Architectural History: Urbanism And The City

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Architectural History: Urbanism and the City

Architectural History: Urbanism and the City


A prime aim of urban anthropology and the archaeology of convoluted societies is the history of the notion of a city. Scholars usually cite the first town as appearing in 3500 BC in Mesopotamia. Discussions of the town have appeared in anthropological publications in association with that advised urban, both as method and spatial locus. Useful distinctions, first drawn by Kemper inside this context, are between anthropology in towns versus anthropology of cities. Equally significant are those distinctions between the preindustrial, up to date, and postmodern exemplifications of the city. Understanding the method, development, or history of the town encompasses concern of the public and personal use and association of space, architecture, and the financial and sociopolitical life of the inhabitants.

Scholarship focusing on the city began with sociologists locating “society” as being indicative of changes collective humans underwent that ultimately became the city. Early urban sociologists included F. Tonnies (1887), who established the difference between Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society); E. Durkheim (1897), who introduced the concepts of mechanical and organic society; M. Weber (1904), who considered the social structure of a city; L. Wirth (1938), who developed a theory of the characteristic influences of urban life on social organization and attitudes; and R. Redfield (1947), who built on Wirth's ideas to introduce the folk-urban continuum concept. It was in the 1920s that the Chicago School of Urban Ecology (with R. Park at the University of Chicago) began to focus on issues such as demography, census information, interviews, and historical data, with an emphasis on the social problems within cities, as opposed to the theory of processes of urbanization.

Stan Allen

Stan Allen is an architect working in New York and dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He holds degrees from Brown University, The Cooper Union and Princeton. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia and Princeton, and his architectural firm SAA/Stan Allen Architect has realized buildings and urban projects in the United States, South America and Asia. Responding to the complexity of the modern city in creative ways, Stan Allen has developed an extensive catalogue of innovative design strategies, in particular looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology as models to revitalize the practices of urban design. In 2008, he received a P/A Award for the Taichung Gateway Park and a Faith and Form Award for the CCV Chapel; In 2009 he received a P/A Award for the Yan-Ping Waterfront in Taipei, an AIA Award for the CCV Chapel, the John Q. Hejduk Award, and an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2010, his building for Paju Book City in Korea received an AIA Award. In addition to numerous articles and project reviews, his architectural work is published in Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City, (Princeton Architectural Press 2001) and his essays in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation (Routledge, ...
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