After the City
An architect's view of the new metropolitan consciousness and the suburban metropolis as the future frontier.
The city's reign over our senses, our moods, our very ways of being is outmoded. The suburban metropolis has superseded the city. The new building materials are non-material: electricity, telephony, weather, time, and so forth. Consequently, according to Lars Lerup, architecture and architects must be rethought.Until now, architects have been trained to serve the elite few, as reflected in a belief in customization and the uniqueness of each project. Instead, Lerup holds, architectural educators should promote teamwork and the design of authorless objects, combined with an integration of design and practice. Before we can rethink the architectural curriculum, however, we must rethink the metropolis.And rethink the metropolis is just what Lerup does. In an intellectually far-ranging yet intensely personal manner, he moves from contemplation of the form and philosophical implications of the Pantheon to a discussion of how Levittown residents seek and create community. The result is an exhilarating work with profound practical implications. Unlike the many who view suburbia with paranoid dismay, Lerup takes an optimistic view of the new, open metropolis—for him not the site of unavoidable uniformity and mediocrity, but an exciting new frontier.
HardcoverOut of Print ISBN: 9780262122245 208 pp. | 7 in x 9 in
Paperback$19.95 T | £15.99 ISBN: 9780262621571 208 pp. | 7 in x 9 in
After the City is one of those books that forces one to see things in a new light and know things in a new language. Lerup has taken precisely what appalls people who hold the conventional vision of the American city and taught us to see the poetry and strangeness in it; then he turns around and shows us that this strangeness was in the great tradition of architecture all along.
Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities, University of Texas
Lerup's quirky, experiential, personal, and yet accessible account clearly lays out how accepted, albeit European, notions of the city need to be re-examined in the face of contemporary American metropolitan developments. His quest for the conceptual ground upon which architecture might be best reconsidered in America is particularly absorbing.
Peter G. Rowe
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and Dean of the Faculty of Design, Harvard University