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Architecture In Consumer Society by Antti Ahlava

By Antti Ahlava

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Tschumi’s Neo-Constructivist works include Parc de la Villette in Paris (1989) and Le Fresnoy Media Art Center in Tourcoing (1999). Without doubt, Koolhaas’ and Tschumi’s multi-layered and hectic urbanism and the predomination of events belong to the Situationist atmospheric tradition. 86 Koolhaas is correct: such a communitarian ideal as a pedestrian street in itself cannot avoid the social code, whatever the atmosphere. The Situationists, Tschumi and Koolhaas have all been heading in the right direction if one believes Baudrillard’s interpretation of the dynamics of consumer society.

61 and long-term plans. See Glen Searle, ‘Urban Planning as an Instrument of State Corporatism’, Planning for Cities in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges. World Planning Schools Congress, July 11-15, 2001 Shanghai, China. Marco Cenzatti argues that urban planning has become a support for the free market economy, when Fordism (and homogenisation, totalisation, rationality, expertism and mass production) have given way to many simultaneous epistemological frames. In these circumstances, the definition of suitable planning has become communication that facilitates action, and no longer planning creating the framework for a good environment.

1982) 235. 63 Nowadays, these dimensions escape the domain of architects, until, that is, a radical alternative in architecture to individualism and soft alternativity is pursued successfully. Constructing beneficial architecture in the present condition of society would mean a drastic questioning of any architecture which satisfies needs; including individualism and alternativity itself. Towards a reassessment of productive creativity and needs Baudrillard gives useful support in the attempt to find a radical alternative to architecture controlled and manipulated by the allreaching socio-economic system.

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