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the state of the art; importance of the theme, main researches, references
The meticulous understanding of public open urban spaces becomes crucial in the multi-functionality and hybridization of the contemporary world, because of the tendency to overshadow the public void with the forms of the architectural objects. The importance of this thesis if the understanding of civic space evolution from modernity until today, in a syntactic breakdown of fundamental keyword considerations, for the aid in establishing new paradigms in the contemporary city.
It is easy to fall into the regressive approaches of urban theorists who dwell on the beauty of traditional town open space settings, however, the contemporary city has evolved in architectural, ideological, pragmatic and semiotic ways, that make important the parallel evolution of contemporary public open urban space. This paradigmatic understanding since modernism will create tools for the evaluation of present conditions, and the suggestion of qualitative listings of parameters that may apply to the reality of today’s cities. Hence, the thesis will provide a helpful syntax of existing tools and suggestive actions.
The selection of references is a careful decision of figures who were influential in their times, and inspired further research or opposition regarding their ideas, directly affecting the modern movement and today. The thesis underlines the differences in points of view on the specific topic, elaborating on various and contrasting ways of public open urban space approach in the architectural theories of the twentieth century, concerning the shape and public features of the contemporary city. Important figures that have been studied, include:
Camillo Sitto on civic design and the traditional squares of historical towns, Werner Hegemann and The American Vitruvius, Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Eric Mumford on the evolution of CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture), Kevin Lynch and his The Image of the City, Bob Venturi on Learning from Las Vegas, Aldo Rossi and his The Architecture of the City, Colin Rowe and his Collage City, Francoise Choay on La città; utopie e realtà along with her ideas on World Heritage Sites in L’allegoria del patrimonio, writings in Casabella on public spaces, Le Corbusier and his idea of the void in the modern movement, Ignasi de Sola Morales on Hegemann and Le Corbusier, Robert Fishman and his Bourgeois Utopias, and Raymond Unwin and Luis Barragán on suburbia – to name a few.
Very important in this discussion is the comparative study of the more regressive approaches and ideas of Rob Krier and Prince Charles for example, and the elaboration of why such approaches hinder the evolution of the contemporary world, without failing to justify the reasons behind their attempts.