost plague-and malaria-ridden cities in India, with alife-expectancy of only 18.6 years, and tried to findsome effective means of improving these conditions.But as he tramped through crowded lanes and along thedirty river-fronts, marking on a map the most seriousmenaces to public health, the Indorians displayed signsof open hostility.The sight of Europeans prowling about with mapsalways made the Indians fearful of what demolitionmight soon strike their homes or neighbourhood, butthe presence of the bearded Scotsman with his faceand with the enthusiastic helpof Indore’s mayor (‘an ableBrahmin doctor’), the ScottishMaharajah launched acampaign that revealed him anable general of reconstruction.They spread news throughoutthe city that a new kind ofpageant and festival would begiven on next Diwali day, thisbeing an important holidayrepresenting several greatoccasions: a day of harvest; theNew Year’s day of one sacredcalendar; a day commemoratingthe slaying of a fearsome giantby Rama and ‘most appropriateof all, for my purpose, Diwali isthe signal for that strange andterrible domestic cataclysm,that annual insurrection of thewomen from which all men canbut flee, and which is as wellknown in West as East – hereas ‘spring-housecleaning’.After widely announcing thatthe new festive processionwould not follow either thetraditional Hindu or Moslemroute through the city, but takeinstead the one along whichmost houses had been cleanedand repaired, P.G. and themayor enlisted the aid of eachpriest and mullah by having theroads and pavements outside alltemples and mosques cleanedand mended, and trees plantedaround them. Free removal ofrubbish was advertised far andwide and in the six weeks ofpreparation for this specialDiwali, over 6,000 loads werecarted away from homes andcourtyards, ‘with muchinconvenience to the ratsformerly housed therein’.These plague-spreading pestswere trapped by the thousandsin the city and along the riverbanks. Meanwhile a wave ofhousecleaning, painting, andrepairing swept through everyquarter of Indore, for each onewanted to win the honour ofmarked by recent sorrows and overwork spread near-terror among the townspeople. Finally, P.G. asked hisIndian assistant why everyone pointed at him. And itwas reluctantly explained that they thought he was ‘theold Sahib thatbrings the plague!’.Geddes went thatvery afternoon tothe Home-ministerof the ruling Princeof Indore and, afterexplaining theproblem, boldlyrequested to be made Maharajah for a day! Consent wasspeedily given, and thus armed with princely authorityGeddes The TeacherA Bee gets busyhaving the procession passalong its streets.‘Then on the great day cameforth our pageant, with streetsathrong with villagers from farand near. First the procession...Contd. Panel 6Tadpoles in the River Dee
  6. 6. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 6 ::...of the State –music, cavalry,camelry andelephantry, as wellas infantry andartillery: and afterthese a chosenseries of beautifulled horses, richlycaparisoned, fromthe Maharaja’scast stables; andone moremarvellous still, ingolden trappingsof which nonehad seen the like’.Agriculture and the harvest were portrayed by chariotscarrying the Sun-god, the Rain, and so on. Elephantsladen with cotton-bags and carrying merchants in silverhowdas on their backs signified the importance ofcotton to Indore. The climax of this section of theparade was Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, on thedazzling white elephant of her legend. Here P.G. hadencountered some difficulty, for the nearest whiteelephants belonged to the King of Siam, and even hiswere only light pink. But an idea inevitably struckGeddes;‘With a little persuasion we were able to give this mounttwo coats of whitewash, from trunk to tail.What snowy brilliance in the sunshine – a paragon of awhite elephant, such as neither king nor goddess hadever ridden before!’After the gaiety of harvest, came a dismal change ofscene and tone.There appeared:‘melancholy, wailing, and discordant instruments; weirdfigures, as tigers, as demons, as disease – the latterspotless white raiment, with new brooms flower-garlanded. Their carts were all fresh-painted, red andblue, and their big beautiful white oxen were not onlywell-groomed and bright-harnessed for the occasion buthad black-polished hoofs, blue bead necklaces andgolden flower garlands, with their great horns gilded andvermillioned by turns. Every sweeper too was wearing anew turban, and of the town’s colours – as were all theemployees and higher officers of Indore, as well as themayor and myself; this had been arranged with hiswarm approval as a symbol of the democracy of civicservice.As the sweepers began their march, Geddes warmlygreeted the leader, a stately patriarch with a magnificentwhite beard, and took a marigold for his button-holefrom the old man’s broom-garland.Thereupon a burst of cheers went down the line.Well done; a good idea! Cried the mayor to me.Why? What? Said I.Said he, Custom would not let me do that, as a Brahmin,to an Untouchable; but as a European you were free to.You could not have done better: you have treated themas men, as equals, and thus encouraged them more thanI can tell you!