Thursday, April 28, 2011

Origami Urbanism

At last I have time to work on an essay that's been invited (but not yet accepted) for a book on urban communication. Toward that end I'm playing around with a term that might be useful: Origami Urbanism (not to be confused with Mark Robinson's 2003 album Origami [and] Urbanism).

Origami Urbanism converts the city into a plaything whose apparently editable nature de-centers power relationships, presumably in liberatory fashion. The origami city folds and bends, not individually like the titanium fluidity of Frank Gehry architecture, but in a broader matrix of moving parts whose alteration remakes social order as easily as one might transform a plane (sheet of paper) into a crane. As such, Origami Urbanism trains viewers to imagine themselves as producers, not mere consumers, of a mode of urban performance wherein interpersonal communication and social networks become unfixed.

Here's an example:

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