21 Feb: Early Cities, issues

Morris [sl]. help master the sequence of form, descriptive, critical

but reasons behind form
1. frame
city as a distinct place- urban achivement, civilization.

F. Roy Willis, Western Civilization: An Urban Perspective, 1973, p. v:
"Cities have been a major driving force in the development of urban civilization. The highest achievements of man, Sophocles proclaimed in his play Antigone, are 'language, and wind-swift thought, and city-dwelling habits.' The city, from the time of its earliest appearance some 5,000 years ago, has focused and magnified man's energies by providing a multiplicity of human contacts, and [has] providied the stimulus to the highest creativity in all forms of science and art."

--as opposed to: an ephemeral life?
family, seasonal, bounty of nature

2. the vernacular

urban form, roots?
earliest cities: were they this kind of place? simply economic advantage

city also as cultural artifact, like clothing, customs,

socialiability in our makeup; cultural achievement in humankind's makeup?

consensus = destiny?

3. urban form as archtl form

although ...

all good architectural design involves urbanistic consideration as a fundamental factor.

(3a. timeline)

Egyptian frozen nature, abstraction, simplicity, frontality, freezing, conquering the ephemeral.

Greek order over chaos, nature personified, individuality within ensemble.

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URL= issues.html; last rev. 25 Feb. 96.
Comments to jeffc@ccat.sas.upenn.edu or gbender@amelia.brynmawr.edu