(And so indeed itafterwardsproved).Behind thesweepersmarched a civicprocessionworthy of thefree cities of Europe at their apogee: caste labourers,firemen, and police; officials, mayor, and MaharajahGeddes; and after them, enthroned on a stately car, anew goddess evoked for the occasion: Indore City. Herbanner bore on one side the city’s name in illuminatedletters and on the other side the city-plan in largeoutline, with heavy red lines showing the proposedchanges to be made.Following this Goddess were big models of the publiclibrary, museum, theatre, and other buildings P.G. hadprojected; and a whole group of floats containedmodels of the private homes that were to replace slumdwellings. Next came floats representing all the crafts,on which masons, potters and others busily acted outtheir parts.Then‘the future gardens: great drays laden with fruit-ladenbanana plants, papayas and more: and with flowers aswell, and sacks of fruit, to toss to children. We evensacrificed the Maharaja’s biggest and best orange-tree,breaking jointed, bacilli-like twigs and casting them atthe crowd. Types too of poverty and misery as well aswretched disease-sufferers; and among and after thesecame sinister swordsmen, barbarous raiders, threateningwith dagger or with lance: in short the ugly aspects ofwar. Next followed models of slum-dwellings, wellcaricatured with their crumbling walls and staggeringroofs, broken windows and general air of misery anddirt. Then the Giant of Rama’s legend, but herepresented as the giant of dirt – a formidable figuresome twelve feet high… Then following him, the Ratof Plague, also made by clever and skilful craftsmen: agood six feet long, this rodent, and quivering all overwith the rat-fleas which carry plague, fleas here similarlymagnified by use of locusts dipped in ink and mountedon quivering wires.Nor did we forget huge model mosquitoes for malaria.Again a brief break after all these instructive horrors.Then cheerful music, heading the long line of fourhundred sweepers of the town, two abreast all inPart of the Procession through IndoreDiwali in the Madras Presidency in 1945Environmental Education 2/2which went swaying through the streets, and droppingits golden burden. And to wind up all, a dray givingaway innumerable tiny pots with seedlings of the Tulsiplant, (Ocymum sanctum of Linnaeus) the ‘sacred basil’of European poets, which is the central symbol of thewell-kept Hindu home.Thus we perambulated pretty well the whole city for thelong afternoon; and then wound up at dark at the publicpark, where the Giant of Dirt and the Rat of Plaguewere burned in a great bonfire; and their disappearanceannounced by fireworks’.The results of this dramatised lesson in civics werequickly apparent. A new spirit of house-pride and self-confidence spread among the Indians whomgenerations of disease had defeated and discouraged;even the sweepers performed their humble tasks withrenewed zeal. Practically all of the thousand plots laidout in garden suburbs were taken up in a short time. Butmost important of all, the plague came to an end, partlythrough cleaningup the city andpartly because its season wasover. Geddes was the leadingfigure in Indore, and peoplefollowed him in the streets,pointed at him, talked excitedly. Now they called him‘the old Sahib that’s charmed away the plague!’As the first half of Patrick Geddes’s career in Indiacomes to a close with his return to Scotland in 1919,what better commentary on the vicissitudes of theseyears than his own definition of magic and romance:“While a man can win power over nature, there is magic; while hecan stoutly confront life and death, there is romance.”(Boardman)To the end of his life, back in Edinburgh and then inMontpellier in the south of France, he continued toteach, leading his students out into the open air at everyopportunity, and taking examples from nature.Today many of Geddes’s original ideas have beenincorporated into modern environmental educationalthinking without many either knowing oracknowledging their source. Two projects which havebeen inspired by Geddes are: the designing of theplaques by the Ballater children which combined natureand art, and the work of the Kolkata children againcombining craft, art, poetry and tradition. The videolink will give both schools international insight into oneanother’s culture.The example set by Geddes’s Summer Schools is nowwidely copied by Universities and Colleges around theworld, and with the aid of modern technology, theOpen University brings wide and varied subjects withinreach of everyone.The latest developments are the John Muir TrustAwards, made to those who’s projects protect wildplaces, and their new links to the Cairngorms NationalPark through the appointment of Dr. Robbie Nicol asJohn Muir Trust Award Manager. He came fromanother modern educational establishment: the outdooreducation section of Edinburgh University.Sheila PotterDid you know......that if you visitEdinburgh Zoo (or theLearning about height, sounds and surveysat Ballater Environmental Education CentreGeddes Walkway Posts in preparationPart of Geddes and Mears Planfor Edinburgh Zoo (1925)Scottish ZoologicalPark to give it itsproper name) that itwas designed by a localBallater lad by thename of PatrickGeddes?Geddes and his son-in-law, the architect, FrankMears (later Sir Frank), provided the design for theCorstorphine Hill site. The highly popular Zoo has nowprovided education and enjoyment for generations ofpeople from all over Scotland and further afield.
