As stated by Michel de Certeau, in all spaces in the city, every move of a pedestrian is a symbol of choice – the fact that one uses the space in one way but not the other is already a political gesture in itself. In his words, walking creates the space of enunciation.
The brutalist public estates built from the 50s to 70s in the UK are the embodiment of a modernist optimism for an exciting future of collective living (as opposed to living in the traditional 2-storey houses). However, following the changes in era and power, the modernist architecture is now regarded as degenerating 'hellholes' and people begin to miss houses with gardens again. The estate residents had also changed from the 19th century white working class to the multi-ethnicities of the 20th century.
The video captures the spontaneous actions of people and the unplanned, unexpected existence of animals and plants in several iconic estates in London (including Thamesmead, where Kubrick filmed 'The Clockwork Orange'), along with the interwoven sounds of machines, men and nature. When an architectural space loses control, allowing people and other beings to exist in an alternative way, would we consider it a downfall of the healthy modern city?
Note: Estates in order of appearance: Thamesmead, Robin Hood Gardens, Heygate Estate (demolition began in 2011)
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