2012-11-29

Ne Travaillez Jamais (Never Work)


Without any doubt, the pending issue of contemporary urbanism is Luddism, if we consider that the approach that has been imposed from the twentieth century --Functionalism or Rationalism-- was the diametrically opposed. The Situationists were those who got closer to this ludic and anti-functionalist character, whose proposals were developed in the context of May 1968. But the fact that their ideas were hardly materialized shows to what extent these were visionary and still have potential. Perhaps the time had not yet come for them. The famous Guy Debord's graffiti Ne travaillez jamais ('Never Work') symbolizes an ideology which intended especially to call into question the functionalist and productivist ideology that is at the heart of capitalism.

But a possible Luddite approach in architecture and urbanism would consist, not so much in designing buildings and towns for a ludic, enjoyable or
pleasurable use, what would continue being a functionalist and final method, but rather, in transforming the architectural practice into a play.

Image after A. Vuillemin's Plan of Paris (1892) [pd].