City as a Political Idea

Few months ago Krzysztof (our programme leader in case you didn’t know by now) published his book ‘City as a Political Idea’, a fact that I failed to mention here, probably due the combination of a hectic schedule and terrible memory.

This week the first review of this book is published on the online version of Building Design (you can read it here if you are a subscriber), which provides a good overview of what it is about.

Two excerpts from the review state that:

“At the centre of Nawratek’s argument is the claim that “not planning, not social programmes, but politics is the path of salvation for cities”. This is certainly a statement that should be yelled at certain architects, but Nawratek’s notion of politics is quite particular. It’s based on the idea that politics and the polis are inextricable — that citizenship necessitates engagement.”


“This is no libertarian utopia. It “is oppressive in its coercive interaction, it is brutal in the pursuit of meeting and mixing, and it is authoritarian in its search of a new, transcultural quality”. In space, this would entail a series of “corridors” running across the city — “anti-Haussmann boulevards” as he describes them — through which a mixed-use fabric of schools, workplaces and leisure facilities would be threaded.”

These underline some of the work we (the students) are doing in our design studio and the way we see our cities. Hopefully you’ll see more of that by the end of the (academic) year in our projects (which we are working on relentlessly, I swear. I’ll show you. Soon).

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