ONE YEAR, 365 CITIES – AN ANTHOLOGY OF TEN MINUTE TOWNS BY PETER BARBER
One year 365 cities is Peter’s attempt to design a city a day for a year. The idea arose from Lewis Mumford’s assertion (which 80 years on, pretty much still holds true) that modernism has “failed to produce even a rough draft for a decent neighbourhood.” And from a pub remark made by Ben Stringer, who said that you ought to be able to design a city in ten minutes. The cities, towns and villages that are on show, are mud, wood, paper, bungaroosh, brick, cardboard and unspecified. They are farming collective, courtyard mini city, city of walls, estuary fishing villages. On hills, along cliffs, hunkered down in valleys, perched on plains, stretched or centralised.
Some subterranean, others balanced on spindly stilts. Arranged as grids – stretched square and triangular, as flows or labyrinths; on snickets, mews and twittens. Some are seen through half closed eyes, others more like cut crystal, a simple biro line or floating in a charcoal mist. There are cities which are quite distinct and separate. Others merge and morph – revealing patterns, sets, repeated themes and progressions. Some were sketched in a moment, others took a bit of a hold – Peter wanted to know more about them and ten minutes ran to ten days and herein lies his problem and an admission. A handful of the projects (more perhaps) were done outside the allotted year. In a way they all were since they are the product of 30 years of visiting, reading about, thinking about and imagining cities so half a lifetime, 365 cities – not quite the same ring? (on show from May 2019 – July 2019)