CHAPTER 5

THE FAILURE OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE
AND THE VISION OF ECOCITIES

 



Introduction

As I ave detailed in the previous chapter, the temple was the fusion of the hut-like aedicule and the monument-like trilithon. Bruce Allsopp believes the problem of modern architecture that precisely that it has tried--however unsuccessfully--to fuse the two archetypes together. Modernism has attempted to break free from the classical past and to build an alternative language which "enfolds the heresies and dissonance of history" (Zevi 65). In order to do this, modernists rejected the authority of the academic Ecole des Beaux, and favored mass production over craftsmanship and hand-worked buildings. The flat roofs of the modern buildings were an iconoclastic protest against the archetypal pitch roof aedicule. Another stylistic and philosophic change from classicism was that modernism no longer followed the rules of symmetry.

The Rule of Symmetry

In Bruno Zevi's book The Modern Language of Architecture, he asserts that symmetry equals passivity, "a spasmodic need for security, fear of flexibility, indetermination, relativity, and growth--in short, fear of living" (17). He views symmetry as a language of homologous parts, i. e., of the same parts. These repetitious patterns in architecture constrain people into thinking in conformist, uniform, and rigid ways. Zevi points out that symmetry can be thought of as a "tumor whose cells have metastasized everywhere in geometry." Throughout the history of cities, these age-old cancerous tumors have spread into chessboard urban patterns around the world. Although there may have been an illustrious remission during the middle ages, Zevi thinks the cure for the cancer will only come about through an iron will.

Western medicine perceives a mind-body duality, which perceives illness is as the result of an external virus or bacteria invading the body. Health is maintained by driving out or killing the foreign invaders. Following this same pattern, Kisho Kurokawa, in Rediscovering Japanese Space, asserts that Western philosophy, which so many believe to be wise and healthy, does the same thing. It drives out different ways of thinking in order to protect itself--which is exactly what dictators or bureaucrats do. The latter kill or ignore dissent, justifying their actions by designating the dissenters as insane and criminal. In order to recover, we must make a critical archetypal shift in our way of thinking.

Symmetrical architecture represents a fixation on the past, repressing death by denying separation from the primordial mother. It leaves no room for anyone to wander outside the traditional form. Symmetry is the language of rationalism, not romance. Because of the lack of unique personal identity that results, people are easily controlled by despotic powers. He points out,

Perhaps the whole history of architecture could be reviewed in terms of symmetry neurosis...It has always been like that: symmetry is the facade of sham power trying to appear invulnerable. The public buildings of Fascism, Nazism, and Stalinist Russia are all symmetrical. Those of South American dictatorships are symmetrical (17).

Let me add that the governmental buildings in Washington, D.C. are symmetrical. Hitler's architectural plans for Berlin were to be modeled after that "monumental city": Washington, D.C.
In its most revolutionary designs, however, modern architecture can incorporate the language of heteronymous parts. "Hetero" means different. Such language is asymmetrical and antiparallel, not needing the tools of symmetry--compasses, drafting machines and T-squares. Again, Zevi writes that symmetry is the infantile fear of the father--the academy, in this case, is a father figure, protective of the cowardly child--who will castrate you if you attack a heteronymous figure, the woman, the mother. As soon as one becomes passive and accepts symmetry, the anguish seems to subside, because the father no longer threatens, he possesses (17).

Could we then conclude that asymmetrical design is an architecture of the feminine because it breaks through the homologous design of the male order? Certainly, the modern change from pitched top roofs to flat roofs was not the archetypal revolution which would cause our liberation so that we no longer fear the father and have the courage to separate from the mother.

Slaves to Market Forces

Now back to our tragic past. Architects in the 1920s believed that they were no longer the tailors of society but its doctors, who could cure the plagues of the world. They saw themselves in the role of prophets who believed we must build a single, homogenized global structure based on an International Style. These social-methodologists believed that modern architecture could create social regeneration while remaining within the value system of the mainstream. The visions of these social architects were not profound enough to go beyond the dualistic values of Western society, which divided the world into citizen and foreigner, ruler and ruled, man and woman. They were not capable of entering the "nondual core of being and knowing" (Kurokawa 118) necessary for cultivating "the empty spaces in the human soul" (Mumford 570). Modern architecture is thus clearly constructed on the paradigm of spatial divisions which separate "interior from exterior, environment from building, private from public, historic from contemporary" (Kurokawa 30).

