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Using Tech to Define Urbanism

Vishaan Chakrabarti's Talk on Urban Development Focuses on Its Charm

— June 26, 2018 — Keynote Trends
Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti's talk on urban development really opens up the conversation about the integral romantic charm of old cities and the homogeneity of new ones. The speaker, who is also the author of a book titled 'A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America,' not only expands on this difference but offers possible tech solutions that can help liberate architects and give them back some of their creative freedom.

To justify the overbearing sameness of modern metropolitans, Vishaan Chakrabarti reveals three reasons during his TED talk on urban development. The first is the mass production of materials. The second is limiting regulations and the third is the fear of difference. The architect briefly elaborates on all three of them, stressing the particular constraints behind each component of artistic opression. For example, when designing a street, architects have to think about accomodating cars, fire trucks and wheel chairs. As a result, they are left with limited space for creativity and trapped to create a product that is mainly functional. In addition, when building an apartment duplex for a developer, architects need to abide by the rules of the client which nearly always border on physical sameness.

In his talk on urban development, Vishaan Chakrabarti shares his hopes for alliviating these restricting components. Firstly, he identifies the simplest way to add charm to something is by injecting the local into the global. Secondly, Chakrabarti offers technology as a solution but only "if it bends to the needs of the world" and not the other way around. From autonomous vehicles that can prompt the freedom of design to hovercraft wheel chairs, the solutions presented by the talk on urban development are yet to be realize. However, Vishaan Chakrabarti does speak of some recent developments that might suggest that one does not have to wait long.
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