Saturday, February 04, 2012

Under the pavement

@pbmobi asserts that "Infrastructure Architecture is the foundation for #entarch, not the other way round". This suggestion draws on a book review of "The Works: Anatomy of a City", in which the reviewer suggests that the tubes, wires and pipes under the pavements of New York are collectively more important than the city of towers above them.

So that's one sense of the word "foundation".

@pbmobi also quotes Frank Gehry via @nate_berg "There’s a lot of layers of bureaucracy that make it impossible to do creative work in cities."

So that's a completely different sense of the word "layer".

Bruno Latour gave a brilliant lecture at Brunel University in April 1998. Among other things, he talked about the (usually invisible) stuff under the pavements of Paris. As I recall, he showed some slides of various control rooms, each providing a different slice (are these layers or perspectives?) of the Parisian infrastructure. The point here is that there isn't one homogenous infrastructure, but a complex system of infrastructure systems that barely talk to each other except in an emergency. Sadly, the lecture is no longer available on the Brunel website, but I found a transcript on a Hungarian website.

Nate Berg, Frank Gehry on City Building, Atlantic Cities, 9th Jan 2012.

Bruno Latour, "Thought Experiments in Social Science: from the Social Contract to Virtual Society"
1st Virtual Society? Annual Public Lecture Brunel University 1st April 1998. [transcript] See also [Invisible Paris, pdf].

Alex Marshall, The Works Reveals City's Essential Systems. Spotlight Vol. 5, No. 2. January 26, 2006. Review of Kate Ascher, The Works: Anatomy of a City. Penguin Press 2005

See also my post OrgIntelligence in the Control Room (October 2010)

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