David Kolb

Genius Fluxus: The Spirit of Change

A talk delivered at a 2002 Danish conference on the Flux of Place.

Architects seek the genius loci, the spirit of the place. But places change, always. Is there a way to build in tune with the spirit of change? We need to give up single visions that are supposed to embrace social and place totalities. We live in overlapping nets rather than single places. We cannot plan unlimited geometrical vistas a la Versailles; but that was always an illusion, and today it would be an oppression. Can we still plan like Sixtus at Rome? Only if we also encourage other modes of organization at the same time. The whole may often end up more like Tokyo, with corners of design and beauty that do not make an overall plan.

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