The City as a Thinking Machine : The ExhibitionProgramme of Events : Satellite Events : The Catalogue

... activism in the built environment - the exhibition

Freudenstadt.jpg‌‘Town plans are no mere diagrams, they are a system of hieroglyphics in which man has written the history of civilization, and the more tangled their apparent confusion, the more we may be rewarded in deciphering it.’ Cities in Evolution p170

Material drawn from the Geddes Archives, much of it never exhibited or published before plus current work by affiliates of the Geddes Institute for Urban Research.

This exhibition is a research project whose aim is to evaluate Geddes’ thinking at a time when city regions are under increasing pressure to accommodate new populations without losing sight of their natural heritage and sustainability. Sir Patrick Geddes, the polymathic Scottish planner and botanist, published Cities in Evolution in 1915. This seminal text on civics promoted his Cities Exhibitions which he organised from 1910 onwards. He also proposed local Cities Exhibitions as permanent institutions in each city centre which he argued were a necessary condition for participatory democracy. This important exhibition on Geddes’ thought and work has three parts: city plans from Geddes’ touring Cities Exhibitions; his thinking and lecturing diagrams, drawn from the Archives at the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde; and recent architecture and planning projects by affiliates of the Geddes Institute for Urban Research at the University of Dundee. Geddes’ diagrams have not to our knowledge been exhibited or published before, nor have these plans been brought to the public view since the Outlook Tower closed in 1949.

Lorens Holm, director of the Geddes institute says ‘Geddes sought to transform lives and transform environments. This exhibition is important because it brings together Geddes thinking machine diagrams – a key to this thought on civics and cities – with the exemplary city plans he collected for his Exhibitions, at a time when our cities are under increasing pressure to accommodate new populations without losing sight of sustainability and citizenship, the key principles for well-being in the built environment.’

Venue: Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee.
Times: Lamb Gallery opening hours 9:30-6:30 Monday – Friday. Closed Saturday & Sunday.
Dates: Monday 19 October – Friday 11 December 2015.
Private view: Friday 16 October, 5:30-8:00pm.

Accompanying the exhibition is program of evening events titled ‘Activism in the Built Environment’, beginning at 6:00pm with a guest lecture in the D’Arcy Thomson Lecture Theatre, followed by a round table conversation with the exhibitors in the Lamb Gallery.