  7. 7. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 7 ::Ballater Geddes Project 2004 Web Site material and leafletsused as teaching materials in Kolkata (Calcutta) IndiaLanguage of Rivers andLeaves -From Bengal to Ballaterby Boat!This traditional 5.5m boatwas cycled over 70 kmsthrough the night byrickshaw to reach itsdestination in the centre ofKolkata at the School of Artand Craft.“Our aspirations come in theguise of children”- Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941).A uniquely painted Bengali river boat is to travel toAberdeenshire this year (2004) to celebrate the historicwork undertaken in India by Sir Patrick Geddes & hisfamily in the early part of the 20th Century. This alsocelebrates Patrick Geddes’s birth in Ballater in 1854 andcontributes to a nationwide programme of events.Driven by the expressive arts, an exciting project hasbeen devised for schools, but with broad appeal, whichembraces environmental themes/cultural diversity;revealing strong international links and creating newbonds between communities in Scotland and India.Geddes, like John Muir, and those environmentalists who followed;such as Arthur Geddes (PG’s son), Frank Fraser Darling,Morton Boyd and Tom Weir all promoted a passion forexperiencing the great outdoors and learning from nature.Interaction with the natural world inspired mottoes and phrasessuch as: By Leaves We Live / By Creating We Think and, lifesimply explored with a code relating to community as therelationship of Folk - Work - Place.Geddes’senvironmentalsurvey of Indiacities wasextensive. BengalipoetRabindranathTagore and thevisionaryeducationalcollege at Santiniketan (later Visva-Bharati University -see right) impressed Geddes with his humanitarianinterest in education.Many now believe that Scotland’s Parliament mustinterpret the core values promoted by Geddes as part ofan environmental and educational philosophy which hasvision and encourages community empowerment. Thearts have a major role for the interpretation of thesevalues.River communities 5000 miles apart share not only anappreciation of Geddes but trading links which reach back over100 years. The boat is used as a universal icon which both enablescoverage translated as 4/5news slots at 5pm and 10pmon two occasions.· Documentation – We havegood still and video coverageof events. And suitablematerial for future exhibitions.· Most significantly I wish to tryto enable Tandra Chanda and Pulak Ghosh (Teachersin Kolkata) to take part in Aberdeenshire Events(Sept.-Oct. 2004).We also decided tohave printedcertificates ofachievement for thepupils who worked on“Sonar Tari” andsignificantly the boatwill be shipped toScotland for Autumn2004 activities inAberdeenshire. Proposed to launch on Loch Kinord,outside Ballater, for a “short” but significant baptismalceremony on the 2ndor 3rdOctober. This will alsotrigger the potential for making of a the replica of theKinord Canoe in due course.communication, discovery and cultural/economic trade andexchange.For example: The jute trade with India was importantand the rail network to Ballater would have broughtmany manufactured goods; such as carpets, linoleumand thousands of jute sacks for potatoes and grain etc.But significantly it is also interesting to realise that fromthe 1820’s most of Scotland’s fishing fleet waspreserving its nets, sails and ropes with tannin from“cutch” (resin from the Acacia Tree) which wasimported from India.We arerecognisinghistory butimportantly weare alsocelebratingcommunity lifenow. Thisinnovative globalproject raisesawareness and opportunities for school children in bothcountries and enables them to communicate with oneanother. English language is a strong element within theIndian education system, which was influenced by Scotseducators and missionaries.The BGP2004 ambition todevelop e-mail and webcamexchanges is in progress.Initially we navigated by boatusing the sun and stars andnow Internet via satellitesupports the values of thiscreative initiative. I’m sureGeddes would have approved!The Bengal boat named“Sonar Tari – Golden Boat”– was speciallycommissioned and namedafter Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem “SonarTari” (See Panel 8):Artist / educator Kenny Munro has been working with“Ballater Geddes Project 2004” since 1999. He has beenemployed, with others, by Aberdeenshire Council toactivate international links, enabling schools in bothcountries to exchange cultural and environmentalmessages via the expressive arts.Kenny Munro conducts workshops in Kolkata,Bengal, India, 4 - 14 March 2004 with pupils andteachers of theSchool of Arts andCrafts, Kolkata.“Arrival 2ndApril – Afine reception,meeting the studentsand handing over ofthe two digitalcameras from BallaterGeddes Project 2004,plus folders of cultural data from Ballater and Finzeanschools. (Biggest challenge was 30-40 C and humidity)”.Retracing and celebrating the work of PatrickGeddes in BengalThe programme for events had been well planned with700 printed green invitation sheets going out in advanceto publicise in Bengal, invite public and interestedparties and to generate maximum media interest.(Formal credit to Aberdeenshire Council, BallaterGeddes Project 2004 and list ofsupporters).· A formal inaugural event onthe 5thApril enabled “ handover of cameras etc.”.· Daily Workshops with pupilsmorning and evening.· Symposium with dance musicon the 11th.· On 14th(First Day of BengaliNew Year); a large scaleprocession, featuring paintedboat, students/parents etc.with police escort and drivenon by Indian bagpipers, TVAutumn Event:Bengali festival inAberdeenshire 27September – 3rdOctober 2004:Following on as areciprocal eventfrom the Kolkataactivities (April).Celebrating rivercommunities with environmental themes.A week of work shops at Ballater and Finzean primaryschools:Bashabi Fraser (writer/poet) / Kenny Munro sculptor /Musician, - performer of Indian Music/Dance havebeen contracted to work with school and community todeliver a multi arts event to culminate with a processionon the 2ndOctober / symbolic launch of boat “SonarTari”.Aberdeenshire andAsia: Indian family atBalmoral in 19thC.Other Indian links toAberdeenshire: QueenVictoria employed anIndian advisor/clerk“munshi”. Abdul Karim,a Muslim, (“her excellentAbdul” – (tutor/secretary) and his family lived on the Balmoral Estate.