Kurokawa points out that Western democracy, as well as science, is based on such dualities. He writes,

The yeses and nos are tallied, and whichever is greater, if even by one, determines the course taken. This is the principle of majority rule. But the doubt must crop up whether this method, which ignores the reality of existence as something that is not simply black or white, yes or no, is really a proper one (19).

Norman O. Brown points out that the mysteries of life, which are intrinsically esoteric, are offensive to democracy. In the democratic principle, it is believed that everything can be perceived by the people; there is no esoteric knowledge. The secularized democracy has become a civil religion, with the political party in power becoming its priesthood. The president is the hierarch who swears to God at his inauguration that he will defend the national constitution. M. N. Roy observes that under this system, the helpless individual is made to believe that power can only be generated by following the party leaders; the citizen is directed by the external voice of the presidency. Marxism failed to produce a world revolution because it, too, asserted the goal of secular salvation achieved through science, technology, and material progress. Kurokawa says that the scientific method, on which Marx based his social theory, was born in the same incomplete worldview.

The empiricist believes the world to be utterly knowable on the basis of data deduced from the scientific method. Truth, then, must be subject to public verification. The so-called scientific method is "the attempt to substitute method for insight, mediocrity for genius, by getting a standard operating procedure" (Brown 1965, 9). In this worldview, material gratification leads to human fulfillment, and material progress is achieved through economic growth. In order to justify a claim within this one-dimensional worldview, one has to accept the terms of empiricist methodologies, which of course exclude the spiritual or transphysical dimension of life altogether! The multi-dimensional web of life's interelationships is completely ignored, leading to a desacralization and devaluation of life.

Law and justice, too, are based on an adversarial system. In this model, the good government emerges from pluralistic groups "pulling and hauling among competing interests" (French 402). The group, individual, or institution with the most wealth eventually wins. Marilyn French, in Beyond Power, writes that this adversarial system

redefines justice as victory, and transforms judicial process into a game which one wins or loses. It arises from the old patriarchal assurance that God grants the victory to the good, even as those who lead wars fought with this claim knew that might makes right, victory accrues to the more powerful and the powerful decree what is good" (402).

In architecture, during times when general systems of religious inspiration break down, pluralistic notions of architecture create personality cults as architects rival one another for fame, fortune, and the most prestigious contracts under the law. These modern architects were sons of the Enlightenment. Rationalism, behaviorism, and pragmatism fed the ink in their drafting pens, as the monopolists and big business financed their projects. Peter Blake, in Form Follows Fiasco, points out that, without being aware of it, modernist architects became the advocates of ugliness, greed, venality, social disintegration, and exploitation of the land. Frank Lloyd Wright once remarked, "Doctors bury their mistakes, but architects can't." Hence, we are surrounded by sick, decaying buildings, as the landscapes of Eros or Love/Life have been transformed into the landscapes of Thanatos or Death(Gablik 79).

Blake ponders why modern architects failed to become kinds of doctors and prophets who could have solved our planetary problems. His first consideration is that architects were corrupted by their own greed. Nevertheless, he realizes that it was not the architects who were making the big money, but the contractors and financiers. He explains,

The Modern Movement, with its shining dogmas, its exciting slogans, and above all, with its absolute self-righteousness, was and is, quite clearly, a religion. The cult is doubly seductive in that it not only insures the believer a place in heaven, but also a more or less permanent place on Earth. No other profession leaves such large and eminently visible monuments to itself (and to its clients) (149-150).

Modernism was, after all, really an extension of the cult of the dead and the patriarchal revolution. In his essay "Modernity verses Postmodernity" Jurgen Habermas points out,

The word modern in its Latin form "modernus" was used for the first time in the late 5th Century in order to distinguish the present, which had become officially Christian, from the Roman and Pagan past. With varying content, the term "modern" again and again expresses the consciousness of an epoch that relates itself to the past of antiquity, in order to view itself as the result of a transition from the old to the new (54).

It seems clear that modernism has been, and is, a perpetuation of the Christian epoch. Being stuck in the perpetual new, it has failed to revolutionize the future. However, today’s postmodernists no longer believe in the messianic faith in the new. They are antimodern. They no longer believe that architects can solve social problems through innovations in technology and design. To them, art does not have the power to cause social transformation. The only thing they can do is deconstruct society.

