SUBURBANISM AND THE ART OF MEMORY by Sébastien Marot
Architectural Association School of Architecture, 2003 First edition, 87 pp., 6 1/4" X 8 1/2" Softcover
Sub-urbanism: a subversion of urbanism, a new approach to shaping territory that recognizes the suburb as the setting for most people's daily lives.
This book is a sub-urbanist manifesto. Its author, Sebastien Marot, is editor of Le Visiteur, the Paris journal of 'city, territory, landscape and architecture'.
Challenging the dominant role of the programme in regulating the design project, Marot argues that instead attention should be redirected towards the site -- the site read in depth, with an active regard for memory.
Exploring this analysis, he considers in turn Frances Yates's book on the art of memory as practised by ancient civilizations, Sigmund Freud's analogy between the past of a city and the workings of memory, Robert Smithson's account of a tour of his suburban birthplace, and Georges Descombes' design for a small park in the Geneva suburb where he spent his childhood. His conclusion brings these different strands together and highlights, in memory, a precept that is essential to the renewal of current architecture.