(Karim Cottage). Several Indians, employed by Victoriaare said to be buried in the local burial ground atBallochbuie.Ref. “A Queens Country” by Robert Smith. ISBN 0-85976-533-4About Visva-Bharati University, IndiaWhat the two colleges (Santiniketan andSriniketan) are for:It is clear from Tagore’s “mission statement” whyGeddes and Tagore got on so well - it chimes withGeddes’s belief in a high level of education for all andthe “Three H’s” on panel 3.SantiniketanTo study the mind of man in its realisation of differentaspects of truth from diverse points of view.To bring into more intimate relation with one another,through patient study and research, the differentcultures of the East on the basis of their underlyingunity.To approach the West from the standpoint of such aunity of the life and thought of Asia.To seek to realize in a common fellowship of study themeeting of the East and the West, and thus ultimately tostrengthen the fundamental conditions of world peacethrough the establishment of free communication ofideas between the two hemispheres.Girls dance to celebrate the “Sonar Tari”Students at the Kolkata School of Art & Craft studyBallater Geddes Project 2004 leaflets and web pagesKenny Munro and Tandra Chanda at theSchool of Art & Craft, Kolkata, IndiaPulak Ghosh and Tandra Chanda interviewedabout “Geddes & Tagore” and “Rivers & Leaves”Students decorate the “Sonar Tari”Certificate of Achievement given to students whodecorated the “Sonar Tari”Abdul Karim with Queen Victoriareproduced in aBallater Old Royal Station ExhibitThe Home Page of the Visva-BharatiUniversity Web SiteRabindranath Tagore pictured centreLanguage of Rivers & Leaves 1/2And, with such ideals in view, to provide at Santiniketan,a centre of culture where research into and study of thereligion, literature, history, science and art of Hindu,Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, Sikh, Christian and othercivilisations may be pursued along with the culture ofthe West, with that simplicity in externals which isnecessary for true spiritual realisation, in amity, goodfellowship and co-operation between the thinkers andscholars of both Eastern and Western countries.SriniketanTo win the friendshipand affection of villagersand cultivators by takinga real interest in all thatconcerns their life andwelfare, and by makingan effort to assist themin solving their mostpressing problems.To initiate a dialogue between academic study andresearch of rural economy / culture and on-fieldexperience.from: www.visva-bharati.ac.in
  8. 8. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 8 ::Language of Rivers & Leaves 2/2The Great Biocentric – Sir Patrick Geddes – ByLeaves We LiveThe significance ofhis Ideas, Work andLegacy for us today.Celebrating the Pastin order to influencethe Future.Much has changed inthe world since his birth in Ballater 150 years ago.However his promotion of positive values attached toHumanity, Education for Life and striving forInternational Peace are universal issues, which willalways need WORK by FOLK in every PLACE on theplanet!Studying Life: Celebrating the Living CommunityIn simple terms I think PG is always reminding us to;look at nature, try to understand its functions and ourplace within the “whole scheme of things”.Celebrating the creativity and energy within everyperson, creature, and plant.Recognising theendless flow ofdiversity, beauty andfundamentalrelationship betweenall things.Encouragingcollaborative actionOn every level ofcommunity life headvocates trying toturn difficulties into opportunities; energising people tocelebrate civic values and promote an “unfettered”approach to education. However, with this sense ofcultural wealth, explore old and new avenues ofopportunity, in any field, and find a way to share andcommunicate the experience.Creative action is the answerWhether planting a tree, organising a gala day or hillwalking with friends. Itall reflects on a sense of“empowerment” toachieve things. Exploringand reinterpreting theenvironments which weall inhabit providesendless scope forGeddes’s meditation on theGanges:“The Sacred River”“The day before this letter (quoted before), Geddesstarted a long one to his friend Fleure in which hespeaks of the development his Valley Section isundergoing in India, namely ‘to that of the Sacred River’.‘For the Ganges (its sister streams in some measure also) has beeneducating me, sometimes consciously, & also gradually & sub-consciously, to realise this, & something of what it has meant forcivilisation - what it continues to mean - what it may also mean forthe future.’The Ganges reminds him of his own childhood river,the Tay, ‘which will always be for me my main impulse of the life-stream and of the cosmos’.This leads in turn to his early experience of sunsetsreflected in the river and his ‘first - and still brightest - visionof - what I took to be - God’. Reminiscing about the fineviews from the Kinnoull Hill cliffs, he sees that ‘it musthave been in the climbings and ramblings over this fine valleylandscape... that I got the feeling of the valley section which hasbeen a main vision of geography in later years’. These views oftown and countryside also aroused his interest.‘in the plans and detailed aspects of cities, & also in theirgeneralised aspects & their ideal significance - & these as in directcontinuity one with another, and not belonging, like the religionand politics around me, to different worlds, both alwaysuninteresting, & even repellent, since as I later came to see -unreal’.P.G. comes back to the Ganges and its ‘mighty convergents’which sweep down from ‘Himalayas to delta and ocean... &which make the journey from Calcutta to Dacca so impressive’,and finds this too vast in comparison with Europeandistances and valley sections.