Postmodern architects now embrace all "period styles, whether classical or vernacular" (LeLeod 19). All styles are opened to their imitation and reinterpretation. Postmodernists believe the modernist movement was an unfortunate divergence in the history of Western architecture, one which allowed neither "cultural continuity or social expression" (LeLeod 19).

In Mary LeLeod's essay on architecture she notes that, since the preoccupation of postmodernism is whether or not architecture has social meaning, one must ask, what kind of meaning does it have, if any? Postmodernists ask if a visual architectural language can express values and ideas. LeLeod writes, "The evolution of postmodernism in architecture thus raises the question of whether the utilization of past styles has insured more meaning, or whether it is a nostalgic refusal to recognize architecture's own situation in history" (42). I might add that historical styles, from classicism to postmodernism, have not given us a sense of organic meaning, nor connected us with cosmic forces. Postmodernism can thus be seen as part of the refusal to acknowledge both death and the powers of regeneration.

The meaning and spirit of the trilithon was first corrupted, then completely lost by the materialist values of the society. Allsopp calls the use of monumental architecture for commercial aggrandizement "ridiculous and monstrous." He feels we must go back to structures which are purely either aedicule or trilithonic and wait for a time of a new faith when monumental architecture can reflect a new value system.

In Oscar Newman's essay "Whose Failure is Modern Architecture?" the failure of modernism is attributed to a dearth loss of poetics. He says that the problem with the social-methodologist school was that it was prosaic-- subservient to cost, building programs, and materials. This resulted in its form being rigid, not allowing an inner lyricism to direct the architectural language. In its attempt to fuse together the aedicule and the trilithon, modern architecture made the home into a factory, "a machine for living in."

For the wealthy, this meant the house was a custom-made work of art, handcrafted with the most advanced technology and communication systems. For ordinary people, housing was an industry-made, inexpensive shelter. And so, housing adopted the ideology of mass production, mass communication, decentralization, mobility, structural rationalism, and the sanitation of a hospital. This in turn resulted in shoebox-type apartments made of concrete slabs which were called Siedlugen. These apartment buildings were well designed for "garbage or rent collection" and for "crowd control and police functions" (Blake 125). Mass housing serves bureaucracy, industry, commerce, and government. It is a way to keep the poor in their place, confined to their undeclared prison cells in the most toxic parts of the cities. Furthermore, mass housing does not fuse together the audicule and the trilithon. The city and the landscape are still divorced. Allsopp writes about mass housing and its monumental emptiness,

It would be silly to argue that the triumph of democracy and the rule of the people should mean that their homes, numbered in millions, should be treated as monuments, which is what we tend to do. Slabs of housing do not symbolize democracy; their meaning is very plain to read??it is the subjugation of the individual, the suppression of freedom. If they are a monument to anything it is to bureaucracy (Allsopp 1974, 71).

John Dewey held a view similar to Allsopp's criticism of modern housing. He believed that architecture in our cities is unworthy of being called fine art. He observed that the architecture of both the rich and the poor are essentially aesthetically repulsive because of its lack of imagination. Even though we have the technical know-how and materials to build beautiful cities, Dewey believed the reason why we have failed to do so is that the profit?motive economics have determined how land is used. He prophesied, "Until land is freed from this economic burden, beautiful buildings may occasionally be erected, but there is little hope for the rise of general architectural construction worthy of a noble civilization" (Dewey 1958, 334). Peter Blake quotes political science professor Marshall Beuman, who says, "it seems virtually impossible today to feel or even to imagine the joy of building, the adventure and romance and heroism of construction" (Blake 149).

In The History of Postmodern Architecture by Heinrich Klotz, a similar sentiment is expressed in the words of visionary architects Krier and Scolari. They believe that "architects who build are corrupt" because local bureaucracies are controlled by "thieves and murderers who are the only ones who still have money for building" (404). Hence, "an architect should not build but should record his concepts in drawing." Krier states the postmodern paradox as follows, "I can create architecture because I am not building. I am not building because I am an architect" (404).

