Saturday, April 10, 2010

Concept Urbain?

When I saw the "street furniture" and that it was French. I immediately thought of Henri Lefebvre and how he would have smiled at this conceit! But it was good to smile at something brash. Concept Urbain is in a company that carries out these kind of street installations and I will say no more about it except that it can be found on the Internet for extra enlightenment. In appears that in order to be urban we need some kind of empirical verification. Our needs and functions must be validated - but by whom and for what exactly? We are continually told that we must be organic and yet the urban environment is anything but. We have seen that when institutions can no longer hold on to power, they tend to describe themselves as organic. The food industry responds to a deep crisis by labeling its products "organic". The city that can no longer serve the needs of its inhabitants describes itself as organic and evokes the imagery of the body. The rough, rusted cover of a minor service duct describes itself as a "concept" of the city - and what rough work it is. And it's worth noting that this minor workpiece is part of a sea view. The city garners in the space that surrounds it - even the sea. It renders it urban and tells us so.