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Parent teacher association

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Lauren Marie
Lauren Marie

Cities. Skylines Icon

in order to place these cities in the wider context, sklair uses raymond williams terms, the formal and material cultures of these cities. this allows him to draw comparisons between the different societies he examines. in a broad reading of the book as a whole, the point of this comparison is to enable sklair to show how the production and dissemination of the iconic projects in which he is interested is related to, but not restricted to, the class and cultural formations of these cities. the formal culture of the city, sklair shows, is the artistic, aesthetic and intellectual culture that is produced in each particular city. the formal culture includes ideas of urban design and planning, architecture and social relationships in each place. the material culture relates, on the other hand, to the citys physical form and the material culture. the skyline, sklair notes, is the one thing that every city has in common, whether or not its form is recognisable to anyone else.

Cities. Skylines Icon


not all iconic buildings are or need to be avant-garde. the biggest project since the second world war, the pyramids of giza, is not very avant-garde (although the world famous berlin wall, which became a byword for state oppression, is more avant-garde than any architectural icon). it draws on recognisable historical forms to make a compelling, if corny, statement about egyptian civilisation.

the best study of the icon as a cultural category in architectural history is steven hollins fascinating book modernism. this is a study that explores the same questions as tony leys book but in the context of an architectural form (the modern house) and a particular movement (international modernism) that had a huge impact on the way we live and think about our cities. modernism explores how a group of cultural figures, notably le corbusiers, exploited the modern aesthetic to create a form of architecture that subtly but powerfully challenged many traditional assumptions about buildings. the book also provides a useful overview of other modern movements, including ideas about cities in many of the twentieth century.


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