Visions of Ecocities

Postmodern architects must stop looking to history for their source of inspiration. The times call for us to fully embrace a new archetypal form of intelligent architecture based on a truly new feminist and anti-monopoly capitalist value system. Blake describes this new fusion as a reintegration of horizontal and vertical space, which will allow passage in any direction. He calls the fusion "urbatecture," an architecture which reintegrates the city and the countryside. Urbatecture uses curvature--oblique and inclined lines used in a fourth-dimensional fashion--creating not one static viewpoint, as in classical architecture, but an infinite movement of viewpoints. Kurokawa asserts that just as on the journey toward purpose in life people do not proceed on a straight and narrow path. Evolution happens through curves, not straight lines. In real life, people "wander through complex mazes, digress down meandering rhizomelike passageways in order to discover their purpose" (38). Kurokawa believes it is time to transcend both linearity and literalism if we are to begin building a world of “symbiotic cities” of hetero-techno sapiens, a phrase that acknowledges the differences between us, our symbiotic relationship with nature and our dependence on technology.

This is not to disregard our sameness, but to finally acknowledge our differences in order to come to a deeper understanding of our wholeness. There are two divisions in the human species--female and male. And each person is made up of a variety of tiny organisms, both organic and inorganic. This basic duality exists, moreover, as a continuous flux of birth and death which constitutes its unity.

The body-mind duality which has infected Western Civilization was a deception hiding our natural unity, leaving women and non-white peoples in an inferior position. Acknowledging our essential unity-in-diversity will create a pluralistic system made up of a variety of individuals each with different talents and gifts who, given the proper encouragement and understanding, can fit together harmoniously. A monist outer shell covers eternal organic forms, and is subject to improvement as knowledge increases. The human race is, then, in "a state of ever growing perfection."

The outer shell or skin of a location-based arcology would be composed of the collective dreams and necessities of humanity. On the outer skin turned outward towards nature, would be the place for personal dwelling space. Along the central inner of the arcology would be located the civic space, the place where people turn inward to find the internal language of humanity. As we truly turn inward as individuals, an organic planetary hagiarchy (governance by holy women and men) will evolve. This will to create a superior form of social coordination, made up of individuals who have discovered their innate role in the cosmic web of life. When we find the symbolic queen and king of the planetary organism, a new vision will be born.

Constantinos A. Doxiadis writes in book Between Dystopia and Utopia:

What humanity needs is the realization of common dreams. What each of us needs is the realization of his own dream, within the framework of the common dream...For the first time in history, man [sic] will need a greater ability to dream in order not to become a slave-machine" (51, 54).

Inside the interior of the shell, personal dreams can be realized using the flexibility of the new technologies to fit personal moods and desires. For example, walls will no longer be fixed, difficult-to-move slabs, but may become "curtains of light, sound and air, both visible and invisible"--not walls, but membranes. They can be "dynamic interiors," holograms creating visible barriers, qualities of color and texture, and optical images" (Kroner 330). There is even a belief that everyone's nervous system could be connected to the electronic global network so that personal input and output is possible. Through this higher level of communication David Bohm "proposes that by creating situations where people can learn to dialogue with each other, we might succeed in generating a kind of social "superconductivity," a higher state of social intelligence" (Gablik 162).

In such a society no one will be an outsider. No juno or genius will be wasted as humans evolve from being wasteful consumers and producers toward the realization that the Earth is a closed circuit system where natural resources will be recycled and never destroyed. The new "wo\man" becomes the great conservationist "who controls the use and conversion of all natural elements of inanimate and animate life in a circle ever renewing itself" (Doxiados 71).

One of the most beautiful descriptions of the city of the future and of the post-historic wo\man may be found in Lewis Mumford’s The City in History: Its Transformation, and Its Prospects. Mumford states the whole world needs to be humanly ordered, if we are to control the infinite amount of energy we have tapped. We must harness this energy before it destroys us. We desperately need to create the balance between advanced technologies and the vast majority of people, who at this point remain mainly voiceless.

This is the time to enact a new form of governance, which I call the democracy-meritocracy model. In this system, down-to-earth visionaries will be allowed to guide the collective dreams of all the world's people. To achieve this vital balance between social order and individual freedom, "the smallest neighborhood or precinct must be planned as a working model of the larger world" (Mumford 573). The blueprints of arcologies have done this for us.

