Published in Textfirled #3, summer 2005, Los Angeles
Architects used to dream about cities.
These cities always ended up as some sort of project, and very often they had catchy names like Second City, Fragile City, Moving City or Split-second City. Maybe there is even a Google City though I never heard about it. These Cities where bound together by a common characteristic, a quality that made them an entity, a describable quantity. Sometimes they were descriptions of existing places through the eyes of the architect, and other times they were quick schematics to feed the beast of academia.
Cities are collections of buildings that grow together so that more people can live there. Cities grow old, are abandoned and transformed, and in Europe they hold older versions of themselves somewhere in a cute downtown. They are places where people move to, bringing along things they own, and friends they knew. This way they can all be where the action is.
Cities are a great subject for architecture students, because they can withstand a lot of analysis, and they can offer endless versions of themselves. The same city can be The City of Highways, the City of 13 steps or the City of Beige Buildings. Cities are always big, and you always need a map.
Worlds can be tiny. A world can exist inside your closet, or outside your window. A world can be something you carry around in your pocket, or it can be endless, never existing and never finishing. A world can be a place where not only the buildings are unique, but the people don't have to be people. One can imagine a world where the people are door handles, cigarette butts or clouds. The buildings can be animated trees that fall to the ground and rise up again. A world does not need one unifying quality so that it can have a name, because you can just name it whatever you want. A world is a place where architecture extends to the sky and the ground, if you choose to have any such thing. A world can be a place where there is no ground, even though the perspective gets boring after a while.