My new book – to be published by UCLPress (link to UCL release) at the end of this month (April 2018)- marks the opening of this blog, dedicated to 30 years of work on architectural and urban configurations; and to con-figuration as an analytical and generative mechanism in cities and architecture.
The title of this book ‘The Venice Variations’ with its sub-tile ‘Tracing the architectural imagination’ is a good summary of what the book is about. In fact the order of the title could easily be reversed, to read tracing the architectural imagination by looking at the infinite variations observable in Venice. Through a discussion of Venice and two other works owing their inspiration to this city – Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (link to Invisible Cities) and Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital (link to Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital), the book is an investigation of the sources of the architectural imagination. In choosing Venice to make this inquiry, I have chosen one of the most intriguing urban artefacts humans have created. Although today’s urban pre-occupations tend to be acted out at the scale of the mega city, enabled by smart technologies and delivered through giant muscular architecture, success must still be judged in human rather than technological terms.