We have evolved from the Greek idea of the simple agora (polis or public place); the Gothic period, when the church and the religious spirit were the instruments of authority around which the city revolved; through the public square of the Renaissance city, which had on either side the church and the palace who together controlled financial oligarchies and military dictatorships; to the Baroque era, when established religion openly joined forces with the centralized monarchies; and finally to the Modernist period’s “International Style,” in which the seat of governance is the municipal building, backed by industries that control the allocation of money. The entire world is becoming a global amphitheater in which the religious symbolism of today’s thinkers determine the evolutionary course of architecture. Science is now ready to build the living temples to the ideal social ethic, the home of the world citizen. It only lacks respect for the thought of visionary social thinkers.

The paradigm shift is moving away from the two-dimensional chessboard city design to the four-dimensional ecocity. The main function of the ecocity is "to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity" (Mumford 571). "Thus slavery, forced labor, legalized expropriation, class monopoly of knowledge, have been giving way to free labor, social security, universal literacy, free education, open access to knowledge, and the beginning of universal leisure, such as is necessary for wide participation in political duties" (571). The true purpose of the city is to foster individual self-awareness, the key to human happiness.

 

In The Wages of Sin, Professor Jon Huer, defines happiness as a social event, which he calls the "Social Ethic." Its antithesis is the greed created by the "Profit Ethic" of self-interest, which takes no responsibility for the public good. Huer says that one cannot be happy alone, even though one can survive alone. He writes, "happiness depends on one's happy relations and relations among all with all. Society--unlike the state of nature--exists to make everyone happy." Ecologist Noel Brown sees three components to happiness: The first is to recognize life as a gift. The second is to have the opportunity to live a purposeful life. The third is to take responsibility for sharing the gift of life with our community (Brown 1989). Our means to happiness is to be found through art and love. Huer goes on to state that

the Social Ethic assumes that society is the means of happiness and justice its end. To be human and social is to be at once happy and just. If happiness is the purpose of life, then justice is what validates that happiness as true. Happiness requires justice, and justice makes happiness possible (9).

The self may be defined as the connection of our individual self with the World-Soul or Higher Self. Unlike industry and business in the Profit Ethic society, education of the Self will be central in the Social Ethic society. It will be a center without a center as the classroom becomes a global network of poetic (whole) reality. A new leadership goal for children will be to become a member of one of Buckminster Fuller's world management teams. Ecocities will give form and substance to social egalitarianism, making the hereditary privileges, (i.e., individual inheritance) of the Profit Ethic (a.k.a the Profit Motive) obsolete.


Intelligent Architecture

In his article, "Intelligent Architecture through Intelligent Design," Walter M. Kroner states that we now have the technology to create intelligent architecture--an architecture which uses artificial intelligence. The essence of intelligent architecture is that various systems like communication, energy, transportation, and information, are effectively coordinated through an automated and electronically controlled management system.

Present-day buildings are not designed to enhance this technological revolution; rather advanced technologies are forced to fit into traditional designs. Smart technology is thus packaged into "an already designed container." As a consequence, the possibilities inherent in a completely revolutionary smart architecture using alternative energies in environmentally sound ways goes virtually unheeded. For the most part, Kroner writes,

architects relegate technological issues to specialists without understanding problems and opportunities for integrated and holistic thinking. The humanist is not a critical part of the design team, and the user's needs are secondary to budgets, construction schedules and energy management. Instead of designing an architecture in harmony with nature, we continue to see nature as something to be overcome or conquered (324).

The design of houses and skyscrapers is the same as it was forty years ago. Kroner writes, "the smart technology lies hidden in the floors, pipes, ducts and ceilings, so that there is no visible evidence of a changed architecture" (322). A good example of the way in which technological changes are ignored inside existing structures was President Bill Clinton’s discovery of the dismal state of the White House’s telecommunication system. He didn't have the technology to even conduct a telephone conference with his staff! The telephone system had not been changed since the Kennedy Administration, except that phones with dials had been replaced with push-button phones. Clinton said, "There's not even any email. It's a yesterday place, and we need to make it a tomorrow place." Personally, I don't see a way to ultimately reform the White House into a tomorrow place without the use of dynamite!

