85 episodes

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future.

With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

About Buildings + Cities Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture

    • Visual Arts

A podcast about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. Plus detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future.

With Luke Jones and George Gingell.

    *Preview* — 76.5 — Robert Moses Bonus Episode

    *Preview* — 76.5 — Robert Moses Bonus Episode

    This is a preview from our latest Patreon Bonus Episode – subscribe to our Patreon for just $3 a month to listen to the whole episode! Thank you to everyone who supported the show this year, we couldn't have done it without you, and we can't wait to discuss more architectural history in 2021.

    Our final episode for 2020 is here and our last episode on Jane Jacobs. We're discussing Robert Moses, the megalomaniacal titan of New York planning who wielded enormous political power and bent the metropolis to his will, orchestrating a symphony of demolitions, highways, expressways and grands projets which changed the face of the city forever.

    'You can draw any kind of picture you want on a clean slate and indulge your every whim in the wilderness in laying out a New Delhi, Canberra, or Brasilia, but when you operate in an overbuilt metropolis, you have to hack your way with a meat ax.'

    He was also a spiteful bully, a racist, an egomaniac and a very difficult man, yet he maintained his authority and his power for almost 3 decades before a precipitous fall in the 1960s, when public and political opinion turned against him for good. He embodied everything that Jane Jacobs despised about urban planning, but his life and work have much to tell us about the mid-century city.

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 5 min
    76 — Jane Jacobs — 2/2 — Unslumming and Gentrification

    76 — Jane Jacobs — 2/2 — Unslumming and Gentrification

    Our second episode on Jane Jacobs' canonical work, 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities'. In this second half we further discuss her vision for the ideal city, based on her experiences in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. We focus on her ideas around 'unslumming', her alternative model of gentle and community-led gentrification which offered an alternative to the mass-demolition of deprived neighbourhoods advocated by planners during this period. We talk about the ethics and politics of gentrification and Jane's blindspot for certain pernicious effects of market economics, and her proposals for economic health. We also discuss her approach to the car in the city, which will feel very familiar to anyone concerned with transportation and urbanism today. Subscribe to our Patreon for a bonus episode coming soon on Jane's campaigns against Robert Moses and the Lower Manhattan Expressway.

    Our sponsor for this episode is Blue Crow Media, who produce gorgeous architectural maps of different cities, including Pyongyang, Tbilisi and New York. Use the offer code aboutbuildings for 10% off your next purchase!

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    75 — Jane Jacobs — 1/2 — Eyes on the Street

    75 — Jane Jacobs — 1/2 — Eyes on the Street

    The first episode in a two-part series on Jane Jacobs, a profoundly influential writer, thinker and campaigner on issues of urbanism, whose magnum opus 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' (1961) forms the backbone of our discussion. In it, Jacobs lays out an idealised vision of tight-knit, dense communities, inspired by her time living in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. It is a vision of an interconnected, urban way of life dominated by local small-scale agents: families, independent businesses and community ties from which emerge vitality, security and comfort in densely populated streets of tenements with wide sidewalks and endless lines of sight across the bustling public spaces.

    Jacobs' work was a rejection of many sacred cows of modernist planning, espoused by architects and bureaucrats alike: questions of density, scale, urban grain, transportation and space. Jacobs felt that their efforts rarely supported the vitality and energy she found so alluring in the tenements of Greenwich Village.

    Subscribe to our Patreon for a discussion of one of the infrastructure projects Jacobs campaigned against: Robert Moses and the Lower Manhattan Expressway.

    Also, we just reached 1 million listens on this feed! Thank you so much for all your support, we couldn't have done it without you. Remember to tell a friend, and give the show a review if you enjoyed it.

    Our sponsor for this episode is Blue Crow Media, who produce gorgeous architectural maps of different cities, including Pyongyang, Tbilisi and New York. Use the offer code aboutbuildings for 10% off your next purchase!

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    74 — Monasteries — 3/3 — Fourier, Narkomfin, La Tourette

    74 — Monasteries — 3/3 — Fourier, Narkomfin, La Tourette

    The final episode in our series on the deep history of the monastery. Modernity has arrived and monasticism is living a strange afterlife. First, we discuss the early 19th century Utopian Socialism of Charles Fourier, whose Phalanstère take the framework of the monastery and repurpose it to build community whose purpose is not the Opus Dei, but to ensure that all its members live fulfilling and happy lives. Next come the Constructivist communities of the early Soviet Union, where monastic communal living is weaponised as a tool to smash traditional bourgeois lifestyles and mould the next generation. Lastly we return to the the sunny hills of southern France, where Le Corbusier brought together his late-career love of sculptural concrete with the religious revival in postwar France to build the greatest monastery of the 20th century, La Tourette.

    Our final episode of this series, on Romanticism and the Monastery, will be out on our Patreon feed next week.

    Make sure you visit our instagram and view the pinned stories on 'Monasteries' for all the images from this series. Our next series on Jane Jacobs will begin next month.

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    73 — Monasteries — 2/3 — The Apostolic Life

    73 — Monasteries — 2/3 — The Apostolic Life

    In our second episode on Monasteries we're talking about Carthusians, millenarian religiosity, the co-option of radicalism by the mainstream, baroque splendour, Slow TV, retirement bungalows and whether Jesus owned the shirt on his back. In this episode we attempt to delve into the way that monastery buildings facilitate true Monastic obedience, and the way that different typologies of monastic domesticity might reflect different priorities in their orders. We also question how the Church harnessed the radical and dangerous power of popular religiosity by co-opting some movements into the status quo, such as the Franciscan Order, whilst burning countless Cathars and Waldensians as heretics.

    For more on these themes, catch our latest bonus episode on Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'. Another Patreon Bonus on Dominican heretic Tommaso Campanella's psychedelic and monkish Utopia 'The City of the Sun' will be out very soon.

    You can watch the documentary we mention about a Carthusian Monastery 'Into Great Silence' on YouTube

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    72 — Monasteries — 1/3 — Cluniacs and Cistercians

    72 — Monasteries — 1/3 — Cluniacs and Cistercians

    In this new 3 part series we’re trying something a little bit different, we’re going to try and think about the monastery from deep time up to the present day. The monastery is an almost unique architectural typology; in its continuity, the specificity of the brief and its legacy and afterlife. In this first episode we discuss the origins of the monastery, and the conflict that arises between differing visions of monastic life in 11-12th century France. What role should architecture, art, sculptural decoration, gold, marble and jewels play in the life of a monk sworn to poverty? How can the architecture and style of monasteries give voice to the ideologies of the monastic orders that live in them? We will be thinking about the afterlife of monasteries in the fervent imagination of modernism in later episodes.

    Make sure you visit our pinned instagram story to see images of the amazing buildings we are discussing.

    This episode is sponsored by Blue Crow Media, who publish lushly designed architectural maps of cities all over the world, from brutalist Sydney to Art Deco New York. Use the offer code aboutbuildings to get 10% off if you buy before the end of August.

    Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

    Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. For this episode we will very shortly be releasing a Patreon bonus on Umberto Eco's post-modern genre mashup 'The Name of the Rose'.

    Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

    Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook

    We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 20 min

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