Richard Sennett: "More local, less glamorous"

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Oct 03, 2013
by Oscar Tollast
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Richard Sennett: "More local, less glamorous"

Urbanist calls for cities to endorse more work by local architects

Richard Sennett has suggested to Salzburg Global that fewer local architects are getting jobs within their local communities and cities.

The professor of sociology at New York University recently attended Salzburg Global as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association 2013 symposium on ‘Sustainability and the City: America and the Urban World’.

In our latest podcast, Professor Sennett reviews the difference between an open and closed system used in cities and what effect this has on architectural styles. It was the main topic of discussion during his lecture on ‘The Open City’ at this month’s symposium.

Professor Sennett argues open systems can allow new ways of thinking, with a focus on how forms can grow and adapt over time within their communities.

He describes the limitations of constructing buildings for very specific purposes, which lack resilience and are often destroyed to make way for something new.

With this in mind, we discuss whether there are ways to incentivise architects to refrain from this style and to focus instead on innovation.

This episode is second in a series of podcasts stemming from the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association 2013 symposium on ‘Sustainability and the City: America and the Urban World’. In our first episode, Professor Saskia Sassen discusses the environmental challenges cities face.