Pluggingin as an Idea

In urban design, the plug-in concept has emerged from two streams of thought. The first has been the down-to-earth use of the infrastructure of cities as a catalyst for development or for unifying developments; the second is that associated with the Archigram group in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s. It is the former concern that is of interest here, but the latter cannot be allowed to pass unmentioned because its ideas rather than its designs remain of importance in the development of urban design ideology.

The Archigram group observed that many of us live in throwaway societies. Certainly all kinds of products from tissue paper to automobiles to computers are

Figure 10.3 The Archigram Group's 'Walking City' plugged into Manhattan, New York.

discarded with remarkable ease once their utility or 'use-by' dates are past. The group suggested that components of cities could be considered in the same manner. Precincts of cities could be plugged into the existing framework of a city as needed and moved away to another location as needed (see Figure

10.3). This idea is far fetched for the present except on a small scale for temporary accommodations. What is important, however, is the thinking behind the idea.

The closest design to the Archigram idea is the serviced campground. Vacationers drive up in their camper vans for a stay and then move on to another location or return home. Trailer parks are similar except the trailers once plugged in never move. Temporary townships for pilgrims, such as to the Kumbh Mela in India, are more about infrastructure design than anything else (see Figure

10.4). The design of such settlements is not generally regarded as urban design but it is. Emilio Ambasz's design for the 1992 Seville World's Fair recognized that once such fairs are over the pavilions of exhibitors are 'thrown away' and he designed it accordingly (see below).

Cities are indeed ever changing. Buildings and precincts will be demolished and rebuilt. The cities of Asia and Latin America are going through rapid changes with high rates of rural-urban migration. Others are changing more slowly. Some company towns may be abandoned. Housing areas will continue to be built on a mammoth scale. Traditional residential suburbs of single-family homes catering to the middle class will be built. Many 'suburbs' around the world will be erected by squatters with whatever materials are at hand.

Figure 10.4 The Kumbh Mela township, Allahabad in 1996.
Figure 10.5 A squatter settlement, Ahmedabad in 2001.

Newcomers will simply plug their huts into the infrastructure available (see Figure 10.5).

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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