Lived-In. The Modern City as a Performative Structure

Press release
Lived-In, Le Corbusier, Chandigarh, modernism

MODERN URBAN PLANNING, AN EVALUATION. A city that was built out of nothing fifty years ago and at the time was considered the prototype for a modern society. How does this sort of design stand the test of time? Tom Avermaete, professor in the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, together with his students, subjected several iconic cities such as Brasilia, Casablanca and Chandigarh to thorough analysis. The result is an exhibition with a hopeful message: ‘Good architecture is capable of modernising its own fundamentals’.

‘Good architecture is capable of modernising its own fundamentals’.

- Tom Avermaete, exhibition with hopefull message.

A reinterpretation of the ‘modern city’. After more than five decades of human presence, a completely new image of these cities has now arisen. In addition to their quality as inspiring symbols of modernity, they have also proven to have the ability to adapt again and again to changing needs and aspirations. Developers, contractors and inhabitants have each in turn repeatedly moulded the urbanised environment to suit themselves, while the cities have always retained their modern values and qualities. The exhibition entitled 'Lived-In. The Modern City as a Performative Structure’ reinterprets the modern city. Modern buildings and the neighbourhoods they stand in are not put forward as perfect pictures, but as effective and adaptive infrastructures. They are able to absorb changing individual and collective use while at the same time maintaining modernist principles. The quality of architecture that enables it to transform and incorporate, modify and resist, is not an abstract notion or simply to the credit of a handful of creative inhabitants. It is the consequence of personal architectural choices in form, typology and material. But it is also the result of specific design choices in relation to the urban morphology or the character of the public space.