International Workshop

Antoine Picon, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Throughout the world, the post-war era was marked by an intensive planning activity, first for reconstruction in countries struck by the war, second to manage urban development. Beside architects, engineers were extremely present in this worldwide effort. Their involvement in planning was accompanied by an increasing role played by technological culture and ideologies. It is during that period that technology began to be interpreted as a new layer of organization comparable in many respects to an extension of the biosphere. During the same period, cybernetics and above all systems theory permeated the discourse on territories and cities. In relation with these evolutions, technocratic ideals acquired a new momentum among planners. Throughout this period, the accent put on sophisticated technological models and practices found its counterpart in the importance given to primitive nature. The intervention will cover these questions in relation with Doxiadis theories and realizations. To what extent is Ekistics indebted to the more general trends at work among engineers and planners? The aim of the intervention is to contribute to a better understanding of the complex set of relations that exist between them.