© 2013 Diana

Here is where people live

If there is to be a “new urbanism” it will not be based on the twin fantasies of order and omnipotence; it will be the staging of uncertainty; it will no longer be concerned with the arrangement of more or less permanent objects but with the irrigation of territories with potential; it will no longer aim for stable configurations but for the creation of enabling fields that accommodate processes that refuse to be crystallized into definitive form; it will no longer be about meticulous definition, the imposition of limits, but about expanding notions, denying boundaries, not about separating and identifying entities, but about discovering unnameable hybrids; it will no longer be obsessed with the city but with the manipulation of infrastructure for endless intensifications and diversifications, shortcuts and redistributions – the reinvention of psychological space. Since the urban is now pervasive, Urbanism will never again be about the new only about the “more” and the “modified.” It will not be about the civilized, but about underdevelopment.

Rem Koolhaas, “What Ever Happened to Urbanism?” (1994), in S, M, L, XL, OMA, (with Bruce Mau), The Monicelli Press, New York, 1995, pp. 959/971.


Here, is where people live. Yet, ‘here’, is not exactly definable in geometric terms. In order to locate us, one must consider n-dimensions, out of which none is correct or false. In fact, all of them coexist simultaneously into one only space-time. Hence, ‘here’, is not a point in space, but rather a point and all its possible trajectories. This non-Euclidian condition, have induced some of us into some kind of permanent and painful sensation, like the one that persists in an amputated phantom limb. Seemingly, our definition of the city, has been stretched towards inconceivable limits, in a desperate try to fit’ to it, what has become our contemporary urban condition. But why does detachment seem always so painful, when change is the only certainty we have?

The 20C settled a ground of infrastructures on which we are now standing. The emergence of networked communication technologies has extended our interaction with the city towards an invisible and complex network of relations and data; where this wide new space of existence is exactly the transcendence of the inherited infrastructures. Hence, we affirm and celebrate the naissance of a Post-generic condition, through an exploration of its possibilities, such as the democratization of knowledge, the diversification and upgrade of identity within native forms of intelligence, the rise of an economy of information and the extension of public space towards more virtual grounds.

“A Quantum City”  will be a book about a new notion of cityness under the premise of primary abundance of information, energy and health. Our hypothesis is this: after the mechanical paradigms for establishing flexible forms of order (cities) throughout antiquity and the medieval ages, and after the subsequent (thermo)dynamical paradigm throughout enlightenment and industrialization, which regarded cities as systems to be balanced, there is a novel paradigm emerging along with the developments of electricity and information technology. It is capable of achieving flexibility and stability in forms of order by so-called doping procedures. Technologically speaking, we know these procedures from their applications on a quantum level of things, e.g. in the production of electronic hardware. Our question is, then, what might be considered a quantum level when thinking about cities – what are quantum’s of cityness, and how can cityness be doped? Our approach is to consider the generic infrastructures as a substrate and carrier for quantum-injections. With this approach the book provides a clear contrast to the more or less misanthropic discussions of the last decades, and a refreshing and human-friendly outlook to the 21C.


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