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Mediation Among Collisions

Part 2 Dissertation 2012
Ioana Tilicea
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Romania
The starting point of this dissertation lies in an ordinary urban frame that one comes across in Bucharest. The main scenes of these pictures are collisions between two major urban orders that shape up the city: the traditional order and the totalitarian one. In most cases these conflicts take the physical shape of a void in the city that authorities usually disregard and are eager to transform rapidly in a new built ensemble. Thus the gap is easily filled and the picture changes its physiognomy, still, it remains motionless and rigid; the boundary is still there, but in a different way.

More than raising awareness of the collisions that take place in the city, the stake of this study is to find possible mediation methods among such collisions that would transform boundaries into borders. The latter would become places to be crossed and experienced, that would consequently allow a flexible and dynamic liaison between the different urban orders.

From particular to generic it is obvious that such collisions exist and have existed in almost every city that has undergone very different or brutal changes on a social, urban and architectural level. Starting from the reflection of authors such as Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, accompanied by other contemporary critiques, the three methods here proposed for debate are collage, bricolage and patchwork, all of which operate with fragments. Either through superimposition, assemblage or connection of various fragments, all of them are ways of interweaving a nuanced grey reality in a black-and-white context. This type of “fragmentary work” becomes a flexible approach of dealing with contradicting urban orders based on a permanent shift from master plan to user plan. The result is a process of both inserting new identities and re-qualifying what is already there.

However, the topic remains open-ended, to be tested in the diploma project. In the end, all the methods here mentioned do not claim the capability of clearly predicting new urban pictures, but rather try to permit their unfolding. As Chantal Dräyer said, “the stake is not to predict but to allow.”

Ioana Tilicea

Prof Stefan Ghenciulescu
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