Comment 35135

By Mahesh P. Butani -- http://metrohamilton (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 11:01:16

The Other Mr. Beckett:

Where does radical thinking spring from?

The kind of -radical- that attempts to elevate the "destitution of modern man" through ideas and form – and not the kind which picks discredited actions from history to develop solutions for perceived problems which persistently defy resolution.
The Other Mr. Beckett - a quintessential Modern, gave us "Waiting for Godot". His radical thinking showed us - that for things to really happen, nothing really needs to happen.

Centuries before the ‘Radiant City’ was conceived by Le Corbusier and slammed onto the harsh Indian landscape in the name of L'Esprit Nouveau – the Old Walled City of Shibam from the 16th century had already established that highly dense tall structures could result in sustainable urban settlements that coexisted with an imperfect environment in harmony. A near parallel of how nature itself has lived on the Socotra Archipelago since life evolved on this planet.

Albert Mayer ("The Urgent Future", 1967) - left a primed canvas in India for Le Corbusier to act out his grand gestural designs for society. Radiance to Corbusier was a marketing tool to sell efficiencies for the perceived machine age. He too was a Modern. At the level of a chair, a house and even a building his works were iconic. On the much larger city size canvas, his ideas failed to scale appropriately nor live up to the test of time. He was attempting to be the author of a new Shibam - Shibam like Socotra, abhors authorship.

Hamilton continue to experience shiny Corbusier moments instead of real Modern - of the quintessential kind, such as this latest one –- as some in our city continue to worship grand gestures on a near primed canvas, and only feel empowered by the dust and din of "massive razing" or programmed rebuilding schemes. Progress to them is more about their influence than impact. Growth for them can only be achieved by the throwing or kicking any kind of a can between two posts. Without this enacting there is no empowerment, no game for them - no event, no charm in life, no city - They just see desolation and ruins in between sprawling suburban ideals - instead of opportunities to built up from that which already exists in our centre.

>>> The Life and Times of a Man Made Park in a City:
"The annual operating budget of Central Park in NYC is $27 million. In the mid-1800s, 500,000 people were living in New York City, with most city dwellers housed in crowded, cramped quarters below 38th Street..." <<<
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