Disorder Abstracts   CONTACT  
First Referee: Assıgned Back to Disorder Abstracts
Second Referee: Assıgned Next Abstract


Architecture has always been considered to reflect its political, economic, social and cultural context, arguably nowhere is this more evident than within the city.  Equally the discipline also recognises the human being’s relationship with their environment.  The 1971 work by Norberg-Schulz on existence, space and architecture suggests that architectural space provides the environmental context and images which guide our human experiences and the ultimate understanding of the world in which we find ourselves.  1954 and 1978 texts by Heidegger develop the study of the nature of ‘being’.  The nature of ‘being’ is concerned with experiences and the expression of those experiences in defining the human being’s comprehension of their ‘beingness’; their self in manifestation.  The sense of who we are is intertwined with our environmental context.  Identification of the self is created through the lived experience.  Consequently the city, and the architectural landscape that it presents, form vital elements in the development of our sense of self. 

The city, as it has stood through time, is a place of deep contrast.  The architectural landscape provides the built context for its people.  A signification of the kaleidoscopic political, economic, social and cultural images of hope, power, leadership and wealth, simultaneous manifestation of utter despair, poverty, isolation, hopelessness, crime, corruption and violence, add to this a colliding symphony of odour and sound and the vision of the city becomes whole.  The city stands as the harbour of all humankind’s strength and weakness; it is form and symbol of the experiences and expressions of the failings and achievements of its humanity. 

However, in a world where human identity becomes increasingly fragile in the face of globalisation along with mass human displacement as a result of war and natural disaster, and where human identity is no longer, if it ever was, geographically contained, how does, or can, the city provide a sense of identity.    Increasingly there is a need to democratise our environments in line with a new global political ethos.  This seems to favour a notion of non-identity, of spiralling anonymity.  Conflict theory contends that protection of our human identity is so profound that a threat to that identity will lead to conflict; establishing and protecting the sense of who we are is non-negotiable.  This paper is about the destruction of human identity within our cities, the inevitable conflict that this will perpetuate, and the importance of community and a sense of belonging. 

Heidegger, M., (1954), Vortrage und Aufsatze (Bauen Wohnen Denken), Verlage Gunther Neske, Pfullingen.
Heidegger, M., (1978), Basic Writings from Being and Time (1927) to the Task of Thinking (1964), Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, London.
Norberg-Schulz, C., (1971), (New Concepts in Architecture) Existence, Space and Architecture, Studio Vista Limited, London.

Comments of the 1st referee:
Additional comments will be sent to the author.
Comments of the 2nd referee:
Additional comments will be sent to the author.