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Reading of the city

"Life beyond tourism"/"Life beyond project"

s part of this round table on the theme of tourism would like to link together a reflection on the 'tourism' and 'workshop', important components of the activities promoted by the Foundation Del Bianco. And you can add that touch on this occasion in an ethical dimension.
Why is this approximation? At first there is the word 'life', "life" and this word should stand in its full meaning our living world. And living is the primary condition to detect and assess the space of the planet so much for travelers to scholars of space. This involves the fusion of the person with the place.
We thought we would gather our two experiences, one in the 'field of teaching urban geography in the National School of Architecture of Marseille, the' other in the tourism, through the guidance of many different groups of people in a range of important countries, mainly in Eastern Europe and in America.
The content of our teaching is precisely to give students the opportunity to raise awareness of the ways (references, concepts, techniques, experiments ...) to reveal what makes us live, then that is alive in the places of urban space, starting from the scale of 'man, his experience with a view to any project (architectural, urban, landscape ... discovery). This recalls the feeling, emotion, feeling the path where you walk along every day, at every step with the memory of our mind and our body.
Even in those tourist travel has often been our purpose to promote the social and cultural encounters with strong emotional content.
Under both the 'teaching in tourism this attitude has been able to meet the misunderstanding. It is expected mainly from the "guide" a 'good didactic transmission of knowledge ...
Therefore, we think that we should, first, consider the things of the world environment as 'objects' by 'know' or 'analyze' or 'receive' as 'intrinsic value', without any critical spirit. It thus risks becoming comparable to a recording machine, devoid of life. Phenomenology is not far away ... And the emotion and its nuances are a source of openness to the mystery ...!
Two recent experiences have also led me here to make this choice: - A workshop in Moscow, where the students were thrown into a project with a purely functional viewpoint, forgetting an essential component of the spirit of the place: the presence of Russian forests in the heart of the metropolis. And that omission limited the volume and complexity of thought in the implementation of the project.
- A visit of tourist in St. Petersburg, the Yusupov Palace where she staged an interesting attempt to involve people in various living rooms through a route, maybe a second goal a little planning, but certainly flattering.

For example, a teacher danced the quadrille to visitors, beautiful idea of involvement in the lavish ballroom, a dip into history, a fun experience for some and laborious for others, however, ignoring all the space in this room could be in ... any anonymous space ...
There is no need to describe these experiences in detail, but consider it as motivation to tell a few stories, photographs, bringing together students of yesterday and today, Moscow and Marseille, architects, town, books of philosophy, geography, semiotics, poetry ... all contributing to an open reading and 'criticism' of cities and places in any area.
What would be dispersive or confusing ?
The places are luxurious ballrooms are not seen immediately but gold and dancers and does not enter even if you do not know feel and look to see.
Let us remember now the words of Roland Barthes wrote that when you have to multiply the readings of the city to get a day to a processing of the signs of 'urban, to move forward on the path of a semiotics of the city.
Maybe we can no longer dream of a language of the city back to a natural language. It takes, crossing all the "reads" books, art, sites of town, get to the readings "intertextual" in the city in order to receive more wealth between emotion and reason. So you can blow up the usual categories of reasoning to read better, see better, offer better, and invent more.
Let us not forget the words of Kevin Lynch when he wrote that there is an 'urban art as opposed to the architecture in the sense of "classical" sculpture and painting. And perceiving this art requires openness of mind, your body's involvement in 'activities of discovery and, touching the public space, we can say that our gaze becomes politics and politics becomes so even affair of the heart.
In fact, you should recognize the places of the city as urban art. And the place is not confined to what we recognize today as a heritage, and conservation is not limited to the protection of what it is, as it is, or his rehabilitation. Places can not have a name.
It also places of public space should no longer be the remnants of a narcissistic project, whether architectural or technocratic or two together, because it is a threat to our sensibilities, already overwhelmed by all parties. E 'in danger of our being, and ecological awareness that is developed at present should not lead to an' other ecology, that of the mind with its fundamental ethical dimension.
Our purpose is to go looking for images that do not necessarily attract the usual talk of promoting 'tourism' and the 'analysis' scientific' but may suggest a philosophical reflection or a metaphorical evocation / poetry or even a rebellion / critical or controversial everything together.
The mystery always gives us an appointment.
At first there is the way, choice, confusion, what is there? Then there's the effort! We are "simply" on the path of life, even reading the squares, streets, houses, history, drawing non-stop in the pit of our memory sensitive. We immerse ourselves in our initial feelings, we must recognize them and detain them without the knowledge let the pseudo drown. It 'just a primordial phenomenological discourse.
And everything is developed according to this move. And the heart is the center, is body and soul, and generates the energy required for releasing our porosity, to radiate and receive the world. And in all beings is this heart / genius capable of opening and receiving, for example, the energy of the churches and their squares, their sacred character. And this sacred character we can find it in all places where they are places. And every place can become a place where there s'insidia or climbing life.
The heart may be theater, the house's heart, the heart can arise in the wall, the tree's heart...

When dancing a tree can only have one heart that there is something round bale. But there are trees that dance and others do not, there are mundane but real trees because they are present and there are those that reflect the weaknesses of their promoters. There are streets, public places that call the trees and not others. And the tree was born in the cool of the total lack of "genius" can also become a cancer that kills the space.

And barbarism in all its forms promises us more and more traps. These forms can be brutal but also insidious. The barbarian can also make us helpless before the infallible arguments of progress, security, ecology, protection of heritage. And our living spaces are the most targeted prey because they live too mundane, do not live enough, even with the smile we get used to changes, just resist, we have not taken up so fast... the processes are not enough today.

But there are points of resistance: the eternal peace of a square, the rolling tracks that lie on the walls and give rise to the emotion in the heart that raises imaginative, creative emotion sharpened by the mystery.

And so we moved the life of Pompeii, Rome, live on the steps of our presence in the world.

And so our kids, future architects, may well subvert the platitudes and make them places.
And why do not you think that the "tourism" may offer the opportunity to become more and more citizens of the world ?

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© Michel Perloff - Mentions légales - Création : Marion Pruneau