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Ludwig Hilberseimer and Metropolisarchitecture: The Analogue, the Blasé Attitude, the Multitude

Institute of Architecture, School of Art, Design and Fashion, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Progress as a Basis for Modern Architecture)
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Abstract

This article close-reads Modernist architect Ludwig Hilberseimer’s early architectural projects, which employed a language of uniform fenestration, repetition and geometrically reduced typical forms, as embodying Georg Simmel’s blasé attitude in analogical form, and places this reading in relation to Aldo Rossi’s concept of the analogical city and the political theorist Paolo Virno’s notion of the multitude. The first part outlines the discourse around Simmel, Hilberseimer and Rossi to note salient connections between these figures, their thought and the process of modernization. The second part discusses Simmel’s and Hilberseimer’s readings of the metropolis and interprets Hilberseimer’s formal language as embodying the blasé attitude. The third part places Hilberseimer in dialogue with Rossi and interprets Rossi’s analogical city as inhabited by another of Simmel’s figures, the stranger. The article concludes by tracing a line from Simmel’s figures of the blasé and the stranger via Hilberseimer’s metropolis architecture and Rossi’s analogical city toward the contemporary multitude, a collective linguistic subject. In doing so Hilberseimer’s and Rossi’s grammar of the metropolis can be rethought in relation to contemporary subject positions as a critical project toward an architectural theory of the multitude pushing back against the increasingly individualised city and market urbanism prevalent today. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ludwig Hilberseimer; Georg Simmel; Aldo Rossi; metropolis; architecture; critique; multitude; abstraction; analogical city Ludwig Hilberseimer; Georg Simmel; Aldo Rossi; metropolis; architecture; critique; multitude; abstraction; analogical city
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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McEwan, C. Ludwig Hilberseimer and Metropolisarchitecture: The Analogue, the Blasé Attitude, the Multitude. Arts 2018, 7, 92.

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