Delirious New York Rem Kolhaas Analysis

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Delirious New York – Rem Koolhaas

In a celebration of New York, Koolhaas’s delirious New York depicts the city as a metaphor for the incredible diversity in human behavior. He suggests that the city holds infinite possibilities for material and fictional activities and events and that the ‘culture of congestion’ is ultimately the essence of a metropolitan lifestyle. He pays homage to Coney Island, "the laboratory", highlighting the vital role it played in the building philosophies that would emerge later in Manhattan.
Uncovering the roots of the modern metropolis, he sets a stage of a ‘mythical island’ for an urban experiment based on its apparent accomplishments that portray a glorified Manhattan, breaking it down into, Coney Island, the
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It contested the professions and the way it was taught. It turned away from conventional architecture and proposed more adaptive architecture that would accommodate the emergent needs of its users through a rebellious style in an age heavily influenced by pop- culture and Dadaism. It redefined architecture and embraced a criteria o perishable yet indefinite, multifunctional space that was applied to new city models. It emphasized a vital support to culturally changing mechanisms of the city and not simply functional organization of space. The radical ideas experimented with spatial, creative, political and consumer freedom that surfaced in the 1960’s. However, as a product of an elite culture, the ideals created were theoretical rather then operational. This can be seen in some of their city models which consisted of interchangeable dwellings that were easily moved and able to plug in to readily available services, responsive to an ever-changing environment. Other unrealistic ideas consisted of units on legs which could easily be moved if ever the city lost its rationale for…show more content…
He encourages the reader to free oneself from official or commercial architecture which are influenced by the prejudice towards the late phases in architecture which are only concerned with a few selected cultures and turn a blind eye to underdeveloped countries and their alien architecture. He praises primitive architecture for its timelessness and its ability to serve its purpose to perfection with no room for improvement and regrets that the origin of these indigenous building forms and construction methods is lost in the past. Rudofsky then introduces Communal Architecture, ‘ art not produced by a few intellectuals or specialists but by the spontaneous and continuing activity of a whole people with a common heritage, acting under a community experience.’ The beauty of primitive architecture is often dismissed as accidental, but today we should recognize it as an art that developed from human intellect that was applied to handling practical issues and our problems are rooted in our tendency to accredit specialists who may have exceptional insight but are largely concerned with business and prestige. He challenges his readers on a fundamental level and exposes alternate and endangered forms of urban development, lifestyle, social spaces and practicality which we have not learnt from. He
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