100 years on Winner
We can finally announce our winner for the “100 years on” competition. There was a lot of discussion surrounding the short list for this competition, but we hope you can join us in congratulating our winner and the two honourable mentions. As usual, your thoughts and discussion are very welcome at the bottom of the page!
Congratulations to Grant Erskine Architects (www.granterskinearchitects.com) , who sent us the panel above, and who we have selected as our winner.
Here is what Grant Erskine of Grant Erskine Architects has to say about it.…
Some of the most interesting and influential books we have read in recent memory are the Shrinking Cities: Complete Works 1+2 and The Atlas of Shrinking Cities. These books, as part of the greater Shrinking Cities movement, have illustrated not only the causes and impact of decay in the modern city, but more importantly the resilience and ingenuity of humanity. They offer a pessimistic view of the future, but an optimistic view of mans ability to adapt and survive.
It is often suggested that society will decay into some form of a dystopia, such as those reflected in the movies that we all enjoy: Metropolis (1927) Bladerunner (1982), Brazil (1985), I am legend (2007). However, what these movies often fail to reflect upon is the strength and resilience of man and society. Looking back through history, humanity has endured several eras of adversity both natural and man-made – but has always survived. It is for this reason that we approached this project from an optimistic position. With rising fuel costs caused by dwindling supply and international social and economic unrest, it is obvious to us that we are quickly approaching the end of an era. Humanity’s dependence on the car and van will have to be readdressed. It will raise several interesting questions. How do we travel? How far can we travel? How far can we transport perishable foods? How do we handle waste? If you think of everything that is transported into and out of a city, and imagine a future where this is no longer possible, you begin to imagine the problems we will have to address. How will we survive? How will we re-interpret our surroundings in order to live? How will we reimagine the city and adapt it to our needs?
The initial interest of dealing with such a complex urban structure as New York came about from reading the work of Ada Louise Huxtable and Marshall Berman. Both have strong opinions and insights into the urban planing that went on in New York in the latter half of the 20th Century. Their opinions mostly surround the plans that were in place to build giant 10-lane expressways through New York City such as the “South Bronx Expressway” and the “Lower-Manhattan Expressway”. The plans for these never came into realisation but the very notion of the plans were so detrimental to the neighbourhoods that nobody wanted to live or work in the areas affected My vision of New York is a positive response that moves away from these anti-social ideas of transport and urban planning.My vision for the city is that developments in ideas on transport, public space, and green space all meld into one scheme that hopefully means people enjoy the infrastructure that the city is built on, instead of being slaves to it.
Tommy McCaughan, Kent, England. This entry is accompanied by a poem which is also by Tommy-
Years have blurredThird Reich visionsEagles scourSunken prisonsFlown from iconReanimated lifeEuropean wideDubrovnik’s strifeDon’t lose your mindGo out lateBeneath the groundThose awaiting fateClocks don’t moveCoz prisoners don’t lookClawed to deathBy eagle hookNo time to improveOr gain releaseHide your religionSearch out inner peaceSpeech in whispersAvoid other eyesLook out for the murderersLook out for the spiesErode your moralsFeeding attemptFight the rulesMake self exemptProtect your youngEncase in iceTransport by carDo nothing twiceLet no others visitAnd hug your sonSpeak of the positivesDon’t let tears comeTotalitarian ruleQuietly wait your turnThere is no futureEurope will not learn