Significant changes are occurring in the social spaces of modern cities and the social functioning of media. This erudite, forceful book argues that the spaces and rhythms of contemporary cities are radically different to those described in classic theories of urbanism. Changes in the city have been paralleled by the transformation of media which has become increasingly mobile, instantaneous and pervasive. The media are no longer separate from the city. Offering social commentary at the deepest levels of historical and critical reference, The Media City links Myspace to Howard Hughes; trams to cinema; security cameras to exploding buildings; reality TV to Marx; and Lenin on privacy to Kracauer on the mass ornament.
Wide-ranging and richly illustrated, it intersects disciplines and connects phenomena which are too often left isolated from each other to propose a new way of understanding public and private space and social life in contemporary cities. It will find a broad readership in media and communications, cultural studies, social theory, urban sociology, architecture, and art history.
Chapter 7: The Glass House
The Glass House
No one could possibly detect properties of beauty in large sheets of glass.
Glass brings a new era.
On the eve of World War I Bruno Taut erected his famous ‘Glass Pavillion’ for the Werkbund Exhibition at Cologne. With exterior walls made of glass bricks, and a glass roof in the shape of a crystal, the pavilion was intended as the harbinger of a new culture. It was inscribed with aphorisms from visionary writer Paul Scheerbart including: We feel sorry for the brick culture’, ‘Coloured glass destroys hatred’, and ‘Glass brings a new era’ (quoted in Frampton 1982: 93). Scheerbart's 1914 monograph Glasarchitektur exercised a major influence on many of the leading figures of the architectural avant-garde in ...