Andrew Benjamin Complex Urbanism Feb 2, 2010

Andrew Benjamin
Complex Urbanism

Tuesday February 2nd
14-16.00hrs. Free.  All welcome.

Council Room, Laurie Grove Baths, Goldsmiths University of London

Terms such as ‘complexity’ bring with them an assumed logic of addition. Events are taken to have become complex due to the planned or unplanned incorporation of new elements. And yet simple addition is no longer sustainable. For development to be possible another conception of complexity needs to emerge.
Moreover, the city is not a neutral site. Differentials of power are at work within the city.
A theory of complexity that allows for both design and analysis has to interconnect programmatic development with the unplanned.
The texture of the urban will demand therefore another vocabulary. The language of lines
and divisions and the feint of neutrality will cede its place to a rethinking of relations in terms ‘porosity’, fraying’ and ‘sites of trauma’ (amongst others).  If there is a philosophical thinking of the city then has to begin with the recasting of relations that such a setting creates.

Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Critical Theory at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Cultural Studies.  He is author of  number of books including, ‘The Philosophy of Architecture’, ‘Present Hope: Philosophy, Architecture, Judaism’ and, with Charles Rice, recently edited, ‘Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity’, published by re:press,http://www.re-press.org/

In preparation for this seminar, please read the text ‘Towards a Complex Urbanism’ available by email from m.fullerATgold.ac.uk

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