The Need for a Lovolution

Of course, this hoped-for age of symbiotic intelligent “urbatecture” will require the collectivization of land, but as a necessary but by no means sufficient condition. Peter Blake warns that, once the land is collectivized, a new architecture must be built or else nothing will change, as was the case in Soviet Russia. With the bureaucratization of state capitalism in the East, modern architects were left without any social idealism to structurally symbolize. The practical became detached from, and superior to, the poetic inspiration. Blake says that urbatecture "demands a new beginning, as if no linguistic system had ever existed before, as if it were the first time in history that we had to build a house or a city" (7). He goes on to say that creative spirits have always started from scratch:

For, all around us, the environment we have built over the past century or so with supreme confidence is literally collapsing: the walls of our buildings are crumbling--literally; the well-intentioned zones mapped by our city planners are creating the worst ghettos in recorded history--literally; the best-planned schools by the world's most idealistic architects are producing a generation of zombies--literally; the finest public housing projects to be found anywhere in the world, and designed according to the noblest precepts, are turning into enclaves of murder, rape, mugging, and dope addiction, with the only way out a charge of dynamite to reduce those noble precepts to rubble--literally (11).

On July 15, 1972, dynamite was used to implode the Pruitt-Igoe Housing project in St. Louis. It was declared that the basic design of the mass housing units were responsible for the high crime rate because of the sense of anonymity and the lack of community felt by its inhabitants. Modernism in architecture officially died that day. But the impersonal design was only the tip of the iceberg. Without a new morality, a living mythology involving a new archetypal architecture, crime will persist, resulting in the imprisonment of the lower classes. Landowners will continue to be rewarded, while their victims will continue to be punished for their addictions to substances such as crack cocaine, which "numbs the pain of archetypal starvation and the vacuum of meaning" (Gablik 51).

Addictions keep people unaware of the pain and anger of living in poverty, injustice, and the lack of joy and love in their lives. Addicts lose touch with their internal, sense-based knowledge, and instead become deluded by confused and inaccurate perceptions. As Elaine Pagels points out in The Gnostic Gospels, self-ignorance is a form of self-destruction (126). Most people live oblivious to--or, in contemporary terms, unconscious of--their true natures. They lead fulfilled lives; indeed, they "dwell in deficiency." Anne Wilson Schaef writes When Society Becomes an Addict,

By robbing us of the freedom to experience and reveal our feelings, the Addictive System robs us of important information about who we are. It also robs us of life; repressing our feelings long enough can eventually kill us (89). The Addictive System encourages addictions to keep people so far away from their feelings and awareness that they cannot challenge the system (145).

Because society conditions us to lie about the injustice of our reality and trains us to become addicted to our own self-interest, artists and writers who have risen above the addictions and found their true identities remain an essentially ignored minority. The moral vision expressed through their art become a target of censorship in the Addictive System. Marilyn French states, "To change the way we handle crime, we have to change our morality" (404). In order to do this we must radically change our money and power relationships, so that the rewards of success are not based on the domination values of the market place--competitive individualism and the dog-eat-dog economic striving of the Profit Ethic.

Le Corbusier, whose architectural ideas in the International Style had so much influence throughout the world, was addicted to power. He believed that power was more important than morality. During the 1920s he was a member of the Redressement Francais, a proto-Fascist organization. He tried to work for the Soviets, wrote highly of Mussolini and, beginning in 1941, spent eighteen months trying to persuade the Nazi-sponsored Vichy government of France to adopt his plans for Algiers (Barnett 115).

Like Hitler, Le Corbusier drew from classical antiquity for his inspiration. While it possessed democracy for the few, the foundation of Greek society was sexist and war-based classical antiquity is hardly the place to look for new ideas on how to free the world. We must look to the megalithic architecture of the Great Goddess civilizations, which were non-sexist and non-combatant cultures, to provide us with the vision and inspiration to build the New Cosmology--in a sense, we need to return to our archaic future!


World of Arcologies

The task for our species is to reunite the three basic architectural archetypes--the aedicule, the trilithon, and the nomadic tent--by building a world of arcologies. This epic task will restore true Poetesses and Poets to their primitive position as the magicians of our collective desires, the mediators between the individual consciousness and the collective unconsciousness. The task is not to introduce new architectural styles of individual architects, but to usher in a whole new way of life--to ride the wave of the ecological (e.g. global warming) and social changes (women's liberation), and that of other oppressed groups are creating the demand for a new general system of universal human rights. Biospheric designs must be a part of this new system.



