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Terrapol's Daniel Lauand Island

The perverse aesthetic appeal of urbanism at its least humane


When does the study of slum dwelling become aestheticisation? Where do you draw the line between rigorous research into informal settlements and cosmetic fascination with extreme urban poverty? How can Western architects legitimately alleviate the deprivation caused by their own way of life? These key questions underscore this issue (AR October 2014) and the preceding number. Elsewhere the Garden City model is under scrutiny, its radial zoning distorted into the apartheid townships of South Africa and fortress-like Israeli settlements of occupied Palestine (AR October 2014). The perverse aesthetic appeal of urbanism at its least humane is explored in this intricate ink drawing by Daniel Lauand who renders a stratified dystopian city surrounded by endless slums; a terrifying but undeniably compelling image of a broken society.

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