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  • 1.

    The Sensual City path

    Extending an approach we have taken in a number of urban projects, we consider that each urban situation provides an opportunity to explore a conceptual framework based on the way that people will inhabit the city of tomorrow. Our starting point is to examine current and potential future ways of living, working, travelling and consuming in the city. Our aim, prior to designing any forms, is to create an environment that permits diversity and changing uses, and to incorporate these into a specific geography and historical context. The intention is to replace a geometric urbanism with an urbanism based on atmospheres, materialities and context in a way that intermingles architecture and landscape. And that uses the most advanced technologies to create a sensual city.

    The Sensual City is a project that answers the urgent question of what urban planning should be both today and tomorrow. The urban culture developed in the 20th century is steadily expanding and over half the world’s population now lives in cities, a proportion that is continually increasing and causing functional problems on an unprecedented scale. It is a situation that threatens our planet’s resources, as well as the way we live together in cities.
    In the western world, there is a need to go beyond the traditional model of the historical urban model –European and American- , take a fresh look not only at the city core, but also at the suburbs, the infrastructure, the transportation systems… and accept that they represent a fully-fledged contemporary urban landscape. Throughout the world and on all continents, giant cities with over ten million inhabitants are taking form. In the 21st century, hundreds of millions of people will find themselves living in an exclusively urban environment, an artificial universe in which technology will be omnipresent. The modernist city, placing emphasis on infrastructures and zoning, will deploy its ordinary, internationalist architecture throughout the planet and mass-produce urban worlds completely lacking in quality. Elsewhere, cities find themselves governed by nostalgia ; there are many towns in Europe and North America that suffer from this fate.
    With the Sensual City, our intention is to develop an alternative approach, one in which technology is not obtrusive nor an end in itself. On the contrary, as technology is perfected it becomes invisible, it disappears from view and allows people to live in cities that can be construed as built landscapes, designed to offer a full sensorial experience. The city becomes an environment that incorporates a high level of sustainable development as well as a setting where people can take pleasure in living together and relate to its history as the founding source of civilization. To achieve these ends, it is essential that the city be deeply rooted to its specific culture, climate and geography.

    • 1.1.

      Debate

    • 1.2.

      Proposals

      • 1.2.1.

        A HISTORY OF THRESHOLDS: LIFE, DEATH & REBIRTH

      • 1.2.2.

        ARCHITECTURE AS NON-OPPRESSIVE DESIGN

      • 1.2.3.

        MINDWALKS

        T X T

        MiNDWALKS in Shanghai. For Shanghai is an experience, an image that you carry around with you. Far from the cliché of the generic city, this is a vibrant metropolis – as vibrant as its inhabitants. But in order to truly understand it, you have to discover it on foot, to go out on a limb and experience places in terms of their physicality. The various sensations, sounds, smells, sights, movements and contacts of these places wash over us, plunging us into a reality that becomes clearer with each step, conjuring an increasingly intense image as our journey continues. In these hitherto little-known neighbourhoods of Shanghai, stories seem ephemeral and eloquent, tracks and traces reveal themselves, figures become established – all of which are points of entry that offer us the opportunity, in turn, to form part  of the urban scene. Between August 17 and September 14, 2015, we went on eight walks, each taking place within a clearly defined area measuring 2,000 metres by 500 metres – that is, precisely one square kilometre. The aim was to immerse ourselves in a portion of Shanghai in order to absorb its atmospheres, images and stories, and recount them in a graphic narrative form. With this in mind, we invite you to discover eight maps of a new kind that combine characteristics of street plans, narratives and sensory maps. Their aim is not so much to objectively locate topographical elements as to recount how these places were experienced and portray their multiple dimensions: the rhythms, impressions, perceptions and representations associated with them. Here, subjectivity is a means of tempering the detachment between the metropolis and its inhabitants and promoting a more human form of urbanism – and reminding us that a city is perhaps nothing more than an emotion. Sensual City Book Publisher, R-Diffusion, 2016.

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        I M G
      • 1.2.4.

        THE SENSUAL STATION

      • 1.2.5.

        FRENCH PAVILION SHANGHAI EXPO 2010

      • 1.2.6.

        BELLE MEDITERRANÉE

      • 1.2.7.

        INVISIBLE CITIES

    • 1.3.

      Films

    • 1.4.

      Conferences

  • 2.

    The climate

  • 3.

    Built landscapes

  • 4.

    On the waterside

  • 5.

    In the sky

  • 6.

    Movement and balance

  • 7.

    Nightscape

  • 8.

    The materiality of cities

  • 9.

    News

  • 10.

    Informations

  • 11.

    Index