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Giraffes, Telegraphs, and Hero of Alexandria – Urban Design by Narration

In this book, stories portray the production of our built environment, guided by three characters: Giraffes, Telegraphs, and Hero of Alexandria. Having developed its long neck to reach the leaves of high trees, the giraffe represents the vernacular approach to architecture, in which construction follows forces of nature. The telegraph, in contrast, embodies the modernist paradigm, in which technology reigns supreme and forces nature to adapt. Inspired by Hero of Alexandria, SMAQ subscribe to a third paradigm – using technology to optimize nature and, inversely, nature to assimilate technology. Their design concepts appear as tools ready to engage our contemporary urban environment, free of today’s ecological and technological fundamentalism and in favor of experimentation, pleasure, and play.

With contributions by Theo Deutinger, Rodney LaTourelle, Sabine Müller, Caroline O’Donnell, Andreas Quednau, Deane Simpson.

Müller, S.Quednau, A.(2016). Giraffes, Telegraphs, and Hero of Alexandria – Urban Design by Narration. Berlin: Ruby Press