THE DARK CITY

 “Each generation must build its own city”
Antonio Sant’Elia    

The idealised cities of Corbusier’s City in the Sky, Constant’s New Babylon and Archigram’s Plug in City were revolutionary and highly influential upon architects at the time of their inception. Highlighting the role of architecture not only as a physical construct but also as a driver of social progress and change, each creating completely different ways to live and inhabit a city. They envisaged a dense, evolving and constantly changing construct where the day to day lives of its inhabitants are in constant flux.

Kowloon Walled city is the real world manifestation of these ideas without any limitations except a physical boundary, nor a singular architect or designer. It is a place of crime, disease and squalor, driven from the necessity of man to survive; far from the utopian ideals of Archigram or Constant yet highlights the organic nature and foundations of all urban forms.

An urban form that can adapt and sustain a population in any way necessary. In short, a city like the Walled city cannot be created by an architect, it has to evolve.

Although a tragedy of human existence, Kowloon Walled city exemplifies a different way again to create a city, one emerging from the dynamical net of our relationships, not the determinism of an architect.

CITIES ARE EVOLVED ; NOT MADE
We live in a world of definable probability; in which life and matter evolve continually. When we appreciate the full vitality of matter and its power, through actants, to shape our proximate environment then we can begin to practically engage in the design of experiences that are evolved, not made.
Rachel Armstrong
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