Against Urban Perfection, Towards Collective Alternatives
- Forthcoming: expected June 2023. You can pre-order this book in our webshop. Once the book is ready, we will dispatch your order.
Author: René Boer
Visuals and design: Kees de Klein
June 2023, Valiz supported by Creative Industries Fund NL | pb | 320 pp. | 24 x 17 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-94-93246-20-1
René Boer (1986, he/him) works as a critic, curator and organizer in and beyond the fields of architecture, art, design and heritage. He is based in Amsterdam, founding partner of Loom: Weaving New Worlds and editor at Failed Architecture.
Kees de Klein is a graphic designer, visual artist and art director based in Amsterdam
In cities around the world a new urban condition is spreading rapidly: an ever-increasing push for ‘perfection’, efficiency and control and the active eradication of any aberration, friction or alternative. The smooth city with its sanitized spaces and new technologies compresses urban life into a seamless experience. While the demand for safe, clean, and well-functioning urban environments is understandable, the rise of the smooth city undermines the democratic nature and emancipatory potential of cities, while leaving almost no space for anything that is experimental, non-normative, transgressive or otherwise out of tune.
Smooth City provides a coherent framework to effectively criticize the enormous and in many ways problematic impact of 'smoothness' on cities everywhere, by investigating its origins, characteristics and consequences. At the same time, it offers a starting point to challenge the obsession with perfection and instead collectively work towards much needed alternatives.