I have to practice in english, so I decided to write about three brand-new books I just bought for my summer’s vacation. These are the titles and the authors:
– The Laws of Simplicity, by John Maeda
– Apocalypse Town, by Alessandro Coppola
– The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age, by Hymanen Pekka
To buy books is like letting your mind express what it’s thinking about just in that time. So I try to cross the 3 book’s themes, within a spot reading. They all talks about a new paradigm for a new society, I think. In three different ways (design, urbanism, production), but the conceptual message is that we all are shifting from a costumer-based economy and society to a producer-based one. Not a brand-new theme, I know, but it needs time and thinkers to reach its best shape!
I wrote about hacking the city, just to underline how important is to consider the city as an open structure in which we have to find our strategies to interact and modify reality, and the description of the shrinkage culture by Coppola seems so suitable to that way of thinking. We use to think about urbanism as a complex discipline, but we all have an expertise on urban space, as dwellers. Sometimes we forget that urban space is not that vitual and legal construct that urbanists design for us: urban space is simply hidden and usually closed, coded on real and virtual fences.
So we have to simplify it, and read Maeda, especially his 10 rule: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful. Urban space is getting more and more significant, depending on what we are doing on it and with it. Urban marketing has failed on reducing urban space in terms of position values, forcing space to position and ignoring time. But hacking the city we can enter (again) the urban space, perhaps fixing it to a new system. If city has been always read as a necessary concentration of functions to help production in terms of reducing the distance between workers and factories, now we face a molecolar/hacking-based paradigm in which we can’t separate producers/workers/costumers/designers. The terms of the old paradigm are being embodied. And this fact is leading, I think, also to a new critical mass, to which policy ad economy have to pay special attention in the middle future.
I think I will add another (old?) book: Island in The Net, by Bruce Sterling. Do you agree?