De-Cay or Re-vamp? The irresistible wastelands

G.I. Curulli

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In 1997 the exhibition 'Irresistible decay: ruins' reclaimed held at the Getty Center in Los Angeles analyzed the attraction to ruins while examining the role that they play in modern cultural life: ‘ruins are product of modernity. (...) (ruins) carry meanings that depend on both the dynamic energies of history and the regular rhythms of nature, and they produce reaction ranging from nostalgia to foreboding, from dreams of grandeur to fear of mortality." A few years later, in 2001, Buchli and Lucas defined as contemporary ruins those abandoned industrial areas, landfills, etc. the examination of which reveal the history of the everyday life from an anthropologic and archaeological viewpoint. As it happens, both definitions disclose how meaningful and alive ruins are and all designers should be aware of this. In November 2007 the conference Urban wastelands investigated those large industrial complexes, factories, dismantled military installations, leftover areas in cities, which belong to the category of contemporary ruins, and that are indeed neglected and often omitted because they are regarded as by far too ordinary everyday life elements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture.Ehv 07 08 : annual Eindhoven University of Technology
Place of PublicationRotterdam
PublisherUitgeverij 010
ISBN (Print)978 90 6450 681 9
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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