‘Yet the extraordinary magnitude with its extensiveness is more ofa world-vision, & so completes our otherwise too micro-cosmal &local ones’.You see too the importance of this greatness of scale in the specialmetropolitance of Benares - which it is well worth coming to Indiato feel, as you can’t do until you have spent long mornings &afternoons & evenings upon the river with its marvellousarchitectural medley, & its strange intensity & variety of religiousand ritual life’.”From “The Worlds of Patrick Geddes” by Philip Boardman.Tagore’s meditation on river life:The Golden Boatfrom Sonar Tari, 1894Clouds rumbling in the sky; teeming rain.I sit on the river-bank, sad and alone.The sheaves lie gathered, harvest has ended,The river is swollen and fierce in its flow.As we cut the paddy it started to rain.One small paddy-field, no one but me -Flood-waters twisting and swirling everywhere.Trees on the far bank smear shadows like inkOn a village painted on deep morning grey.On this side a paddy-field, no one but me.Who is this, steering close to the shore,Singing? I feel that she is someone I know.The sails are filled wide, she grazes ahead,Waves break helplessly against the boat each side.I watch and feel I have seen her face before.Oh to what foreign land do you sail?Come to the bank and moor your boat for a while.Go where you want to, give where you care to,But come to the bank a moment, show your smile -Take away my golden paddy when you sail.Take it, take as much as you can load.Is there more? No, none, I have put it aboard.My intense labour here by the river -I have parted with it all, layer by layer:Now take me as well, be kind, take me aboard.No room, no room, the boat is too small.Loaded with my gold paddy, the boat is full.Across the rain-sky clouds heave to and fro,On the bare river-bank, I remain alone -What I had has gone: the golden boat took it all.Rabindranath Tagore, friend of and collaborator with Patrick Geddes.The 2004 “Sonar Tari” with decoration by the Indianstudents - handprints, BGP2004 logo andBallater and Finzean Schools nameseducational comparisonsand exchange ofknowledge.On a pragmatic noteI admit much of the above has a resonance of anidealistic philosophy and basedon a willingness to “pull in thesame direction”. Life can becomplicated with many choicesand challenges. Geddes,throughout his career was facedwith more than his fair share of“battles” and personal grief.Clearly he was despondent attimes but he kept perseveringand presents, in my view, a greaticon for determination and selfbelief.Kenny MunroPatrick Geddes inspired installation by artistsKenny Munro and Lesley-May MillerTandra Chanda (left) and Pulak Ghosh display Geddes materialbrought from Scotland by Kenny MunroStudents dance to celebrate the “Sonar Tari”Students decorate the “Sonar Tari”.The boy’s hat proclaims “By Leaves We Live”!Students of the School of Art & Craft celebrateTagore and Geddes“A Place for Geddes” by Kenny MunroBarefoot painting of the “Sonar Tari”in Bengal Not often seen in Ballater!
  9. 9. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 9 ::Arts AdvocatePatrick Geddes was neithermusician, painter nor sculptorthough he worked in non-fiction writing and poetry.His first wife Anna, a giftedmusician, introduced him tothe pleasures of music whichhe had missed out on as a child (apart from hymnspresumably) due to a strict Free Church upbringing byhis parents. This did not stop him grasping theimportance of the Arts. As a young student he hadgone missing from Thomas Huxley’s lectures for amonth to tour London’s many Art Galleries andMuseums!Throughout his professional life he appreciated theimportance of Art “feeding the soul” and becameinvolved in various ways to promote it either personally,through publishing, education, or commissions. Later, asa Planner, Geddes always tried to build artistic andcultural venues into his plans. Sadly planners andbuilders in later days failed to heed that lesson and canstill get away with providing housing and nothing else -simplifying the job and maximising profits - but alsocreating many modern slum housing estates.Summer Schools 1887-1899As part of “seeing life whole” as Geddes put it, he ran aseries of summer schools that attempted the unificationof art, literature and science, each informing the others.They went “…from two small courses…offered to ahandful of students in 1887, to a full-fledged summerschool of art, letters, and science which by 1893numbered 120 students from a half-dozen countries anda score of lecturers.”“The motto of the Summer Meetings was VivendoDiscumus – By Living We Learn – and therefore,reasoned PG, what better way is there of learningsomething new than by taking part in actual life aspeople live it? Secondly, he held constantly before bothteachers and students one goal: to reunite the separatestudies of art, of literature, and of science into a relatedcultural whole which should serve as an example to theuniversities still mainly engaged in breaking knowledgeup into particles unconnected with each other or withlife.”Philip Boardman “The Worlds of Patrick Geddes”From the Geddes’s twin eyries of theOutlook Tower and RamsayGardens, above Edinburgh on theCastle Rock, Geddes and Annalooked over the region and out tothe world. At Ramsay GardensGeddes founded the Old EdinburghSchool of Art recruiting, amongother artists, John Duncan, CharlesMacKie, James Cadenhead, RobertBurns and William Gordon Burn-Murdoch (See Panel 14) . Thenaming was deliberate in that Geddes wished to re-establish the Old Town as a cultural centre in addition tohis efforts to revive it as a place to live. Geddes and hisfollowers felt that the earlier Celtictraditions in art and poetry in Scotlandwere being ignored by the“establishment” of his time and set outto give them a place by promoting a“Celtic Renaissance”.“…the Professor fulfilled all the requirements of apatron, playing the role of a modest Medici in theAthens of the North” “He directed the decorationalactivities of the Edinburgh Social Union…”(Boardman) in addition he had various artists paintmurals and panels around Edinburgh including RamsayGardens and the Outlook Tower.“The Evergreen”“In 1724 Allan Ramsay had published ‘A collection of ScotsPoems Wrote by the Ingenious before 1600’, called ‘The EverGreen’, in which he pleaded for a ‘return to nature’ andthe old native poetic tradition. The residents of the newRamsay Lodge and Ramsay Gardens, 170 years later,printed a Christmas book entitled ‘The New Evergreen’in memory of Ramsay whose house and whosetradition they inherited. This little book then suggestedto PG & Colleagues (Geddes’s and William Sharp’spublishing house) the possibility of establishing a semi-annual review also called ‘TheEvergreen’ as a medium ofexpression for University Hall, theOutlook Tower and Scotland ingeneral.” Four editions werepublished in 1895-96.