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Urban Re-Identification

The ninth CIAM conference in Aix-en-Provence in 1953 was the first at which the so-called younger generation of CIAM members concurred in their criticism of the CIAM as a body and the technocratic modernism it propagated. 

During this conference, architects Peter and Alison Smithson presented their concept of ‘urban re-identification’. The Smithsons were critical towards the prevailing modernist dogma of the rational city with its separate functions. They were searching for a new, architectural equivalent to the intuitive, spatial connections they saw in the way children played.

They worked on the visual statement of their approach to urban planning with photographer Nigel Hendersen.  In this impression of spatial experience – from house to street, from district to city – playing children embody social cohesion.

The plan was influential within Team X, which had split off from CIAM. However, at the conference itself, it attracted little attention from either the old or the new generation.

The NAI keeps a reproduction of this work. Repository of the original grid: Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Mauricio Lopez commented longer then 9 years ago:

A minimal note: i think the photographer name is Nigel Henderson, instead of "Hendersen".