The Venice Variations: Introduction Preview

Between authored architecture and the non-authored city "To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice." -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Three artefacts In 1972 the Italian writer Italo Calvino published his most acclaimed work of fiction, a novel about cities that made a seminal... Continue Reading →

UCL European Institute Video

In this video I introduce my new book on Venice, and how, as humans we are wired to look for ideal patterns, for stories, for ideal places and ideal patterns in literature, art, architecture, design... tracing them through three ‘artefacts’: a city—Venice, a book—Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and a piece of architecture—Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital. The book... Continue Reading →

The Venice Variations: Preview Part 4

The future we must strive to achieve So why Venice matters today? Venice allows us to address very significant questions concerning our urban future. How do cities evolve as complex spaces nurturing both urban creativity and the fortuitous art of discovery? By which mechanisms they foster imagination and innovation? How do they adapt and sustain... Continue Reading →

The Venice Variations: Preview Part 3

The three artefacts as networks The analysis of Venice, Calvino’s novel and Le Corbusier’s Hospital is conducted to understand at a deeper level whether there are characteristics in the city that are creatively transposed from the city to the other two works. It also looks at what creative devices have been employed in crafting the... Continue Reading →

The Venice Variations: Preview Part 2

Venice in the Western imagination – the Myth of Venice What role does Venice play in the Western imagination? As Tony Tunner explained, Dickens entered Venice in a dream; Ruskin came to it replete with English notions of the Romantic to produce not art history but fiction; Canaletto distorted Venice to his own ideal perspectival... Continue Reading →

The Venice Variations: Preview Part 1

1. Why Venice matters today There is a pair of linked questions at the heart of this book: Why has Venice inspired, and continues to inspire, the imagination of so many artists, architects and ordinary people? Does Venice still matter today? More specifically, what matters most the individual creative output of buildings, architecture and works... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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