Herbert Read writes in To Hell With Culture, "Poets should not go outside their own ranks for policy; for poetry is its own politics" (9). Through the politics of Neutopian poetry we will find a way to create new linguistic, cultural, and religious symbols, reconstructing our thinking to understand that all the Earth is sacred; there is no separation between life and art; the macrocosm and the microcosm are one; intelligence cannot be creative without being guided by intuition; rationalism cannot survive without the mysteries of romance and the unconscious; and religion means the deep understanding of the natural cycles of death and life, not the idolatry of sacred text and the worship of self-sacrifice and death..

Therefore, the mission of the Poetess is to lead us to a proper perspective of the Universe, so that we can rebuild Gaia's Temple, a planet of symbiotic ecocities which has reverence for life. In this Gaian paradigm, love and cooperation, not power and competition, reign supreme. A wise saying from Carl Jung reads as follows: "Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking." In the Gaia perspective, love is the saving power, the core of creation, which blesses us with the necessary transformative vision.

It has been said that in this new paradigm the leadership of individual juno and genius will no longer be relevant, as we all become co-creators together of the dream-body. I read Suzi Gablik to say, however, that the individual is the only and ultimate source of creativity in society. Social transformation occurs when there is a "personal breakthrough to a new way of seeing." The individual then works as an organ of the collective dream-body, as someone whose personal ideas have planetary consequences (Gablik 23). Erik Erikson describes these individuals as paradigmatic figures whose personal neurosis and crisis correspond with the universal problems of humanity in order to produce "a new form of human awareness" (Charme 1984, 109).

In Henryk Skolimowski's book Eco-Philosophy, he explains how it has always been the creative minority, the deviant few, who are the change-artists. This is true “from time immemorial, when the first amoebas started to multiply themselves and gave birth to more complex organisms" (114). Skolimowski says that the story of life is the story of the deviant minorities who refuse to conform to the established order. These deviant few create new “mutants”, new forms biological, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual life.

The Greeks called such times of mutation kairos. Kairos is the exact moment for a "metamorphosis of the gods," transformed by the wisdom of the Goddess, in which our basic symbols and principles about ourselves and the world change. Our society and our world depend upon on these infinitesimal units of charisma to tip the scales of events. Doxiadis asks, "Don't we know by now that man [sic] creates theories before he creates tools and solutions and that the builder has the image of his cathedral in his mind before he starts building it?" (52) However, now the question must be: Don't we know by now that woman creates the necessary sovereignty, in the form of epic poetry, that allows both man and woman to unify their energies into the founding of Neutopia?

For one, I am personally prepared for the change. I can almost taste the fresh air of the ecocities whose potential is deeply implanted in my brain. It has become difficult for me to even walk these twentieth century streets, in this cold New England town, when I know we now possess the technology, knowledge, and theory to finally live in a beautiful, free world society. The life-energy is bursting to grow from my small root-bound pot!

The great American architect Louis Sullivan, who invented the skyscraper, once said that architecture is not an art, but a religion. He was absolutely right! Religion is created through our individual self, the divine spark within us, in relation with the environment. Consequently, religion exists because we are part of the environment and cannot be isolated from it. Religion, therefore cannot be accepted or rejected, but rather needs both the "relentless scrutiny of science" and the "illuminating sincerity of art" in order to avoid both scientific and “religious” reductionism.(Coggin 1962).

I end this chapter with the following stanza from Leaves of Grass, Walk Whitmans’ epic poem in honor of American democracy, written in 1855. Whitman understood that the epic and the city constituted one body politic.

When the materials are all prepared and ready, the architects shall appear.
I swear to you the architects shall appear without fail,
I swear to you they will understand you and justify you,
The greatest among them shall be he who best knows you,
and encloses all and is faithful to all,
He and the rest shall not forget you, they shall
perceive that you are not an iota less than they,
You shall be fully glorified in them.

In 1855 materials and communication networks to create the great democratic\meritocratic ecocity were not ready yet ready. But they are now. Long live the emerging epic of the Gaia!

Summary

In this chapter we have seen how the traditional designs of profit-driven, symmetrical architecture serve to keep people in their place as slaves to our essentially totalitarian societies. The modernist movement challenged this hegemony building public housing for the masses. However, this cult called International Style proved to be a new facade for the same old totalitarian mind-set. Modernism failed to achieve the fusion of the aedicule and the trilithon as it succumbed to the pressures of the Profit Ethic. For architecture to become a vehicle for social liberation and human happiness, our cities need to be rebuilt in radically new ways.

 
 

 

 
 
Human Extinction or Lovolution?