cities are usually full of pain. pain is somehow intrinsic to the process of cities. they are built on pain, they are not the result of one-way progressive (“positive”) impulse, but rather a of contradictory set of constructive and destructive forces. city-building is also a predatory act, whether it be on the environment, on the soft landscape, on indigenous or traditional structures, on a dominated people; on certain types of remains of prior life-forms. some cities have carried out systematic operations to erase pain, which is usually imbued in both space and recollection. in certain places, particularly during periods of tension or transition, these painful reminders regain visibility, sometimes in a manner that is overwhelming: in war, in lost cities, in decayed city-cores. now we are told city=world. history is also (and always has been) a matter of pain. city-history has a stronger physical evidence, is more visible, more complex, more dense. architecture has been a very efficient tool in cleansing the painful, uncomfortable and ugly traces, but it rarely goes deeper into the city’s bloodstream. we need architecture that deals with these intrinsic contradictions, that faces them, that expresses them, that proposes solutions and not make-up. architecture should be to cities what written word is to history. architecture should make way for some reality in its smooth, polished, candycane mindset.

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