The latest instalment of our new series of AR Reading Lists: seven carefully chosen pieces from our archive, free for registered users
As the Tourism issue lands this week, our reading list looks not at greater global trips but at smaller-scaled travels, leisure and recreation done closer to home. How can one see new sights, or even become lost, in a familiar land? Walking plays a significant part in how architecture is experienced at this scale, and we consider flânerie of multiple kinds as well as the social and physical formations that either allow or impede its progress.
While much of the world remains on lockdown, the pleasures of such exploration still lie outside of our grasp. We are, however, still able to dream, to experience from afar – and what glories might be uncovered in the written records of those who have walked before?
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- On foot: architecture and movement, AR online October 2015, Christy Anderson and David Karmon
‘As we move closer and enter the building, we also begin a new relationship with it. The single, stable mass that we perceived at a distance fragments into multiple dimensions that are partial and momentary’
- Leisure as an architectural problem, AR December 1938, Donald Pilcher
‘The United States has laid out and equipped state and national parks, parkways and auto-camps; a country from which we have much to learn in planning the countryside for the townsman’s recreation’
- Driven to distraction: the gravitational draw of the urban, AR May 2018, Will Self
‘Thomas De Quincey’s opiated consciousness apprehended this singularity: in the emergent, anonymous city of modernity, all are equally lost, whether in the improved guttering or among the artificial stars’
- The Townscape of tourism, AR August 1964, Andor Gomme
‘If tourism has brought bogus Elizabethan junk it has also produced a very genuine up-to-date traflic chaos. All English towns are choked with cars most of the time; but Stratford has a nightmarish parking problem’
- Purposive purposelessness – Walking in Berlin: A Flaneur in the Capital, AR November 2017, Tom Wilkinson
‘For Hessel flânerie is not just a way of seeing: it is also a means of production. In the book’s final paragraph he advises: “let us learn a bit of idleness and indulgence, and look at the thing that is Berlin”’
- Stepping out: the flâneuse claims the city for herself, AR March 2019, Lauren Elkin
‘The flâneuse’s city is a space of coincidence, and potential – all the more so because access to it has been hard won’
- After Pokémon Go: How augmented reality is rewriting the city, AR online August 2016, Andrew Knott
‘And the game certainly encourages such a distracted wandering: it lends a new narrative to the act of walking, an unexpected benefit to getting lost. This is, perhaps, the equivalent of the dérive in the age of Google Maps’
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