It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'The Convivial City'

Silvia Grünig informs us that her PhD. thesis, titled "Ivan Illich (1926-2002): la ville conviviale," is now available for reading on the Web. It's posted at the website of the CNRS-Conseil national de la recherche scientifique. It's written in French, but the English abstract describes it thus:
Ivan Illich (1926-2002) : The Convivial City

In his work, Ivan Illich (1926-2002) makes a radical critique of "institutions" (the Church, schools, hospitals, transport, machines, etc.), alleging that at some stage in their development they become all counterproductive. Can these analyses be transposed to the urban domain? If so, how can they help to make what "shapes " cities intelligible in the age of global urbanisation? This research proposes an Illichian reading of "the business-city" and suggests ways to leave the productivist impasse it is now experiencing. It is structured around two axes: Firstly, in the context of the economic model of scarcity and of the cybernetic model of systems, the City has been replaced by a counterproductive urban business: an anti-city, in which Urbanism becomes iatrogenic. It is " the vast enclosure ". Secondly, Ivan Illich's ideas transposed to the habitable space significantly contribute towards nurturing a new model for leaving industrialism and reconstructing the territory through processes of reduction and reconduction. This is the convivial city.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.