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2/26/19, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
1.5 LU

Eminent sociologist Richard Sennett will discuss his latest book, Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018) in the latest Oculus Book Talk. In this sweeping work, Sennett traces the anguished relationship between how cities are built and how people live in them, from ancient Athens to twenty-first-century Shanghai. He shows how Paris, Barcelona, and New York City assumed their modern forms; rethinks the reputations of Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford, and others; and takes us on a tour of emblematic contemporary locations, from the backstreets of Medellín, Colombia, to the Google headquarters in Manhattan. Through it all, he laments that the “closed city”―segregated, regimented, and controlled―has spread from the global North to the exploding urban agglomerations of the global South. As an alternative, he argues for the “open city,” where citizens actively hash out their differences and planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. With arguments that speak directly to our moment―a time when more humans live in urban spaces than ever before―Building and Dwelling draws on Sennett’s deep learning and intimate engagement with city life to propose a vision for the future of cities.

Richard Sennett, Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City (2018)

Richard Sennett received a PhD in American Civilization from Harvard in 1969. Many of his acclaimed books explore urban life, including:  The Uses of Disorder, an essay on identity formation in cities; The Fall of Public Man, a history of public culture and public space, particularly in London, Paris, and New York in the 18th and 19th Centuries; The Conscience of the Eye, a study of how Renaissance urban design passed into modern city planning, and Flesh and Stone, an overview of the design of cities from ancient to modern times. His latest books investigate material ways of making culture: The Craftsman (2008); Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation (2012), and Building and Dwelling (2018).


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Organized by
AIANY Oculus Committee
2/26/19, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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