“He aimed at thawing out the‘frozen ice-pack of culture’ inEdinburgh and at bringing somefeeling for art to ‘that inferno ofindustry, Glasgow’. Another partof his purpose consisted in renewing local feeling andlocal colour in Scotland, not in terms of a narrow‘patriotism’ but to the end that she might again, becomelike Norway, one of the ‘European Powers of Culture’and share in ‘that wider culture-movement which knowsneither nationality or race.’” (Boardman)An aside - Another view of Art!“Yet even on the basic level he emphasises that a greatpart of so-called necessaries of life are not reallyneeded, unlike fuel or shelter. These he (Geddes) calls thesuper-necessaries…“And when we add up the aesthetic subfunctions of all ‘necessary’(i.e. not vital) ultimate products, and add to this the vast quantityof purely aesthetic products, we see how small the fundamentalelement of production has become in relation to the superior, andreach the paradoxical generalisation that production – thoughfundamentally for maintenance - is mainly for art.”(Boardman)Welcome to the consumer society!Paul RobesonIn 1930 Geddes wrote to a friend about Paul Robeson,the famous American singer, in London:“What a man! What a singer! What an actor! What an artist!Simple feeling to deep emotion, simple joy of life to pathos, tohumour, homeliness to spirituality! Never have I seen or heardanyone so able to give the culminating expression of his people.”Geddes goes on to espouse the “liberating” effect ofmusic on both black and white races and recommendsthe songs of Rabindranath Tagoreto Robeson. PG even felt movedto verse by Robeson’sperformance:“Well done, your falling Emperor’s part;Othello, matched to Shakespeare’s art:Next show your people’s vivid heart:Play Toussaint L’Ouverture,‘Tween pale and dark, too long apart.”Not bad for a man who felt his “Scottish Oppressions”from time to time. And not a racist bone in his body -perhaps surprising in a time of Empire. Still, a man whowishes to “see life whole” would have no right creatingdifferences between races or sexes!The Scottish Scientist and The Indian PoetA Schoolgirl’s Memories of TagoreThe circumstances of Tagore’s visit to a littlemarket town in the north of England are long-since forgotten. I think a member of thecongregation of whichmy father was Session Clerk hadworked in India and knew the man –poet, religious preacher, social reformer,musician. At any rate Tagore, whomust have been over 70 years of agewas one evening invited to speak to thecongregation. At the time I was learningto play badminton and that seemedinfinitely more attractive than going to adry talk. I do remember my fathersaying “Please yourself, but when you areolder you will be glad you went”. So I went.Tagore had been born just after the Indian Mutiny.Most Indians stayed at home for fear of losing casteby crossing the sea, so they knew little of other lands.He told us of his life as the son of aBengali land owner who had revived aBengali religious society. They believed in OneSupreme Being. Tagore and his brothers grew up inan atmosphere of culture and religion. He managedhis father’s estateand produced a regularmagazine that guided his peopleto nationalism. Deeply religious,he spoke of visions when he wasappealed to for love of his fellows.Tagore wrote in Bengali and I supposeonly if one understands the language canone appreciate the beauty of his poems,plays and novels. A number were quotedthat night,but they are long since forgotten. Yearslater I read some of his lyrical poetryand a novel, ‘Gora’, dealing with thestruggle between old and new inCalcutta society. Through his writingsthere is a sense of the beauty of nature,a love of children and a consciousness ofthe love of a Supreme Being. He putIndian thoughts and points of view tothe west.On earlier visits he had travelled to buildup his health after a breakdown and toraise money. I think when I met him hewas just on a social visit.I think I enjoyed the talk but memoryfails after so many years – and it was along time ago! Ido remember refreshments being servedand the farmer’s wife who was the motherPaul Robeson as Othello andPeggy Ashcroft as Desdemonafrom the 1930 London productionof Shakespeares OthelloA Masque of Love1921 by John Duncan“Natura Naturans” R. Burnsof one of the boys in my class makingsure that I got rather more than my shareof fresh cream meringues. I suppose as theonly child there I stoodout like a sore thumb.At any rate I thought Iwas someone specialwhen the speaker cameto talk to me. He askedme what I wanted to be, why I wanted to go to University and, as aresult of what must have been probing questions, why I wasinterested in History and in the Bible. He spokeeloquently about love and compassion and a fewpeople gathered round. I do remember that whenwe left he shook hands with me. I suppose I felt Ihad done the right thing in sacrificing thebadminton!Dr. Sheila Sedgwick (Local Historian) 2004The artwork placed throughout Dr. Sedgwick’s recol-lection is kindly supplied by Ballater Primary School,Scotland and The School of Art and Craft, Kolkata,India which takes young to older students. The Scot-tish Scientist and the Indian Poet both placed highvalue on art, for all, and as part of a broad education.One of the most fruitful of the scientist Geddes’srelationships, artistically and in planning and education,was getting to know the revered Bengali PoetRabindranath Tagore. He had been invited by PG tolecture at a summer meeting in India. Tagore was alsoan educator, and Geddes willingly offered to help himplan a University based on his schools at Santiniketanand Srinitekan (See Panel 7).Tagore to Geddes, on plans for an InternationalUniversity in India:“I merely started with this one simple idea that education shouldnever be dissociated from life....”Entirely in line with PG’s philosophy.Tom PotterBGP2004 member Ian Mitchellteaching art at Ballater School.The leaves in the background aremost appropriate -“By Leaves We Live” -Patrick Geddes
