The Built and Social Architectures of Alternative Settlements
By (author) Malcolm Miles
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Urban Utopias by Malcolm Miles
Book DescriptionUtopia tends to generate a bad press - regarded as impracticable, perhaps nostalgic, or contradictory when visions of a perfect world cannot accommodate the change that is necessary to a free and self-organizing society. But people from diverse backgrounds are currently building a new society within the old, balancing literal and metaphorical utopianism, and demonstrating plural possibilities for alternative futures and types of settlement. Thousands of such places exist around the world, including intentional communities, eco-villages, permaculture plots, religious and secular retreats, co-housing projects, self-build schemes, projects for low-impact housing, and activist squats in urban and rural sites. This experience suggests, however, that when planning and design are not integral to alternative social formations, the modern dream to engineer a new society cannot be realized. The book is structured in four parts. In part one, literary and theoretical utopias from the early modern period to the nineteenth-century are reconsidered. Part two investigates twentieth-century urban utopianism and contemporary alternative settlements focusing on social and environmental issues, activism and eco-village living. Part three looks to wider horizons in recent practices in the non-affluent world, and Part four reviews a range of cases from the author's visits to specific sites. This is followed by a short conclusion in which a discussion of key issues is resumed. This book brings together insights from literary, theoretical and practical utopias, drawing out the characteristics of groups and places that are part of a new society. It links today's utopian experiments to historical and literary utopias, and to theoretical problems in utopian thought.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780415375764
(234mm x 156mm x 13mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 22-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Malcolm Miles
Public Spheres After Socialism, Paperback (February 2009)
Draws together contemporary experiences from Armenia - a site of cultural and political cross-currents - Germany, Austria, France and the United Kingdom. This volume explores the major shifts in theory and considers how the dualism of the Cold War has been replaced by the single ideological position of globalized consumerism.
Art and Theory After Socialism, Paperback (September 2008)
A collection of essays, which consider the critical insights that are produced in the collisions of art theory from the ex-East and ex-West. It offers a re-investigation of the overlap of art and everyday life in a post-Cold War world.
Cities and Cultures, Hardback (April 2006)» View all books by Malcolm Miles
Features an account of the relations between contemporary cities and the cultures they produce which questions the received ideas of what constitutes a city's culture, through cases in which different kinds of culture are seen to be differently used in, or affected by, the development of particular cities.
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Author Biography - Malcolm Miles
Malcolm Miles is Professor of Cultural Theory at the University of Plymouth, UK, where he convenes the Critical Spaces Research Group and coordinates a research methods programme for the Faculty of Arts.
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