October 6, 2011



My attention was drawn towards the explanation under which the American urban planning was conceived. The historic context of the cold war plaid a crucial role as it integrated to the design the scenario of any form of interference, such as a nuclear attack. Wiener, the planner, was obviously shocked by Hiroshima. In addition, great significance was addressed towards maintaining the national communication network in the case of disaster and therefore bypassing critical routes.

Furthermore, Giedion’s poetic comparison of the city to an organism is rather fascinating, as he suggests that it becomes an extension to the human body. He states that, a skyscraper is a more advanced organism than a cottage, in the same way that a human being is more sophisticated than an ant. Moreover, Reinhold discusses the volume of the commercial towers, addressing them as monuments of the post war period which suggest the dominance of the corporate authority juxtaposing the previous regime of the church. The verticality that the skyscrapers form introduce, compose a network which expands the limits of the city reaching beyond and therefore connecting the globe, exaggerating the routes of circulation and communication. ‘We have conceived the city as a network of communications and of traffic. The danger of blocked communications in a city subject to emergency conditions is analogous to the danger of blocked communications in the human body’. (Reinhold, 2003) As Giedion states, the city extends the human nervous system reaching outwards in order to maintain equilibrium, so that the internal experiences of the urban environment, such as traffic jams are overcome.

Therefore, the individual within the urban context can appreciate a physical and virtual expansion of the potentiality of the human body.



Reinhold Martin, The Organisational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space, Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2003.


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