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Kunstler on the aesthetics of place, and why they matter

Joel Hollingsworth

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Via the One Straw blog:

James Howard Kunstler offers a 20-minute lecture on building places that are worth defending. His ideas for retrofitting the suburbs have shades of Holmgren, especially in the way they draw from traditional patterns of life and modern infrastructure, but focus a lot more on retail/public/central space, rather than residential space.

His language is very coarse, so be ready for him to gratuitously use four-letter words, and fling big dollops of contempt toward everyone who disagrees with him. I think his ideas are worthwhile, even if the packaging around them seems a little dysfunctional.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.

Joined: Dec 31, 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Zone 9a
His critique is legit.  A lot of what he's saying is that form should follow function.

Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Posts: 106
I got the impression he was patterning his presentation on George Carlin.  Well, a powerful subject needs some powerful language.  with hard times looming on the horizon,  there is lots of potential there. One of them, the big lawns a lot of the new developments have.  we drove past some places where I thought how I would put in cross fencing and keep a couple of goats and chickens.  Living and doing as a community will become a necessity.  It does not have to be bad.  some of the unused houses can be converted into two and three room schools, small businesses, a pub or two.  People working downstairs and living upstairs.  Oh, and check out this cool family.  People are already blazing the trail

subject: Kunstler on the aesthetics of place, and why they matter