None can deny the imaginative processes and drawings of Lebbeus Woods, but what is the reason and thinking behind the forms he creates? What is this ‘architecture’ a response to? Radical Reconstruction is a published book by Woods exhibiting projects from three cities--Sarajevo, Havana, and San Francisco—that all pertain to the notion of addressing a crisis at the periphery conditions of the urban forms.
These iterations of “walls” are meant to draw both attention as well as a correlation to contemporary society’s condition of crisis recognition and consciousness. The notion is put forth that the unavoidable realities of modern day crisis, be it man-made or natural, are seemingly brought to our attention while only at the outer limits and edges of what we would perceivably control in our minds or media perception. This is found to be especially true within the realm of the “crisis of consumer culture . . . [pretending] there is no crisis . . . .”
Although the projects and their fantastic forms and suggestions are beyond the reaches of viable construction and implementation, they should at least be considered valuable to concerned designers for the attention they call to the condition of how a majority of First World society thinks about crisis.
Radical Reconstruction [Woods 1997]
[Image provided by Radical Reconstruction]
CRISIS > a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, environmental, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change