Playing from the inside: holistic villages as a paradigm (part II)

Document Type: Project Review


Schulgasse 36/2/1, Vienna, Austria


In 1958, Corbu advocated a ‘new architecture’ for a ‘new man’. The omnipresence of the architect creating spaces to model a society led to architects building many sins. After that the influence of architecture in the lives of its inhabitants began to be a subject ignored. A lot of contemporary architecture limited itself to the
production of design or service to capital of the day. In 1958, Yona Friedman fought for a mobile architecture in his visionary manifestos, in which megastructures over existing cities allowed citizens to reconfigure their lives. The development of utopias that decided to act from ‘outside’ of or ‘above’ the societies led architecture to lose their focus and social responsibility. We now find this position in the nostalgia for designs that could only be built by robots. It was also in 1958 that Tomás Maldonado defended new developments in training designers from the spoon to the city. The breadth of his scientific focus distanced many generations from the social problems of design, remaining in the dichotomy between functionalism-aestheticism that could only be improved by a solid methodological base. Today we would call it parametric. Exactly half a century later, after winning the competition for the Vienna University of Economics I was conscious that none of the extreme abovementioned positions were going to give me the answers I needed for the integral project that I knew we had to develop. This is the Holistic History of an Urban Miracle and the Holistic Villages as a New Paradigm.