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The Post Cultural City

Kaushal, V (2008) The Post Cultural City. In: Liverpool the magical regeneration tour, 08 June 2008 - 08 December 2008, Tate, Liverpool.

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Abstract

_________________________________________________________________ ‘The post cultural city?’ Vikram Kaushal _________________________________________________________________ Yona Friedman believed that architecture’s task was to provide citizens a framework, a structure to implement their own ideas. Like Constants, New Babylon, Friedman regarded the rise of the automation of industrial labour and the rise of recreation as a decisive social change that would render traditional urban structures obsolete. An immobile and elaborate conventional architecture was to be replaced by flexible and mobile structures. While many architecture monologues attempt to promote new sets of rules or systems by which we (architects) ultimately want the user (non-architects) to unwittingly follow, Friedman insists that we should rather lay a framework within which the inhabitants can structure their surroundings. In recent years, this is fast becoming a reality, the rise of innovative technology and dynamic new working models, now allow us to explore the possibility of architecture as a truly transformative experience. The past decade has seen the transformation of many of are post industrial cities through crude regeneration programs, that have done little but create an unrealistic image of the city. Based heavily on cultural consumption models of regeneration, “Landmark” buildings and self-proclaiming “icons” 3d logos, city slogans ‘urban living’, synthetic-modern towers, bars, shopping centres and sport stadiums where to be the saviour of are cities. The cities become a ‘brand’ based on a superficial image of its-self. The culture that once made a city unique has been eroded by the regeneration process replacing it with ‘empty functionality’, the function of the useless space. This de-radicalization is leading are cities in to cultural meltdown. The city is becoming a void for the consumption of mass produced products. This process is ineffective and slow to respond to the social, technological and economical changes that are occurring across the world, leaving are cities in a vulnerable position. Citizens have become content providers, they negotiate what’s presented, designers now need to create frameworks, rather than relying on the magical strokes of their pens! How can we alter the crude cultural-led regeneration strategies and techniques of the last century? How can we begin to solve the problems of de-radicalization and Gentrification of regenerated cities? Will the post cultural city be a place of hyper-production or hyper–consumption, or perhaps there is a way of combining the two?

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