Comic City

Lecture first delivered at Kingston University on 29 January 2013.

How does the contemporary city communicate who the city is made for? In Sebastian Serlio's fifteenth century "Seven Books of Architecture" he describes different cityscapes used as theatre backdrops. There were tragic sets or comic sets, the tragic being made of symmetrical palaces and populated by characters following their destinies, the comic being a chaotic assemblage of buildings populated by characters subject to the whim of chance. The lecture will consider how the architecture of a city sets the scene for certain behaviours and certain futures, illustrated with examples of work by the practice.