The Panel: Utopian Architecture

By ABC By Design
podcasts

Image: Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater

Since the end of the 19th century people have struggled to build better cities, free of the slums and smoke that were part and parcel of the industrial revolution. Architects saw that the industrialised world was one of enormous possibilities with room for visionary ideas to escape the problems of the day, be it a shortage of housing, urban decay or pollution. Their utopian Modernist dreams imagined cities in the sky and housing towers set amongst green landscapes.

As part of RN’s theme week about perfect worlds, we’re revisiting several of those dreams for urban utopias as imagined by four visionary architects: Frank Lloyd Wright; Le Corbusier; Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin -- the husbandwife team behind Canberra -- as well as the town planner Ebenezer Howard, who created the garden city movement.

Guests:

Professor Robert Fishman
Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Author, Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, MIT Press
website

Alasdair McGregor
Author, Grand Obsessions: The Life and Work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, Penguin

Listen


ABC Radio National’s By Design is a program about how we shape our world - a vibrant show about people and the things that surround us.
From the cities and buildings we live in to the cars we drive and clothes we wear, the program deals with architecture and material culture, the politics of the built environment and design - all through the prism of our daily lives.
 
It explains how, through the creative process, human ideas take on tangible form and designers reinvent the world to keep pace with its changing needs and desires, lifting the quality of our lives.
 
The program explores how design -- the way things look, feel and function -- reflects social change; what the decisions we make as consumers of architecture and everyday objects tell us about who we are.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bydesign/