The Man and his Work


It is almost an irrelevancy to think of Constantinos Doxiadis as sixty years old. Like many of his concepts, he is ageless. It is a measure of the range of his mind that he is as much at home intellectually with the third century BC ("Aristotle said the goal of the city is to make man happy and safe. I can't think of a better definition.") as he is with the twenty-first century AD ("When I plan a city I look on it as a growing organism not to be strait-jacketed. We estimate the growth of a city far beyond the year 2000."). Man builds cities, and cities shape man: the interplay of that relationship has been his lifelong fascination, and he has refused to be either trammeled by tradition or beguiled by the future. He is a coeval thinker: looking back, probing ahead, but with his attention focused on the possibilities of the present - in the end, the only point on the continuum of time available for action. He is a builder, but with more than mere stone or steel. For his gift is not only to shape the contours of cities, but of minds as well. Like his Greek ancestors before him, he recognizes the primacy of ideas, and constantly challenges his contemporaries to think them through. And how right that is. What he teaches is as important as what he builds: that only from wise ideas can come noble actions - and that only from noble actions can there be enduring achievements.