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Unitary urbanism : a contemporary application of the Situationist International in Dublin

Tamara Romero Hernández

Unitary urbanism : a contemporary application of the Situationist International in Dublin.

Rel. Michele Bonino. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2017


The Situationist International (SI) was an avant-garde movement of the second half of the XXth century, an experimental group manifestation that followed radical sociopolitical, artistic, architectonic and urbanistic ideas aimed to generate an improvement on the lifestyle of the future society. Such society would be founded by the Homo Ludens, an individual that could leave behind the life system based on consumerism and work and instead choose to spend time only on leisure activities.

To achieve this, SI adopted the Unitary Urbanism (UU); a program for constructing social environments and urban or architectural ambiences envisaged to produce various effects on the emotions and behaviour of the individuals. The study of these effects is called psychogeography.

These ambiences or situations, are meant to be continuously created and recreated by the Homo Ludens which would satisfy then his need to play through détournement, the reuse of preexistent and prefabricated elements to adjust the space for new scopes. The totality of the ambiences created in the city would be experienced through the dérive, an urban stroll driven through the attractions present in the terrain. The combination of constructed situations would form the architectural complex, which is the most elementary unit of UU. In turn, the combination of architectural complexes would form the Situationist City, a city planned for a lifestyle based on errancy, for the constant movement and wandering of the inhabitants, a city that would know no boundaries and could expand in any direction.

Nowadays, the complete application of SI philosophy is far beyond utopic, because in the current socio-political system our society could not sustain itself without working. Yet some aspects of the UU could be applied on existing cities. Following the logic of limitless expansion, the Situationist City could make use of the urban voids that extend in the city from inside out.

With this intention, Dublin was chosen in this thesis to apply the Unitary Urbanism program, due to the high number of vacant and derelict sites in the inner city. Such sites are meant to host architectural complexes which not only would enhance the creation of ludic ambiences but also act as nodal points intensifying the connections and resewing the gaps between the existent public spaces, creating in this way a system of leisure time spaces conceived to be experienced through the dérive.

Generally speaking, the application of UU program in Dublin encompassed both urban and architectonic scale interventions. The former intervention made use of the psychogeographical approach to register the effects of the existent urban environment in order to understand where to create new connections between each vacant/derelict site. The latter intervention consisted in designing architectural complexes that would supply the spaces for the construction of situations. Altogether, urban and architectonic interventions were meant to enhance the practice of the dérive, providing in this way a whole net of leisure-time spaces capable, if wanted, of spreading beyond the limits of Dublin city.

Relators: Michele Bonino
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
U Urbanistica > UN Storia dell'Urbanistica
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: UNSPECIFIED
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6281


1. Contemporary Applications of XXth Century Avant-garde Movements

1.1 Avant-garde as an abstraction

1.2 Avant-garde as a project

1.2.1 Analogy

1.2.2 Repetition

1.2.3 Encounter

1.2.4 Spacing

1.3 Another possible mark of desire

2. Unitary Urbanism and the Situationist International

2.1 A New Urbanism for a New Civilization

2.1.1 Construction of Situations

2.2 The Situationist City

3. Dublin: A City for the Homo Ludens

3.1 Insertion in the city

3.2 Psychogeographical considerations for creating connections between the terrains for situations

3.3 Considerations for constructing in the terrains for situations

3.4 Description of the Psychogeographical Zones

3.4.1 Psychogeographical Zone A

3.4.2 Psychogeographical Zone B

3.4.3 Psychogeographical Zone C

3.4.4 Psychogeographical Zone D

3.5 Urban Interventions

3.6 Architectonic Interventions




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