GE: Urban Forms of Plurality

Throughout the history of architecture, the role of theArchitect has been to determine lines that ordered the world. In the past century, however, as cities have rapidly expanded into vast urban territories that are increasingly pluralistic, the ability to determine such lines has become progressivelymore complex and suspect. The notion of indeterminacy within architecture and the city not only halted the project of Modernism but also spawned several trajectories of design that embraced flexible, soft, dynamic and transforming systems torespond to the new needs of the expanding city and its pluralistic inhabitants. The project of contingency embeddedwithin these various trajectories has both plagued and resituated the role of architecture in the urban territory, but has it produced a collective or legible urban realm? This seminar examines the urban forms of pluralism and indeterminacy that emerged during late Modernism with the breakdown of CIAM and was positioned through the projects of the 'megastructure', 'omnibuilding' and 'pod' in the postwar period. Exploring the link between this 'almost project' that was interrupted during the 1970s and 80s, the seminar explores recent analogous trajectories within systems of infrastructure, landscape and ecology in providing a platform for the continued project of plurality. Unpacked through an examination of theoretical texts and projects by Hannah Arendt, BuckminsterFuller, Cedric Price, Yona Friedman, Archigram, Archizoom, Superstudio, OMA, Stan Allen, Keller Easterling and Konstantinos Doxiadis amongst others, it positions a new role and relevancy for the architect who is confronted with an increasingly indeterminate globe and contingent city.