Monday, 5 January 2015

The Quote of the week. Bernard Rudofsky

From an academic erudite as Vidler to a more down to earth Rudofsky. Streets for People

"...for the street is not an area but a volume. It cannot exist in the vacuum; it is inseparable from its environment. In other words, it is no better than the company of houses it keeps. The street is the matrix: urban chamber, fertile soil, and breeding ground. Its viability depends as much on the right kind of architecture as on the right kind of humanity."

Rudofsky, Bernard, Streets for People: a primer for Americans, van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1982,1969, p20

Perhaps not as well known as his contemporaries Jane Jacobs and Kevin Lynch, Rudofsky is as ruthless a critic of American and British post war urbanism as them. Better known for his groundbreaking: Architecture without Architects, he is also an insightful observer of the public realm. He uses streets as his weapon of choice and confronts American examples with European ones, mainly Italian.  Through his experience,  living in both Europe and North America, he can speak as an insider and outsider. There is a balance in his observations between the formal and the social, which bridges a gap that still needs more analysis. Rudofsky's observations are valid now, and should be a useful source for practitioners in architecture and urban disciplines.

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