Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City

An exploration of urbanism, personal identity, and how the space we live in shapes us According to philosopher and cultural critic Mark Kingwell, the transnational global city New York and Shanghai is the most significant machine our species has ever produced And yet, he says, we fail again and again to understand it How do cities shape us, and how do we shape them ThatAn exploration of urbanism, personal identity, and how the space we live in shapes us According to philosopher and cultural critic Mark Kingwell, the transnational global city New York and Shanghai is the most significant machine our species has ever produced And yet, he says, we fail again and again to understand it How do cities shape us, and how do we shape them That is the subject of Concrete Reveries, which investigates how we occupy city space and why place is so important to who we are Kingwell explores the sights, smells, and forms of the city, reflecting on how they mold our notions of identity, the limits of social and political engagement, and our moral obligations as citizens He offers a critique of the monumental architectural supermodernism in which buildings are valued for their exteriors than for what is inside, as well as some lively writing on the significance of threshold structures like doorways, lobbies, and porches and the kinds of emotional attachments we form to ballparks, carnival grounds, and gardens In the process, he gives us a whole new set of models and metaphors for thinking about the city With a spectacular interior design and than seventy five photos, Concrete Reveries will appeal to fans of Jane Jacobs, Witold Rybczynski, and Alain de Botton s The Architecture of Happiness.
Concrete Reveries Consciousness and the City An exploration of urbanism personal identity and how the space we live in shapes us According to philosopher and cultural critic Mark Kingwell the transnational global city New York and Shanghai is

  • Title: Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City
  • Author: Mark Kingwell
  • ISBN: 9780670037803
  • Page: 279
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1 thought on “Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City”

    1. I was inspired to read Concrete Reveries after seeing Mark Kingwell interviewed on TVO’s The Agenda. He talked about concepts that I am interested in knowing more about –how individuals experience space in the build environment or urban setting. Kingwell approaches these concepts from a philosophical level. In the introduction, he writes that unless you have a learned background in philosophy you will have difficulty with some of the concepts. He’s not exaggerating. I have never studied ph [...]

    2. It's the kind of book that makes me want to get back into the study of philosophy. Kingwell covers all sorts of territory that is relevant to contemporary existence, always circling back to notions of the city and what it means to live in one. Non-philosophy types will prefer the two chapters providing portraits of cities (New York and Shanghai), but there are just so many cool ideas in here. I also really appreciate that Kingwell took the time to write a "Bibliographic Essay" rather than just p [...]

    3. Maybe I expected too much of Concrete Reveries. It has several interesting passages such as, ways of walking in New York City and the hyperthyroid architecture of Shanghai. Kingwell also offers good descriptions of how human consciousness is necessarily embodied, not purely abstract and how our focus on private consumption of goods affects urban public spaces. I liked the direction the author was going, but I didn't feel like I'd gone anywhere new.

    4. It is hard to know what to make of this exactly. I am slowly coming around to a more open expression of urban cultural theory. Kingwell certainly has alot to say on the matter and I found it clearly explicated but it is hard to say in any shorter way what exactly was on offer. How would one summarize Whitman or Heidegger? Perhaps as I accumulate more I will be able to differentiate and clarify a bit.

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