  10. 10. BallaterVictoriaWeekBallater & CrathieCommunityCouncilMarr AreaPartnershipSIR PATRICK GEDDES1854 - 1932GEDDES TODAYAberdeenshireCouncilTheSaltireSocietywww.ballaterscotland.com/geddesBallater Geddes Project 2004 wishes to thank these organisations who have generously funded or supported this Exhibition or Project:: 10 ::Politics & Economics“By Leaves We Live”“This is a green world, withanimals comparatively fewand small, and all dependenton the leaves. By leaves welive. Some people havestrange ideas that they live bymoney. They think energy isgenerated by the circulationof coins. Whereas the worldis mainly a vast leaf colony,growing on and forming aleafy soil, not a mere mineralmass: and we live not by thejingling of our coins, but bythe fullness of our harvests.”Patrick Geddes (1888)In 1912 Geddes and others, believing the First WorldWar was inevitable (he’d seen it coming from about1900), wrote a ten point credo called “What To Do” forpost war reconstruction and renewal, here is one ofthem:“Raise the life-standard of the people and the thought-standard ofschools and universities; so may the workman and his familyreceive due mead of real wages; the leisure of all become dignified;and for our money-economy be substituted a life-economy.”Patrick Geddes was scathing of the economic system ofhis time (and by extension ours - as little has changed).Although Geddes refused to carry any political labelpreferring to “get his sleeves rolled up”, and givepractical help where he could, his economic thoughtsare perhaps closest to the Russian Anarchist, PrincePeter Kropotkin. He stressed “Mutual Aid” as a factorin evolution and as an example for a better economicsystem.This proposed: not monarchy, competition, enforcedcollectivism or dictatorship, empire or constant war, butvoluntary, community co-operation on a personal, local,regional and global basis. As a believer in co-operationto get things done on a human scale Geddes had notime for the confrontational politics of his time (oragain ours) whether parliamentary, economic, Marxist orCapitalist. Both Evolutionists, Geddes and Kropotkinstudied nature and human society and found numerousexamples of co-operation in contrast to the limited“nature red in tooth and claw” proposal of Darwin.Both abhorred the economic and military Darwinism ofthe time (empire, competition, struggle and war) whichstill holds sway today. “Globalisation” is not new - Seethe history of The British and other Empires.Although sadly, in his lifetime Geddes didn’t get downto writing a definitive work on his economic ideas thethrust of his thinking can be pieced together fromvarious statements. As a biologist Geddes took hisstarting point not from any political or economic dogmabut from - what were the best conditions for theorganism (i.e. humans) to thrive and enhance theirquality of life? This is why Geddes is as relevant todayas when he lived.So, what would a Geddesian life-economy look like? Whatare real wages?We live in a society where money is more importantthan people, animals or plants. Is the history of thehuman race to be written in the ledgers of commerce, inpay cheques? or rather, will it be recorded that humanslived a full life based on the realities of existence on thisplanet? In his famous “By Leaves We Live” statementPatrick Geddes laid down a fundamental challenge toour species. That is whether to base our lives on arealistic understanding of our situation and build uponit or follow an illusion based on the elevation of moneyand its pursuit above all other factors. To live limited,part lives, as Geddes would have seen it.The “By Leaves We Live” statement could be simplyput as – you can’t eat money. Money, of itself, providesno sustenance, shelter or education nor securityparticularly when it fails to have value as in the WallStreet Crash of 1929 and subsequent Depression or anyother economic event since. When hungry, wouldpeople rather have food or gold?Is it a form of slavery to money to decide that thingscan only be done if there is enough money around(whatever its value – what if its value is zero?) or thatthings are worth doing in themselves? Somehow, thingsdid get done before the advent of money. What makeslife worth living? Is it family, children, friends, learning,humour, achievement, experiences, adventure, art,thought, etc.… or cold metal coins?The clear implication of Geddes’ statementsis that money is a distraction from the realityof our existence. Money, from being aconvenient means of exchange, has becomespeculations in rise of land values or on profits ofjerry-building; but to house the homeless. We have torebuild the schools; but not to pass examinations in,or provide returns for metropolitan clerks to pigeon-hole; but to teach the children.”(Boardman)In 1930 Geddes wrote:“How are we to get from Wardom to Peacedom? From the excitingNationalisms and Imperialisms of the first to peaceful Regionaland Civic developments in the second?...With business ever expanding...what can be thought of, or devised,much less applied, to abate the ever-increasing world-domination ofFinance, with its accepted faith in Money, as supreme andquintessential Power, to and by which the essential prayers (i.e. ofaspiration) of civilised men seem ever more convincedly directed?”(Boardman)What has changed?There is still a job of work to do here for our time. In1930 Geddes was still puzzling how to get from themoney-economy to the life-economy he had espoused in 1912.He was clearly as disappointed as were many of hisgeneration with the “business as usual” approach ofworld powers and Empires after World War One, withan eye to the rematch that was World War Two.2004 - The 150th Anniversary of Geddes’s BirthAn intensely compassionate, humanitarian and practicalman Geddes argued human need is more importantthan commerce or money. In our time the currentAIDS epidemic in Africa cannot be treated properlybecause the drug companies want more than can beafforded by African countries. People die becausemoney is more important than they are. This is not thelife-economy that Geddes desired, it is the money-economy hedeplored. If our money-economy can supply pollutingvehicles, lethal weapons, life shortening tobacco andheroin and not life saving drugs can it not rightly bedescribed as, in some respects, a death-economy? (See alsoLewis Mumford on Geddes on panel 14 “A GeddesMiscellany”).Geddes strove to “see life whole” - how all aspects of itare interconnected. In his time he saw the cities as livinga parasitical existence on the rural areas particularly inimperial capitals which sucked in resources to fight warsand build empires. One of the largest factors affectingeconomics in our time and Geddes’s is and was the“flight from the land” into the cities. In 2004 more thanhalf the worlds’ population is now urban and this trendcontinues apace. Geddes (and Kropotkin) looked forinspiration to the previous city-states, before the rise ofnation states, where parity of esteem was given to ruraland urban values and occupations and were shared byboth. They saw the need for renewed, cleaned up and“greened” cities. (See Panel 1).In 2004 the population of the world is over 6 billionwith consequent pressure on resources and many areasof the world are still rapidly industrialising creatingenvironmental pressures. The use of money allowsirresponsible deforestation and plundering of resourcesat arms length around the world without heed for thelocal consequences. The absurdity of trading “pollutioncredits” or attempts to give a monetary value to a tree orthe end in itself. This is recognised by thosewho would use it as a means of coercion,social control and as an incentive(Government and (mostly) Big Business). Itcould also be regarded as an irresponsible means toproceed. When the value of money is dictated by a fewpeople in positions of power - first Financial Marketsand then Governments where actions are generallyreactive rather than positive - how can ordinary peoplehave confidence to plan or construct in such a systemrather than just hope for the best?Our species has never really consulted on whether wethink money and our economic system are a good idea,or, if there are any better alternatives. Universitiescontinue to teach Capitalism and Marxism as,apparently, the only alternatives to choose between withscant attention paid to anything else although manypeople have ideas however good or bad, traditional ornew, practical or impractical.In 1917 Geddes wrote:“The earlier ... period was that based on coal and steam andtypified by waste of resources, smoke and soot covered cities,blighted landscapes, and stunted human lives.‘A time of making money anyhow and having wars anyhow, withonly utilitarian economists and liberal lawyers, or else imperialbureaucrats and bards, as our rival priesthoods: the whole systembeing crowned at its summit by the ruling financier.”(Boardman)What has changed?From ‘Ideas at War’ (1917)“The Mechanical Age came into being as machines supplementedor displaced manpower and multiplied the social injustices alreadyexisting. It did not invent slums and the sweatshop, it merelystandardised these evils and increased them a thousand fold. Theeconomic gospel of the age was that ‘the highest duty of man is tobuy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market’. Aided by‘Liberalism’ in thought and politics, the Mechanical Age achieveda system of free public instruction in the three R’s* - falsely referredto as an ‘elementary education’ - so that the quality and quantityof clerks and bureaucrats might be improved. Incidentally, theemphasis on arithmetic as a key to success diverted the attention ofworkers from real wages to money wages; hence their demands for‘more money’, not for better housing or cleaner air to breathe.”(Boardman)* Geddes preferred the three H’s - “Heart, Hand andHead”, arguably a more comprehensive view of“This is a green world...blade of grass would undoubtedly have horrifiedGeddes although he would see it as an inevitableextension of our current economic system. As abiologist and evolutionist Geddes thought it was thequality of (i.e. the variety of its abilities), and quality-of-life of the organism in ecological terms, not thequantity, that gave it the best chance of evolutionarysuccess and survival. A life-economy and real wages wouldbe directed to these ends, a death-economy wouldn’t.Tom PotterOn a personal note. Some years ago I came to the conclusions that:we should abandon the use of money, markets and nations asharmful to human existence, that the current economic system isincompatible with widely expressed environmental concerns andthat we are one people on one planet. It has been a pleasure todiscover support for this in the thoughts of my cousin PatrickGeddes. It would be fitting that the proposal of alternatives tocurrent and older systems should be the work of this generationsaddled as it is with apparently no choice of economic systems.Geddes knew where he wanted to go - out of the straightjackets offinance and commerce - and into a system where things are donebecause they are worth doing and enhance life.It has also been pleasing to discover lots of other cousins of Geddesdescent and make friends with Project members here and abroadwho appreciate what Geddes achieved in work andin thought. It has been an education!TPeducation for human existence.Even today Governments and Business still stress thethree R’s and an arbitrary percentage attendingUniversity as essential to “compete (economically) withother nations” and as “factory fodder” at home. Thethree R’s Geddes saw as but tools in a total, broadeducation.“The Imperial Age continued the Mechanical by extending thelatter’s methods and goals to all corners of the earth. Hand-in-hand with this imperialism, the Financial Age developed, forwherever pounds, francs or dollars went, the flag soon followed, andvice-versa.The mainsprings of the Financial Age were the legislation oflimited liability companies in England, the creation of monopolistictrusts in the USA, and the perfection of profiteering techniques inboth countries.”(Boardman)From ‘The Coming Polity’ (1917)“We have to re-open the coalmines, renew the machinery, andmultiply the products like our predecessors of the industrial andliberal age; but not merely for sale and personal profit, but forclothing the naked. More important still, we have again to till andplant the ground; but not merely or mainly formarket, but to feed the hungry. Again we have tobuild houses, but now no longer merely as properties,as comfort-villas or luxury-palaces - still less as

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